Parallels Desktop 19 Review: The Best Virtual Machine For Mac


Comprehensive Review of Parallels Desktop for Mac

If you’re a Mac user who needs to run Windows apps, Parallels Desktop is like the Swiss Army Knife in your tech toolbox. Don’t take my opinion as gospel; let’s investigate why this program is so impressive.

A Seamless Blend of Two Worlds

The most appealing feature of Parallels Desktop is its ability to merge macOS and Windows environments seamlessly. It lets you open Windows applications from the Dock or even use Siri on Microsoft Office – kind of like having your cake and eating it too.

This means no more fumbling around with dual boot systems or waiting endlessly for virtual machines to start up. Everything runs smoothly side by side, making sure that juggling between operating systems feels less like a chore and more like magic.

Incredible Performance Boosts

Remember when using virtualization felt as slow as watching paint dry? With Parallels’ unyielding dedication to performance optimization, the era of sluggish virtualization is a thing of the past. You’ll experience minimal lags, speedy load times, and efficient memory usage – almost forgetting that you’re running two OS simultaneously. I can tell you firsthand how this has made multitasking an absolute breeze.

There is no need to worry about those power-hungry applications either; Parallels optimizes system resources smartly so heavy-duty tasks won’t make your machine wheeze under pressure.

Fuss-free Installation Process

I’ve always found setting up VMs similar to solving Rubik’s Cube blindfolded – complicated & frustrating. Parallels Desktop is surprisingly easy to get up and running; the setup process could not be more straightforward.

For example, From downloading Windows directly within the app to automated settings for optimal performance based on usage preferences – it’s clear that user convenience was a priority during development. Even tech novices can get started without breaking a sweat.

But Parallels Desktop really hits the sweet spot by giving you both power and smooth performance.

So, for example, Parallels Desktop is the perfect tech tool for Mac users needing to run Windows apps. Its seamless blending of macOS and Windows environments lets you enjoy both worlds without a hitch, making tasks less tedious and more magical. Experience boosted performance with minimal lags, quick load times, and smart system resource optimization. But the easy installation shows user convenience was a top priority in its design.

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What’s New Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac?

Parallels 19 Review

The latest version of Parallels Desktop, specifically the 19th iteration, has brought with it a host of improvements and features that make running Windows on your Mac smoother than ever. But let’s not beat around the bush and dive straight into what makes this update tick.

First off, Parallels Desktop 19 is fully compatible with Apple’s M1 and M2 chip. It means you can now run Windows applications seamlessly on any M-series Mac without compromising performance or battery life.

Besides its newfound compatibility with Apple Silicon, Parallels Desktop 19 introduces support for USB devices while in Coherence mode. So whether you’re working from home or gaming on Steam (yes. more about this later), your peripherals will function just as they would natively in macOS.

  • Seamless Integration
  • Optimized Performance
  • Windows 11 Support
  • High Refresh Rates
  • Compatibility
  • RAM Limitations
  • Resource Consumption
  • Subscription-based

New Features Galore.

This release isn’t all about compatibility; there are new features too. The updated interface offers better integration between MacOS and virtual machines by adding Touch Bar controls for common tasks like starting/stopping VMs and toggling between full screen/coherence modes.

A feature that really caught our eye is Drag & Drop which lets users transfer files directly from their Mac to a virtual machine simply by dragging them over – no need to mess around with shared folders anymore.

Faster Performance

Last but certainly not least is an improvement where it counts most: speed. Parallels have managed to squeeze even more juice out of the software engine making operations faster across both boot-up times and overall system responsiveness when using heavy-duty apps such as Adobe Photoshop or AutoCAD within your VM.

Moreover, the new Parallels Desktop 19 also brings an optimized OpenGL support which can provide up to a 6 times faster graphics performance. That’s quite impressive.

Improved User Experience

The user experience has not been left behind either. The Coherence Mode now supports more applications and the Windows taskbar can be customized as per your liking.

With Parallels Desktop 19, you can run Windows applications on your Mac without a hitch. It’s now fully compatible with Apple’s M1 and M2 chip and comes with enhanced USB device support in Coherence mode for smooth operation. Plus, it boasts an updated interface that integrates better with MacOS-VM for a seamless user experience. Features like Drag & Drop file transfer make life easier, while the software engine delivers quicker operations thanks to performance boosts.

