Is Parallels Compatible With M1? Yes!

Parallels Desktop is designed to mimic the running of an operating system using a VM. And since Apple’s newest Macs have replaced the Intel processor with M1 chips, many wonder whether Parallels is compatible with M1. Read on to learn how Parallels works with Macs powered by the Apple M1 chip.

Is Parallels Compatible With M1? Yes!

Is Parallels Compatible With M1?

The latest release of Parallels–Desktop 17—does allow M1 Macs to create VMs to run Windows using an ARM-based image. The ARM-based Windows 10 and 11 versions are still in development and only available once you’ve registered for Microsoft’s Insider testing program.

How to Install Windows 11 on Parallels With M1

Follow these steps to install Windows 11 on your Mac running an Apple M1 processor. To do this, you’ll need to use the “ARM Insider Preview.”

To download Windows 11 on “ARM Insider Preview,” you’ll first need to sign up for the “Windows Insider Program.” Here’s how:

  1. Click here to sign up for the “Windows Insider Program.”
  2. Sign in, then press the “Register” option.
  3. After registration, navigate to the “Windows Insider Preview Downloads” page.
  4. Download the “Windows Client ARM64 Insider Preview.”
  5. And once that’s downloaded, double-click the file to launch in Parallels, then follow the instructions.

You’ll see a confirmation message once the installation is complete. To start Windows 11, you can use a current Windows 10 license; alternatively, visit the Microsoft store to pick up a new Windows 10 or 11 license.

Follow these steps to purchase a new license:

  1. Launch “Windows Settings.”
  2. Click”System,” and then “Activation.”
  3. Click on “Get a new license in the Microsoft Store app.”
  4. Press “Buy,” then continue with the purchasing procedure. Windows will activate following a successful purchase.

To activate using a current license:

  1. Go to “Windows Settings.”
  2. Click “System,” and then “Activation.”
  3. Select “Troubleshoot.”
  4. In the dialog box, choose “I changed hardware on this device recently.”
  5. Log in to your Microsoft account, and hit “Enter” when asked for the current Windows password.
  6. Enable the “This is the device I’m using” checkbox, then click “Activate” to activate Windows.


Is Parallels free for M1 Mac?

Parallels Desktop 17 does offer a free 14-day, fully-featured trial. If you’re using a newer Mac with M1, you won’t need to pay for the Insider Preview of Windows 10 or 11 on ARM during the 14 days.

Does Parallels slow down Mac?

Parallels will not slow down your Mac, as they run simultaneously alongside your other operating systems. Any lag will be isolated to the virtual environment.

Does Parallels use a lot of RAM?

In Parallels for Desktop, you can allocate up to 8GB of RAM for your virtual machine. If you’re using the Pro Edition, you can assign up to 128 GB of memory. These are the maximum amounts.

How do I install Parallels Desktop on my Mac?

Follow these steps to install Parallels Desktop:

1. Download the Parallels Desktop installer.

2. Double click the .dmg file, then double click “Install.”

3. Go through the “Software License Agreement” information, then click “Accept” to proceed.

4. You’ll be prompted to enter your Mac password to complete the installation.

Parallels and M1 Compatibility

Parallels is the perfect solution for running Windows apps and other operating systems from a VM via your Mac computer. Since Mac has moved from the Intel processor to the Apple M1 chip, the Windows 10 and 11 operating systems are still compatible, although the installation process has changed slightly.

To use the Windows 10 or 11 OS on a virtual machine running M1, the VM needs to be installed on a Windows ARM-based image. You achieve this by downloading the “Windows on ARM Insider Preview,” but first you need to register for the “Windows Insider Program.” Once all the admin is complete, you can download the client, and you’re good to go!

Have you ever used Parallels? Tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.

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