Parallels Desktop 18 - Use Windows quickly and easily on M1 and M2 Macs

With Parallels Desktop 18 a new version of the well-known software for the virtual Windows installation on the Apple Mac is available. Whether office or gaming applications, everything should be possible with high performance. Parallels Desktop 18 is not only prepared for macOS Ventura, which will be released in autumn 2022, but also for use on Apple computers with the "Apple Silicon" chip. On Mac, iMac and MacBook with M1 and M2 chip versions, you can use Version 18 of Parallels Desktop, e.g. B. Windows 11 to run quickly, stably and with high compatibility. The exact system requirements, also for Intel Macs, can be found below.

TL; DR: You can find the offer here

With Parallels Desktop 18 you can install Windows 11 and over 200.000 Windows programs on the Apple Mac. Compatible with Intel Macs and from macOS 10.14.6 Mojave, the system emulator for virtual machines is directly optimized for macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura as well as M1 and M2 chips. Here you can find out everything about system requirements, download and price. I have also summarized my Parallels Desktop experiences.

With Parallels Desktop 18 you can install Windows 11 and over 200.000 Windows programs on the Apple Mac. Compatible with Intel Macs and from macOS 10.14.6 Mojave, the system emulator for virtual machines is directly optimized for macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura as well as M1 and M2 chips. Here you can find out everything about system requirements, download and price. I have also summarized my Parallels Desktop experiences.

Parallels Desktop 18 for fast Windows on Mac

The new version of Parallels Desktop, which supports the latest versions of macOS and Windows, can access the efficient power of Apple's M1 and M2 chips. In addition, the software has been optimized for ProMotion displays. More than 200.000 Windows applications can be used on the Apple computer. Among them is Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, etc. 

But also numerous games, streamingApps such as OBS, graphics and video editing applications, and more run smoothly. Furthermore, Xbox and PlayStation controllers as well as Elgato hardware supported directly. In addition, simple text and file exchange between macOS and Windows is possible using drag and drop. Because Windows is not started alternatively, but emulated in an app window under macOS. 

System requirements for Parallels Desktop 18

Although the new version of the emulation software for Windows on the Apple Mac is optimized for current and future systems and the latest hardware, Parallels Desktop 18 can also be used on older Macs and older macOS versions. These system requirements apply to Parallels Desktop 18:

  • Operating system: macOS Mojave 10.14.6 or later, macOS Catalina 10.15.7 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.6.6 or later, macOS Monterey 12.4 or later, macOS Ventura 13.0 (when available)
  • Processor / SoC: Apple M1, Apple M1 Pro, Apple M1 Max, Apple M1 Ultra and Apple M2 as well as Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon
  • Graphics card / GPU: Apple M1, Apple M1 Pro, Apple M1 Max, Apple M1 Ultra and Apple M2 as well as Intel, AMD Radeon or NVIDIA graphics cards
  • Memory: at least 4 GB RAM
  • Hard disk space: at least 600 MB for the application (and enough space for Windows and Windows apps)

My years of experience with Parallels Desktop on macOS

Anyone who has been following the Sir Apfelot blog for a while knows that I have been using Parallels Desktop myself for several years to emulate Windows on a Mac. This is sometimes necessary to try out applications, open certain files or use programs - or to understand the problems of PC users in order to be able to offer support. When using Parallels Desktop over the years I have e.g. B. made these experiences:

  • The software runs very stable and reliable for a system emulator.
  • Even fancy software works on Parallels Desktop. I had e.g. For example, an app for a very special industrial octocopter drone that would not run with other emulations. It ran fine with Parallels Desktop.
  • Unfortunately, the price of the standard version is almost like a subscription, because if you update to the new macOS once a year, you usually also have to purchase the new Parallels desktop version, because with the old one comes the message that it would no longer be compatible with the new macOS. The Pro and Business versions are only available as annual subscriptions.
  • I used to have a "real" PC and it was less stable than my emulated Windows, so I find an emulated Windows PC (on the Mac) better than a real one.
  • The speed is extremely good, because you can even play first-person shooters and similarly demanding games and you don't need a separate PC.

Parallels Desktop 18: Versions Compared (Standard, Pro and Business)

There are three different versions of Parallels Desktop, which bring more and more functions and options for setting up the virtual machine (VM) and thus a higher price. Below are the key points of comparison Parallels Desktop 18, Parallels Desktop 18 Pro and Parallels Desktop 18 Business. You can find an extended table with even more points of comparison on the product page of the official shop.

Parallels Desktop 18 (Default) Parallels Desktop 18 Pro Parallels Desktop 18 Business
Simply download and install Windows 11
Game console controllers are automatically detected / set up 
Disk space optimization
Advanced network tools
Automations with CLI tools
Management of additional VMs
Virtual memory per VM 8GB vRAM up to 128 GB vRAM (max. 62 GB on Macs with M chips) up to 128 GB vRAM (max. 62 GB on Macs with M chips)
Virtual processor per VM 4 vCPUs up to 32 vCPUs (max. 18 CPUs on Macs with M chips) up to 32 vCPUs (max. 18 CPUs on Macs with M chips)
24/7 premium support via phone and email only as an additional subscription
Provide individually configured Windows for employees
Central management and admin options
Volume Licensing and Bulk Deployment
Price 99,99 Euros 119,99 euros / year 149,99 euros / year

Information provided without guarantee; Changes possible

Use Parallels Desktop 18 cheaper or for free: Here's how!

On the shop page for the current software there is a reference to a cheaper version for pupils and students. However, no information is given about the discount. There is only a link to the corresponding subpage, where you first have to confirm that you attend a school or university. If you want to use Parallels Desktop 18 for free, you can do that too – at least for 14 days. Simply click on the shop page linked above and download the test version there. With the 14-day free trial you can get a first impression of Windows on your Mac, iMac or MacBook.

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2 comments

  1. Thomas says:

    I had to buy Parallels again for a DSP program to program amplifiers. Had tried something else there before but couldn't get the Win 11 version to work. That went quite smoothly under Parallels :-). Even the attempt to use the program only under crossover didn't really work. In that sense the program is perfect.

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