Category Archives: Support How To’s

New in Parallels Desktop 16 – Synchronized “Do Not Disturb”


This post is part of a series about new features in Parallels Desktop 16

“I turned on ‘Do Not Disturb’, but I am still getting annoying alerts. Make them stop!” 

For most people, the idea of running two operating systems at the same time is pretty strange. So, it is not surprising that when they change a setting in one operating system, they don’t even think about the other operating system. And, that is certainly the case with the “Do Not Disturb” setting. 

Both the macOS and Windows OS have a “Do Not Disturb” setting. That said, in Windows it is called “Focus Assist”. (Figure 1)

Figure 1_Do Not Disturb in Mac and Focus Assist in Windows

Mac users will certainly go to the Mac setting first, so in Parallels Desktop 16, the Windows Focus Assist setting is synchronized with the Mac Do Not Disturb setting. Change the Do Not Disturb setting on the Mac, and Parallels Desktop changes the Focus Assist setting in Windows, as you can see in this video: 

The Do Not Disturb setting is even more readily available in macOS Big Sur because of the new Control Center item in the Mac menu bar, so this synchronization will be even more useful when you migrate to macOS Big Sur in the Fall. 

Have you updated to Parallels Desktop 16? When are you planning to update to macOS Big Sur? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Feel free to test Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac for 14 days for free

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Can you install the macOS Big Sur public beta in a VM?


Can you install the macOS Big Sur public beta in a VM?

Quick answer: Yes 

The details: Now that Parallels Desktop 16 has been released, I am able to talk about this new version of Parallels Desktop that I have been using for about the last six months. 

I was able to install the macOS Big Sur public beta in a VM. In fact, this is my preferred way to test out a new OS that is under development, and I have been doing so for years. OSes under development can have significant issues, and if you test them out in a VM there is no risk to your Mac. 

Can macOS Big Sur be installed in a Parallels Desktop 16 VM? 

Yes, it can, but an additional variable to consider is the host OS. 

On a Catalina host 

I encountered no issues at all, but it did take a while. A large portion of this time was downloading the “Install macOS Big Sur public beta” app—a 12.3GB download! 

Normally, installing the Parallels Tools in a new OS under development is a mistake. The Parallels Tools are individually designed for each guest OS. While it is possible, having the Tools for an older OS work in a newer OS is unusual. Installing older versions of Tools can sometimes cause an OS to “lock up”. So, what I usually do is not install the Tools by default, make a copy of the Tool-less VM, and then see what happens when I install the Tools. 

I did this for the Big Sur VM on my Catalina host, and the Parallels Tools did not cause any issues. Not everything worked perfectly, but it is quite usable. 

On a Big Sur host 

This went perfectly and everything I have tested works fine. However, I am not a professional tester, so I will wait to hear the experience of the engineers in the Parallels QA team. 

Can macOS Big Sur be installed in a Parallels Desktop 15 VM? 

On a Catalina host 

The answer is “yes” this can be done, but there are several gotchas to worry about. My first three attempts did not succeed, but on the fourth try I did get it to work. 

I will wait until macOS Big Sur is released to share images and videos of the installation and use of a macOS Big Sur VM in both Parallels Desktop 15 and Parallels Desktop 16. Perhaps some of the issues I encountered will be gone in the actual customer release of Big Sur. 

If you have also started using macOS Big Sur with Parallels Desktop, please let us know about your experiences in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.  

Please also refer to this knowledge base article for further information.

Feel free to test Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac for 14 days for free

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Parallels Desktop 16 Tech Guarantee


The Parallels team is excited to bring our users Parallels® Desktop 16 for Mac, which is packed with new features. Qualifying users who recently purchased a license to Parallels Desktop can upgrade to version 16 for free. 

With the Parallels Desktop Tech Guarantee, users who purchased and registered a copy of Parallels Desktop 15 from the Parallels online store (parallels.com) or an authorized reseller between August 1 and September 30 are eligible to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 16 at no additional charge, subject to certain conditions.


The conditions covering eligibility for an upgrade include:

  • Upgrade to the next version of Parallels Desktop at no additional cost if you purchased and registered Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020.
  • Product must be a qualifying product, as mentioned in #1 below. Non-qualifying Parallels Desktop products are explained in #3 below.
  • Must be purchased from an authorized retailer. Non-authorized retailers are detailed in #4 below.

1. The following Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac products qualify for the Tech Guarantee:

  • Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Full Version (New Licenses)
  • Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Upgrade (Upgrade Licenses)
  • Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Student License
  • Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Version when purchased together with hardware or other approved software products (OEM License)

Additionally, your product must be registered on or after August 1, 2020, and before or on September 30, 2020.

2. How do I receive my upgrade key?

Eligible Parallels Desktop users who purchased and registered their product after August 1, 2020, and before September 30, 2020, will have upgrade keys automatically added to their Parallels MyAccount. The upgrade license key will be sent to the email used to register your license for Parallels Desktop 15. You should receive the Parallels Desktop upgrade key within seven (7) days after the new version of Parallels Desktop becomes available. 