Comparing Parallels Desktop 19 and 18

As someone who has extensively used both versions of the software, I can tell you that the transition from Parallels Desktop 18 to 19 brought about some significant changes. Let’s delve into those differences.

User Interface (UI)

The UI in version 19 received a bit of a facelift compared to its predecessor. The new design is more intuitive, which helps users navigate through various settings with ease. But it isn’t just about aesthetics; this update was all about enhancing user experience.

M1 and M2 Chip Compatibility

A major leap forward in version 19 is compatibility with Apple’s M1 and M2 chip—a game-changer for Mac users looking to run Windows applications smoothly on their machines. While version 18 worked fine with Intel-based Macs, the move towards supporting M-series chips showcases Parallels’ commitment to keeping up with technology advancements.

Performance Improvements

If there’s one thing that stands out between these two versions, it’s performance improvements offered by Parallels Desktop Version-19. From boot time reductions to better handling of memory-intensive tasks—everything feels snappier on V-19 than V-18.

  • Better resource management ensures your Mac doesn’t slow down when running multiple virtual machines concurrently.
  • Faster load times mean less waiting around for apps or systems like macOS Big Sur and Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora.

Final Thoughts

So, is it worth upgrading from Parallels Desktop 18 to 19? For Mac owners with M1 and M2 processors, the answer is definitely affirmative if they’re aiming for better functioning. The improved UI and significant speed enhancements make for compelling reasons to consider making the switch.

The decision ultimately boils down to your specific needs. But based on my personal experience using both versions of this powerful software, I’d say version 19 definitely brings more value to the table.

Upgrading from Parallels Desktop 18 to 19 is a game-changer, especially for Mac users with an M1 and M2 chip. The switch brings a sleeker user interface and significant performance enhancements, including better resource management and faster load times. If you’re seeking smoother operations and advanced technology support, version 19 surely packs more punch.

Parallels Desktop Pricing

Pricing for Parallels Desktop

Understanding the cost of Parallels Desktop can help you make an informed choice. So, let’s dive into a detailed analysis of the pricing structure.

Parallels Standard Edition

The Standard Edition is priced at $99.99 per year as a subscription. It gives access to essential features such as running Windows on Mac without rebooting and transferring files between Mac and Windows easily.

Parallels Pro Edition

Moving up, we have the Pro Edition. This edition costs $119.99 annually with more advanced features like 24/7 phone and email support.

Parallels Business Edition

The top-tier Business Edition, costing $149 per year, provides premium capabilities such as centralized administration and management designed specifically for IT professionals in larger organizations.

  • All three versions offer free upgrades whenever new versions are released during your active subscription period.
  • You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to test-drive their service before fully committing.
  • If subscriptions aren’t your thing, there’s also a one-time purchase option available at higher prices than annual subscriptions.

Bear in mind that these prices do not include VAT or sales tax where applicable, so check out their official website for complete details on pricing structures.

Parallels Standard vs Pro vs Business – Battle of the Editions

Choosing between Parallels Desktop editions can feel like picking a favorite child. But, don’t worry. I’ve experienced that situation and am here to help you make a knowledgeable decision.

The Standard Bearer: Parallels Desktop Standard

This edition is ideal for home or student use. It lets you run Windows on your Mac without rebooting and supports DirectX 11 via Apple Metal API. And guess what? You also get up to date with every major version update.

Parallels Desktop Standard doesn’t support business features though, which brings us to our next contender.

The Professional’s Choice: Parallels Desktop Pro

If you’re a developer or tester, this one’s for you. In addition to everything in the standard edition, it offers more powerful integration and networking tools—think Visual Studio plugin.

You’ll also appreciate its extended VM configurations capability as well as priority customer support—a lifesaver when things go sideways. So if your work needs that extra punch of power then Parallels Desktop Pro might be worth considering.

All Business: Parallels Desktop Business Edition

Last but not least comes the Business Edition. This package is built for teams who need centralized administration and management capabilities.

