Parallels Desktop 17 debuts bringing Windows 11 to Mac

Parallels 17 Windows
Parallels 17 Windows (Image credit: Parallels)

What you need to know

  • Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac is now available.
  • It means Mac users can run Windows 11 as a virtual machine for the first time.
  • Currently, it supports the Insider Previews of Windows 10 and 11, but official support for the full version of Windows 11 is on the way.

Parallels Desktop 17 is now available, letting users run Windows 11's Insider Preview on devices like the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and MacBook Air with M1 for the first time.

The company announced the release today, stating that Parallels Desktop 17 is now available for macOS as a Universal Binary, meaning it can run on both Apple Silicon and Intel Macs. It also includes optimization for Windows 11, macOS Monterey, and will let users run Windows 11's Insider preview right away on a Mac for the first time.

Along with big compatibility updates in advance of these two new operating systems, the new version of Parallels brings speed and performance enhancements, with up to 38% faster resumes, 6 times faster OpenGL performances, and 25% 2D graphics improvements in Windows. On devices with Apple's M1 chip, the boosts are even bigger, with 33% faster start performance on Windows 10 (ARM Insider Preview). 20% faster disk performance and 28% faster DirectX 11 performance. Networking on an Intel Mac is now 60% faster on macOS Big Sur and newer.

The new version also has an improved display driver for improved video and gaming, new features for M1 including a battery indicator, and an update to coherence mode which lets Mac users run Mac and Windows apps side-by-side.

Drag and drop between Mac and Windows has also been improved, as has support for USB devices, disk space control, and the automatic resource manager.

The new version is $49.99 to upgrade to the standard edition or $79.99 for a new license, bringing official virtual machine support for Windows 11 to all of Apple's best Macs.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9