Parallels Desktop for Mac is now available in preview on Apple Silicon Macs

Laurent Giret

Parallels Desktop for Mac

It’s now been a month since Apple released its first Macs powered by the company’s new M1 chips, which have now started to replace Intel processors in MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini devices. These new Apple Silicon Macs can emulate Mac apps that haven’t been recompiled for the ARM architecture, and they can also run Windows virtual machines thanks to a new technical preview version of Parallels Desktop for Mac with Apple M1 chips.

The virtualisation software is one of the easiest ways to access the Windows ecosystem on macOS, and the technical preview of Parallels Desktop for Mac with Apple M1 chips uses the same Windows 10 on ARM OS that ships on devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro X. Omar Shahine, Vice President of Product for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Lists praised the technical preview of Parallels Desktop for Mac with Apple M1 chips, highlight its “great performance on battery life on Twitter yesterday.

“To run a virtual machine on a new Mac computer with the Apple M1 chip, the Parallels Engineering team created a new virtualization engine that uses the Apple M1 chip hardware-assisted virtualization and can run ARM-based OS in a virtual machine. Due to the significant difference between Intel x86 and ARM architectures, it’s not possible to either run existing virtual machines created on Mac computers with Intel processors or to create a new virtual machine with Intel x86 based OS,” the Parallels Engineering team explained.

To try this new Parallels Desktop 16 for M1 Mac Technical Preview on an Apple Silicon Mac, you’ll need to sign in on this page with a Parallels account to download the installation file. Be aware that Parallels’ new virtualization engine currently doesn’t support suspending and resuming a virtual machine on Apple Silicon Macs, and there are other limitations due to a work-in-progress product state.