In addition to all the benefits from the pro edition (Yes, even those nifty integration tools.), you get unified volume license keys and premium 24/7 support. With Parallels Desktop Business, it’s all about working smarter, not harder.

Now that we’ve sized up our competitors, your choice depends on what fits your needs best. Remember, choosing the right edition is like picking out shoes—you need to find one that fits perfectly.

Gaming on Parallels – Steam Games Compatibility

Gaming on Parallels

If you’re a gaming enthusiast who’s been itching to play your favorite Steam games on your Mac, then let me tell you that Parallels Desktop might just be the magic wand you need. This software lets Mac users run Windows applications without having to reboot their computers, which means an uninterrupted and smooth gaming experience.

But wait, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to note that not all games will work perfectly. Think of it like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; some edges might need shaving off. That said, many popular titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 have proven compatibility with Parallels.

You see, what makes this possible is DirectX11 support through Apple Metal technology provided by Parallels Desktop 15 onwards. So if fast-paced first-person shooter or strategy games are your jam but macOS limitations were holding you back—well no more.

The Performance Factor

Now I know what question is buzzing in your head—”What about performance?” Well folks, from my personal hands-on experience with the product and numerous user reviews online at places like r/macgaming subreddit, most find game performance satisfactory for casual gameplay.

To make sure everything runs smoothly though (because nobody likes lagging during an intense game), here are few tips:

  • Close unnecessary apps running in the background while gaming—think of them as resource-hungry gremlins.
  • Adjust your game’s settings to match the capabilities of your Mac hardware. Not all computers are made the same way.

A Word on Graphics and Sound

Let’s talk about graphics because what’s a good game without crisp visuals? From my experience, most games offer respectable graphic quality on Parallels Desktop. As for sound—it’s clear as a bell with no glitches in sight.

Let’s commence the transformation of your life.

Fire up your beloved Steam games on your Mac using Parallels Desktop. This isn’t a magic bullet for every game, but fan favorites like Counter-Strike and Dota 2 run seamlessly with DirectX11 support via Apple Metal technology. For the best performance, make sure to shut down any background apps and adjust the game settings based on what your hardware can handle. With these tweaks, you’re all set for stunning visuals and crisp sound.

Remote Access with Parallels – A Look at iPad Pro Compatibility

If you’ve ever wanted to get your hands on a Mac desktop while on the go, but all you have is an iPad Pro, Parallels Desktop has got your back. Known for its virtualization prowess, it’s no surprise that Parallels brings a similar level of finesse to remote access.

Their tool called Parallels Access, lets users connect their iPads to their Macs remotely. It’s not just about viewing either; full control is in your grasp. This software provides native touch gestures and modifies the interface so apps appear as if they were designed for iPad.

Can the software handle an iPad Pro? Quite splendidly. The larger screen real estate makes navigation easy and comfortable. Plus, the higher resolution ensures everything looks crisp and clear.

Taking Advantage of Your Apple Pencil

You might be wondering how well Parallels plays with accessories like Apple Pencil. Well, rest assured because when using graphic-intensive applications or editing documents where precision matters most, Apple Pencil works seamlessly within this environment.

Ease-of-Use That Doesn’t Skimp On Features

To ensure simplicity without sacrificing functionality,

  • you can use conventional shortcuts such as copy-paste or select-all commands directly from your keyboard;
  • navigate through files quickly thanks to fast file browsing capabilities;
  • a universal search feature allows finding specific items in no time flat.

Maintaining Secure Connections

Safety comes first with Parallels. Encryption ensures your data is protected from unauthorized access, so you can feel secure when connecting.

Furthermore, the software asks for a password every time you connect to make sure only authorized users can access your desktop remotely.

And that’s it. Armed with an iPad Pro and Parallels Access, you can tap into your Mac anytime, anywhere.

With Parallels Desktop, you can remotely access your Mac from an iPad Pro. It offers native touch gestures and modifies apps to feel designed for the iPad. Even Apple Pencil works seamlessly with it. You also get conventional shortcuts, fast file browsing, and universal search features while maintaining a secure connection.

