Then launch it and click the blue "New" button in the toolbar to create a new virtual machine.
Other ways to create a Windows virtual machine
Give it a name like "Windows 10" and choose your operating system from the list—like Windows 10 bit. If you aren't sure whether you're using or bit Windows, read this —but there's a good chance you're using bit. Next, you'll need to allocate resources to your virtual machine—like RAM and hard drive space. More is better, but remember, the more you give Windows, the less you'll have for macOS when you're running both in tandem, so try to strike a balance. As long as you stay within the green bar for RAM and choose a Dynamically Allocated disk, you should have enough leeway.
Once installed, select the virtual machine in the sidebar and click the "Settings" button in the toolbar. But in order to install Windows, you'll need to go to the Storage tab and load the ISO you downloaded earlier. Click OK when done. Now click the big green Start button in the toolbar, and you're off to the races. VirtualBox will launch the Windows installer, and you can set it up just as if it were on a new PC. Your virtual hard disk will be empty, so you'll have to choose "Custom Install" when prompted, and select your hard drive and click "New" to format it.
This will give you shared folders, better video support, and other handy integrations. You'll even be able to run applications in their own window on your Mac desktop using Seamless Mode, accessible from VirtualBox's "View" menu. If you like the idea of virtualizing Windows but VirtualBox feels a bit too technical, or you want more features—like the ability to virtualize your Boot Camp partition —Parallels is a fantastic way to run Windows on your Mac.
Install it on your Mac, and start it up.
If you already have a Boot Camp partition, it'll ask if you want to use that as your Windows installation. If not, you can just click the "Install Windows" button, and Parallels will do all the heavy lifting for you—downloading, installing, and preparing Windows. Just sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and in a little while, you'll be dumped onto the Windows desktop.
You'll have to create a Parallels account in order to use the virtual machine, but once you've done so, you can click around Windows, install programs, and use it as normal. You can adjust Parallels' resource allocation in its settings if you feel Windows needs more RAM or CPU than Parallels has provided , or click on its menu bar icon to enter "Coherence Mode," where you can launch Windows apps in their own window on your Mac desktop.
When it comes to ease of use, Parallels is definitely worth the money. Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn't get grease on his mechanical keyboard. Contact him on Twitter WhitsonGordon. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links.
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See More. My Windows apps still look like Windows, but they operate like macOS apps. Personally, I like to think about VMs as being contained islands. Your mileage will vary based on what computer you have, how much RAM it is equipped with, and more. Parallels comes with a bunch of virtual machine management tools. You can create snapshots of your VM to restore to at a later time if a software update goes poorly. The application comes with Parallels Toolbox, a collection of utilities. Fusion is the big competitor to Parallels, and while it does not require an annual subscription, it lacks some of the polish of its rival.
That said, comparing the two applications side by side, there is very little difference in terms of features.
For some users, it may come down to price. VMware is a huge company, owned by Dell. Fusion is just one product in their catalogue, and a few years ago, it was rumored that Fusion may not be long for this world. However, not all of the resources used are Retina quality, leading to blurry icons in places. Worse, the entire system feels slower than Parallels. Even on an iMac Pro, Unity mode will stutter and have to redraw windows instead of smoothly animating them. The convenience of having your one or two must-have Windows apps right next to the data and apps on your Mac is hard to beat.
However, virtualization comes with a price: computational overhead. Most modern Macs have more than enough horsepower for this, but if you want to run Windows on your Mac for gaming, Boot Camp is your best bet. Installing Windows via Boot Camp is pretty straight forward. Boot Camp Assistant will walk you through selecting how much disk space you want to allocate to Windows.
Running Windows on a Mac: Boot Camp vs Parallels
To wrap this up, Boot Camp is great if you need the full hardware capabilities of your Mac to be funneled into your virtual machine. If not, Parallels is an excellent choice. That subscription means your software is always up to date, ready for new versions of both macOS and Windows. Fusion follows a more traditional model. Parallels Parallels Desktop is the best way to run Windows on your Mac. While most people will probably be installing Windows, Parallels can host all sorts of operating systems: You can install Windows from an ISO, as I did, or even download a trial of Windows from Microsoft within the application.
After logging in, I was greeted with my Windows 10 VM: There are a whole bunch of settings that can be tweaked. Parallels comes with a bunch of creature comforts too, though. This means if you create a text file and save it to your Desktop, it will appear on the desktop of your macOS virtual machine: It can open Mail. If you want your VM to be completely isolated from its host Mac, you can enable that, too.