Parallels 17 brings Windows 11 support and improved gaming to Mac

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Parallels 17 adds Windows 11 support
Run Windows 11 on your Mac today.
Photo: Parallels

Parallels, the excellent virtualization software that makes it easy to run Windows and other operating systems on your Mac, just got a major update that adds a whole bunch of brilliant new features.

The version 17 release adds support for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey virtual machines. It also greatly enhances gaming performance inside Windows, with big improvements to OpenGL and DirectX 11.

Parallels is arguably even more useful than ever before now that Apple has dropped support for running Windows in Boot Camp on its M1 machines. It’s one of the easiest ways to get a Windows virtual machine up and running.

And in Parallels 17, you can enjoy “the most advanced Windows-on-Mac experience ever.” It not only supports Windows 11 on an M1 chip for the first time, but also macOS Monterey virtual machines.

Parallels 17 comes with big improvements

“Our breakthrough of seamlessly running Windows 10 applications on Apple M1-based Mac computers was just the start of Parallels Desktop for Mac’s new chapter in offering enhanced user experiences running virtual machines on Mac devices,” said Nick Dobrovolskiy, SVP of Engineering at Parallels.

Parallels 17 “continues to deliver performance and stability improvements as well as innovative, easy-to-use features on Intel and Apple M1 Mac, offering users the most advanced Windows-on-Mac experience ever. In collaboration with Apple, we’re thrilled to have created the world’s first prototype of a macOS Monterey virtual machine running on a Mac with Apple M1 chip.”

The changes mean that you can now run macOS Monterey on your Mac without actually replacing Big Sur — or whichever version of macOS you’re currently running — until you’re ready for the permanent upgrade.

The same goes for Windows 11, and there’s great news for those who use Parallels to play Windows games on their Mac. Version 17 brings big speed improvements, with OpenGL now up to six times faster, and DirectX 11 up to 28% faster. Windows boot times and system performance are also improved.

And lots more

Parallels 17 also allows Windows 10 to recognize a Mac’s battery status and enable battery saving mode when power is low. It also introduces a new virtual trusted platform module (TPM) chip that bolsters security in Windows 10 and Windows 11, allowing support for BitLocker and Secure Boot.

An Automatic Resource Manager allows Parallels 17 to analyze your system’s resources and recommend an optimal setup. It also supports drag and drop between macOS and Windows apps, better disk space control, improved USB drive support, and more.

You can download Parallels 17 today. A free trial is available to new users, while upgrade pricing starts at $49.99. New licenses are priced at $99.99, and a subscription license, which ensures you always get the latest version of Parallels, starts at $79.99.