Running Microsoft Windows 11 on M3 Macs is now officially supported

This is an image of Parallels Desktop 19 on Mac
(Image credit: Alludo website)

If you'd like run Windows 11 on a Mac that includes an M3 chip, you can now officially do so: Microsoft has authorized Parallels Desktop as the app that can run Arm versions of Windows 11 (both Pro and Enterprise versions).

In fact, Appleinsider wrote that according to an updated support document from Microsoft, “all three M-series generations are now authorized to run ARM versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise via Parallels Desktop 18 and 19." (Appleinsider said that ARM versions of Windows 11 were already authorized by Microsoft to run on Parallels Desktop for M1 and M2 Macs in 2023.)

Parallels Desktop lets you run Windows 11 for Arm on Apple’s M3 Macs

According to the Mircosoft support document, you can use Parallels Desktop version 18 and 19 as authorized solutions "for running Arm® versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise in a virtual environment on its platform on Apple M1, M2, and M3 computers.”  

In 2023, we gave a Parallels Desktop 19 high scores as a virtualizing app: Our reviewer wrote, "I’ve been amazed at how well it can run certain games at full speed, such as Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. It’s a game that’s never come to the Mac, yet I’ve been able to play it as if I’ve bought it from the Mac App Store, thanks to Parallels."

But it's not perfect for all use cases: The support document also notes that there are limitations to using this Arm version of Windows 11, which “can impact your ability to use various types of hardware, games, and apps, including those that rely on DirectX 12, a suite of multimedia technologies frequently used in Windows games and other apps.” It also noted that “experiences that depend on an additional layer of virtualization (nested virtualization) are not supported.” 

Appleinsider also stated that "each piece of hardware and virtual machine will need its own unique Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise license." 

A subscription for Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac starts at $99.99 a year.

Terry Sullivan

Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.

  • naddy69
    "A subscription for Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac starts at $99.99 a year."

    "Starts at" $100 a year? What a joke.

    Or you can run Windows 11 Arm on VMWare Fusion on an Mx Mac. VMWare Fusion is free with registration. I am running it right now on a M2 Pro (12 CPUs, 32GB RAM) 16" MacBook Pro.

    With careful shopping, you can get Windows 11 Pro for $30. Because Microsoft is desperate to get people running Windows 11. The vast majority of Windows is still Windows 10 and MS is embarrassed.

    In fact, I got Windows 11 Pro Arm and Office 2021 for Windows and Office 2021 for Mac for about $130 total. All are fully activated and running fine. Bought them all during early Black Friday deals in November 2023. Full retail would have been around $650

    Now THAT is a Black Friday Deal.
  • bitkahuna
    why the hell does anyone want to run the giant bloated sack that is windows 11 on a mac?

    yeah i know "but i need certain apps that only run on windows!" well there's not many of those, thankfully.
  • MayaMoss
    Exciting update! Finally got Windows 11 up and running smoothly on my M3 Mac using Parallels Desktop. The integration is seamless, allowing me to switch between macOS and Windows effortlessly. It opens up a whole new level of flexibility, and the performance is top-notch. You might want to look here to buy windows 11 professional for the full experience of this update. If you've been contemplating, it's definitely worth giving it a try!