How To Uninstall Windows in Parallels

You’ve been running a virtual desktop version of Windows using the Parallels app on your Mac, but maybe it’s now served its purpose and is no longer needed. Perhaps you also want to free up some disc space or create a new virtual machine. Either way, it’s time to uninstall Windows.

How To Uninstall Windows in Parallels

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of removing various versions of Windows from your virtual machine.

Uninstall Windows 11

If you’re looking to free up disc space or simply don’t need Windows 11 anymore, you can uninstall it. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Close any apps currently open on your Mac. Ensure that no virtual machines are running.
  2. Launch Parallell’s Desktop.app, but don’t start your virtual machine.
  3. Go to the menu bar on the top of the screen and click the Parallel icon.
  4. From the dropdown menu, select “Control Center.”
  5. Locate your virtual machine from the window, right-click or double-tap your touchpad, and select “Remove.”
  6. Select “Move to Trash.”

Windows 11 has now been uninstalled. Please note that once you’ve selected “Move to Trash,” this action can’t be reversed. If your goal was to free up disc space on your Mac by removing Windows 11, don’t forget to empty the trash. You won’t gain any disk space until it’s been emptied.

Uninstall Windows 10

You can easily free up disc space by uninstalling Windows 10. The method is similar to the method used for Windows 11. To remove Windows 10, follow the steps below:

  1. Close any apps currently running on your Mac and ensure that no virtual machines are running.
  2. Launch Parallell’s Desktop.app, but don’t start a virtual machine.
  3. Click on the Parallel icon located on the menu bar on the top of the screen.
  4. Using the dropdown menu, select “Control Center.”
  5. Next, locate your virtual machine from the window and right-click or double-tap your touchpad and choose “Remove.”
  6. Click “Move to Trash.”

You’ve now uninstalled Windows 10. Please note that after you select “Move to Trash,” this action is irreversible. If your goal was to free up space on your Mac by removing Windows 10, you’ll need to empty the trash. Once you’ve done that, you’ll gain the disk space you needed.

How to Uninstall Windows 7

To free up disc space or to simply remove Windows 7 from your machine, you can uninstall it. This can be accomplished in a few straightforward steps. To uninstall Windows 7, follow the method  below:

  1. First, ensure that no virtual machines are running and close any apps that are open on your Mac.
  2. Launch Parallell’s Desktop.app, but don’t start your virtual machine.
  3. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, locate and tap the Parallel icon.
  4. From the dropdown menu, select “Control Center.”
  5. Next, locate your virtual machine from the window and right-click or double-tap your touchpad and click “Remove.”
  6. Tap “Move to Trash.”

You’ve now uninstalled Windows 7. Please note that after you select “Move to Trash,” this action can’t be reversed. If you removed Windows 7 to free up space on your Mac, you’ll need  to empty the trash. You won’t gain any disc space until the trash has been emptied.

Additional FAQs

Can I remove a virtual machine with Windows but keep the files?

Yes, it’s possible to remove a virtual machine and keep the files. This is easily accomplished by following the steps highlighted in this article with one exception. When you reach Step 5, a popup window will give you three options. You see “Move to Trash,” “Cancel,” and on the far right “Keep Files.” By selecting this last option, “Keep Files,” the virtual machine will be removed but the files will remain. This is a great option if you feel you may need to use the virtual machine again in the future.

Is it possible to store the virtual machine on an external drive instead of deleting Windows?

This is a good alternative to uninstalling Windows, but it will take up a lot of space on an external drive. The good news is you’ll only have to put one file on it. Simply locate the .pvm file and move it to the external drive. When you want to restore the virtual machine, it’s just as easy. Just move the .pvm file back to its location on your Mac, open the file, and follow the installation instructions.

Uninstall Windows to Free Up Disc Space or Create a New Virtual Machine

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to uninstall Windows from your Parallel virtual machine. You can completely uninstall Windows or simply keep the files to be used again in the future. Alternatively, you can move the .pvm file to an external drive and reinstall it at a later date. Whatever you decide, it only takes a few straightforward steps.

Have you ever had to uninstall Windows from a virtual machine? Did you follow the same methods discussed in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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