3. The following Parallels Desktop for Mac products do not qualify for the Tech Guarantee:

  • Trial versions of Parallels Desktop for Mac
  • Licenses sold under the Volume License Program, including PIK/PIKA, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition licenses and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition licenses
  • Not-for-resale (NFR) versions
  • OEM versions that are purchased unlawfully without hardware or qualifying software
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac versions purchased and registered before August 1, 2020, or after September 30, 2020

4. Non-authorized retailers and resellers include but are not limited to: 

Due to the sheer volume of global Parallels Desktop users, please follow the steps above before contacting the Parallels Support team. Key(s) will be automatically sent to your email address, so check the spam/junk folder. Again, we ask for users to please allow up to seven (7) business days for your key to be delivered. 

Parallels Desktop subscription users: Don’t worry, if you have an active annual subscription of Parallels Desktop, Parallels Desktop Pro Edition or Parallels Desktop Business Edition, you’re already eligible for an upgrade to the latest version. Parallels Desktop subscription users automatically get access to the newest version at no additional cost. 


If you’ve read the above but still have questions about the Parallels Desktop 16 tech guarantee, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our teams. We’re here to help with your questions or concerns via our social support on Facebook or Twitter, 24/7. 

– The Parallels Team

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Parallels Desktop 16 System Requirements and Supported Guest Operating Systems


The system requirements and supported guest operation systems (OSes) for Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac are fully detailed below. We encourage every potential or existing user to explore the requirements prior to downloading or purchasing Parallels® Desktop. Users may be pleasantly surprised at the incredible performance of Windows, Linux, and other popular OSes on their Mac with Parallels Desktop. 

Supported Apple Mac hardware configurations:

Check your Mac hardware to ensure you can run Parallels Desktop without experiencing compatibility issues. Our team would love to make sure every user gets the most out of Parallels Desktop and the virtual machines (VMs) they create. 


Minimum Requirements Recommended for Best Performance 
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor Intel Core i5, Core i7, Core i9 or Xeon processor
 
Memory 4 GB of RAM 16 GB of RAM or more
Storage 500 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation Additional disk space for the guest operating system (at least 16 GB is required for Windows 10) Solid-state drive (SSD)
Graphics Intel, AMD Radeon or NVIDIA AMD Radeon Pro graphics card
Operating System macOS Big Sur 11.0 (when released) macOS Catalina 10.15.3 or newer
macOS Mojave 10.14.6 or newer
macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or newer
macOS Big Sur 11.0 (when released) DirectX 11 requires at least macOS Mojave 10.14, but works best on macOS 10.15.3 Catalina or newer

Important Note: Internet connection is required for product activation, updates and select future features.

Supported guest operating systems that can be created as Parallels Desktop virtual machines:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 7 (SP0-SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows Vista Home, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP0-SP3)
  • Windows 2000 Professional SP4
  • Windows 2000 Server SP4
  • Boot2Docker
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8, 7 and 6
  • CentOS Linux 8, 7 and 6
  • Fedora Linux 32, 31, 30 and 29
  • Ubuntu 20.04, 19.04, 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS
  • Debian GNU/Linux 9 and 8
  • Debian GNU/Linux 19
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15
  • openSUSE Linux 15.1 and 15
  • Linux Mint 20, 19 and 18
  • Kali 2019 and 2018
  • Elementary OS 5.0
  • Manjaro 18
  • Mageia 7 and 6
  • Gentoo Linux **
  • Solaris 11 and 10 **
  • openBSD 6 **
  • FreeBSD 12 and 11 **
  • openVZ 7
  • eComStation 2 and 1.2 **
  • ReactOS 0.4 **
  • Android OS*
  • macOS Big Sur 11.0 (when released)
  • macOS Catalina 10.15
  • macOS Mojave 10.14.x
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13.x
  • macOS Sierra 10.12.x
  • OS X El Capitan 10.11.x
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10.x
  • OS X Mavericks 10.9.x
  • OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.x
  • OS X Lion 10.7.x
  • OS X Lion Server 10.7.x
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6.x
  • Mac OS X Leopard Server 10.5.x
  • and many more…***

*Only the version downloaded with the Parallels Desktop Installation Assistant

**Parallels Tools are not available for this operating system

Note: Parallels Desktop emulates PC hardware, so operating systems that are not present in this list can work as well. We encourage users to download a free 14-day trial of Parallels Desktop first to install the OS of your choice. If it doesn’t work and you believe it should be supported, let us know at Parallels Forum.

Parallels Tools for Linux requires X Window System version 1.15-1.20 and Linux Kernel version 2.6.29-5.1.


Moving your PC?

Below are the Windows PC system requirements to move a PC to your Mac and use it as a Parallels Desktop VM (using Parallels Transporter Agent):

  • 700 MHz (or higher) x86 or x64 processor (Intel or AMD)
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 50 MB of available hard disk space for installation of Parallels Transporter Agent
  • Ethernet or WiFi network adapter for migrating over network
  • External USB drive for migrating via external disk
  • Supported Windows: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000*

*To migrate Windows Vista or older, Transporter Agent from Parallels Desktop 13 should be used.


We sincerely hope this resource helps you navigate your experience with Parallels Desktop. Since 2006, Parallels has delivered excellence by being the #1 choice of Mac users to run Windows on Mac without rebooting. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help. The Parallels support team can be contacted on Facebook or Twitter, 24/7. 

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