Software update: Parallels Desktop 16.0

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Parallels has released version 16.0 of Desktop for Mac, the virtualization software for macOS. This program is able to run various operating systems in a virtual machine, especially Windows, but also other OSes, such as Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris. Desktop for Mac is also able to run a Windows installation that has been placed on the Mac via Boot Camp as a virtual machine. The most important improvements that have been made in version 16 are listed below for you.

Native macOS Virtualization

In macOS Big Sur, Parallels Desktop offers an easier onboarding experience by using the native macOS system extensions instead of the deprecated kernel ones.

Support for macOS 11

Parallels Desktop 16 supports macOS Big Sur 11, macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS Mojave 10.14 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.

Stay Focused

If you enable Do Not Disturb in macOS, the Windows equivalent known as Focus Assist will automatically turn on in Windows 10 for a distraction-free, popup-free experience.

Disk Space

On the General tab of the virtual machine configuration, Windows may be set to automatically return all unused disk space to the Mac upon shutdown.

Longer Battery Life

Parallels Desktop helps to save battery life when your Mac is not plugged in. In the improved Travel Mode, Windows consumes fewer computing and network resources, which results in up to 10% longer battery life.

Run More Applications *

Parallels Desktop 16 delivers full support for OpenGL 3.3 Compatibility Profile to support more applications, including DIALux EVO 9, SAMSON Connect, ProPresenter 6, CLIN Check Pro, Rhino 6 and more.

Trackpad Gestures

Experience added support for the two-finger pinch gesture to rotate content in Windows 10 applications, such as Maps, Photos, Edge, and more. Zoom gesture has also improved to provide a smoother experience.


Up to 20% faster DirectX 11 graphics on Macs equipped with AMD Radeon graphics cards. Get the world’s first Metal graphics support for macOS virtual machines. Run Mac apps like Maps, Pages, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and many others. Note: Metal graphics is supported for macOS Big Sur (and later) virtual machines if Parallels Desktop 16 is installed in macOS Big Sur (and later) as well.

Linux *

In one click, use and download the latest Linux distributives, including Ubuntu 20.04, CentOS 8, Fedora 32, and Debian 10. In Linux, you may now use more applications, including Steam, Firefox Quantum web browser and enjoy better multimonitor support for the KDE window manager. (Pro and Business editions). For those who use Parallels virtual machines for software development, executing “git status” for Git repositories located in Linux shared folders has become up to 75% faster.

Configurable timer for auto pause

Now, in the Startup & Shutdown pane of virtual machine configuration, you may choose a time period of inactivity, after which Windows will pause.

Select Windows edition before installation

Installing Windows from an ISO image with multiple Windows editions is now fully automated. Parallels Desktop 16 will offer to select the desired Windows edition before the start of installation to eliminate manual entry of information related to edition, license key, etc.

Prepare virtual machines for transfer

Pro and Business editions only
Simply right-click the virtual machine in the Control Center and select Prepare for Transfer. Parallels Desktop 16 will pack the virtual machine to a single file and reduce its size for easier and faster upload. Parallels Desktop 16 uses a reliable in-place packing algorithm and, unlike zipping, does not require extra disk space to pack the virtual machine.

Corporate virtual machine provisioning

Business edition only
System administrators may create pre-configured Windows virtual machines with all the necessary applications installed, prepare a package, upload to cloud storage, and specify a download link and description in Parallels My Account. When Business users first open Parallels Desktop, they will be offered to download this virtual machine. The process is simple and secure — users will get the ready-for-use virtual machine in one click.

Version number 16.0
Release status Final
Operating systems macOS
Website Parallels
License type Paid
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