Comparative Analysis – Parallels Desktop vs Competitors

When it comes to running Windows on a Mac, you’ve got several options. But which one offers the best bang for your buck? Let’s take a closer look at how Parallels Desktop stacks up against its main competitors: VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, Bootcamp, UTM, and Crossover.

VMware Fusion

If you’re looking for something robust yet user-friendly like Parallels but with more of an enterprise focus then VMware Fusion might be your answer. However, while it does offer excellent performance and stability like Parallels does for most tasks; gaming isn’t as smooth due to less efficient graphics handling.


VirtualBox, is another solid choice if budget is top priority because it’s free. But remember that old saying about getting what you pay for? Well here this rings true because in terms of usability and features there’s no competition – Parallels wins hands down.


If native performance is all that matters to you then Apple’s own Boot Camp could be just what you need. It lets users boot directly into Windows without any virtualization overheads but keep in mind – swapping between operating systems requires restarting your machine every time.

Crossover & UTM

In contrast we have solutions like Crossover and UTM which provide some unique capabilities such as running individual windows apps natively or even emulating other processor architectures respectively. However, they also come with their own limitations and aren’t as polished or comprehensive as Parallels Desktop.

Think carefully about your own particular requirements and how you’ll be using the product when deciding between these options. Do you need the raw performance of Bootcamp? Or the flexibility of a virtual machine like Parallels or VMware Fusion?


Parallels Desktop is a game-changer. It bridges the gap between macOS and Windows, giving you the power to run both seamlessly.

The latest version, Parallels 19, packs more punch with improved compatibility for Apple’s M-series chips.

Different editions cater to different needs. Whether it’s Standard, Pro, or Business – each has its unique strengths.

Gaming on Parallels? Yes! Compatibility with Steam games means even gamers can join in the fun!

And let’s not forget remote access from iPad Pro through Parallels Access – convenience at your fingertips!

With competitors like VMware Fusion and VirtualBox in sight, make an informed choice based on comparison rather than conjecture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Parallels work on the M2 Macbook?

Turns out, yep, you sure can! Parallels Desktop works fine on the snazzy new M2 chips Apple cooked up. Apple said so themselves at some developer conference or other – WWDC, they called it. Something about the M2 Ultra being able to handle Parallels with no problem.
Microsoft gave their stamp of approval, too. They officially said Parallels is A-OK for using the Arm versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise on the M-series Macs. Though heads up – DirectX 12 doesn’t fly on Parallels. So, if you’re looking to blast aliens or race cars at lightning speed, you’ll wanna stick to Mac applications.
But for regular office productivity stuff, Parallels on an M2 MacBook is smooth sailing. You can have those Windows applications running right next to your Mac ones. It’s a nice combo and gets the job done.
So there you have it! The new hotness M2 MacBook plays nice with Parallels Desktop.

Is Parallels Desktop safe?

Parallels Desktop seems pretty safe to use. It lets you run different operating systems on your Mac without messing anything up. But like with any software that lets you use Windows, you should probably get some good antivirus protection just in case of potential Windows viruses.

Is Parallels Desktop good for gaming?

For gaming, Parallels Desktop can be pretty good. Its built-in Windows 11 emulator and improved performance make it work alright for playing Windows games on your Mac. But there could still be some compatibility problems with certain games, and it might not run as smoothly as just playing them directly on a Windows computer.

Is Parallels Desktop 19 worth it?

Whether Parallels Desktop 19 is worth it depends on what you need it for. If you’re a Mac user who needs to use Windows or other operating systems a lot, then it could be useful. The newest version has a new interface, supports 3D graphics, better printing, works with macOS Sonoma 14, and lets you sign in without a password using Touch ID. But you do have to pay for it – the basic version is $99.99 per year, and more if you want upgrades or extra features like more RAM per VM with the Pro subscription. So you kinda have to think about whether the benefits are worth the cost for how you’ll use it.

Is parallels free for Mac?

Nope, you gotta pay up to use Parallels Desktop. Which edition you go for determines how much it’ll cost ya. The Standard one is either a $99.99 one-time payment or $99.99 per year as a subscription. You can try it out for two weeks for free to see if you dig it before buying.

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