Parallels’ latest Windows on Mac solution ready for Big Sur
FYI, this story is more than a year old
Parallels has launched Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac with a refreshed design that’s consistent with the new macOS Big Sur look, increased graphics performance, and a variety of new integrated features.
Additionally, Parallels Desktop 16 subscribers receive complimentary concurrent subscriptions to Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Windows and Parallels Access.
“Parallels invested more than 25-man-years of engineer programming to take full advantage of the new macOS Big Sur architecture and revamped kernel extensions to deliver our best Windows-on Mac performance ever for our Parallels Desktop 16 customers,” says Parallels engineering and support senior vice president Nick Dobrovolskiy.
“The new features in Parallels Desktop 16 include the world’s first support for Metal applications with 3D capabilities running in a macOS Big Sur virtual machine on a macOS Big Sur host. Performance improvements include launching twice as fast, up to 20% faster Windows resume and shutdown, faster DirectX and more.”
New Feature Highlights of Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac:
- DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3: Up to 20% faster DirectX 11 and improved OpenGL 3 graphics in Windows and Linux.
- Increased battery life: Stay productive on the go with up to 10% longer battery life when Windows runs in Travel Mode.
- Automatically reclaim disk space: Virtual machines (VMs) can be set to automatically return unused disk space when shutting down.
- New multi-touch gestures for Windows apps: Use smooth zoom and rotate Trackpad multi-touch gestures in Windows apps.
- Enhanced printing: Print on both sides and use more paper sizes, from A0 to envelope.
Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac brings customers more than 14 years of innovations, including the world’s first virtualisation software for Mac that runs Windows on Mac without rebooting in 2006; Coherence Mode, which provides the option of running Windows invisibly in the background while using Windows apps in their macOS environment with native Mac gestures, in 2007; seamless integration of Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive cloud services in 2015; and support for DirectX 11, 10 and 9 on Apple Metal in 2019.
Now, in 2020, Parallels Desktop 16 reinvented itself for macOS Big Sur to use native Mac virtualisation without loading any deprecated kernel extensions.
Parallels Desktop Pro Edition is a more powerful, feature-rich and flexible solution than the Standard Edition.
New and key Pro Edition features include:
- CPUs and RAM: Assign up to 32 vCPUs and 128 GB vRAM for each VM.
- Microsoft Visual Studio plug-in: Visual Studio integration simplifies testing applications across operating systems.
- Create and name custom networks (new): Name your custom networks for more organized and productive testing.
- Nested Virtualization: Run and test Microsoft Hyper-V based virtual machines in your Parallels Desktop virtual machine.
- Command Line: Rich command line interface (prlctl and prlsrvctl) allows flexible work automatization.
- Vagrant, Docker, and Jenkins Plugins: Complimentary Vagrant, Docker and Jenkins plugins/providers for developers.
- Linked Clones: Make a new VM from a snapshot of the existing VM. The linked clone occupies only a fraction of disk space that is used by the parent VM, as it reuses disk sectors that are the same for both VMs.
- Archive a VM right in Control Center: Pro users tend to have many virtual machines which occupy a lot of disk space. In-place archive right from Parallels Desktop Control Center, with the ability to manage the configuration of an archived VM, brings unique convenience.
- Prepare for transfer (new): Export a VM in a compressed format as a solid file for easier and faster upload and transfer to new hardware.
- 50+ features: More than 50 useful and time-saving features are included in the Pro Edition
New Parallels Desktop 16 Business Edition features, which are in addition to all Pro Edition features, include:
- Corporate VM provisioning: Easily configure VMs with preinstalled applications to upload and host for employees to securely download and run on their Mac devices.
- Upgrade control: Centralized administration provides flexible controls to manage access to new Parallels Desktop updates, new feature releases, upgrades and new macOS releases.
- Passwordless update: Administrator credentials are no longer required for Parallels Desktop updates, making it easier for IT and users to keep it current even when users are not admins on their Mac devices.
- Easy installation on macOS Big Sur: Parallels Desktop installation on macOS Big Sur does NOT require approval of system extension, so installation is fast, seamless and does not require rebooting your Mac.
All editions of Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac are available now for purchase either online at or from retail and online stores worldwide.