Run Windows On Your Mac With Parallels Desktop

We’d like to thank Parallels for sponsoring this post.

Parallels D

A couple of months ago, I desperately needed to get a software for creating sheet music and audio files for our church choir. I wanted to help some choir members who were finding it difficult to master their notes using our demo CD so I figured I could just recreate the demo and tweak some parts.

I knew there had to be at least one software that can do exactly what I needed — or at least I believed that there must be at least one software developer out there who has thought of addressing my need.

After minutes of searching the internet for that one software that can help me, I finally found it! I got very excited! My belief that you can find everything on the internet just got reaffirmed! There was just one problem: the software did not have a Mac version! And, at that time, I did not have a Windows computer. Bummer!

So I figured, there has to be a way to run a Windows software on a Mac computer. I did another search and finally came upon Parallels.


Parallels is the easiest, fastest and most powerful solution for running Windows applications on a Mac computer without rebooting. It’s the #1 choice of Mac users for over 8 years with over 5 million copies sold. In short, it was the perfect solution for my problem!

Using Parallels is very easy. Simply download and install the program on your Mac computer, install Windows on your Parallels Desktop and voila! You may now run any Windows program on your Mac computer!

I should make it clear though that a purchase of the Parallels Desktop software does not include Windows which means you’ll have to have a copy of the Windows Operating System and install it on your own. You don’t have to be afraid though because it’s actually very easy to install!

How to install Windows on your Mac using Parallels

  1. To install Windows, click on “File” then “New…”. You may also opt to simply click on the “+” sign on the small Parallels Desktop Control Center.
  2. Click “Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file.”
  3. If you have an installation disk or bootable USB installer, insert it so it can be detected. If you only have an image file, click and drag it to the Parallels window.
  4. Once it detects the installer, it will ask for your Windows Product Key.
  5. Then just simply wait for it to install Windows onto your virtual machine.

Installing Windows on Parallels

Be sure to choose Express Installation when prompted. You will also be asked for other preferences so just choose the options you’re more comfortable with (location of installation, Windows 7 vs Windows 8, customized settings, etc).

Now instead of installing Windows, you may also choose to Migrate Windows from a PC. You may want to do this if you already have a Windows computer and you just want to import all your data to Parallels Desktop on your Mac. That way, you can continue to work with all your existing Windows programs, files and data.


What I like about Parallels Desktop is that you can opt to run it on full screen which means you can focus on what you’re working on in your Windows virtual machine. The Windows installation on your Mac works exactly the same way it would work on a regular Windows computer so you’re not getting a beta version or an abridged edition of the operating system.

Windows 8 on Mac using Parallels Desktop

Windows 8 running smoothly on full-screen using Parallels Desktop.
(lock screen, desktop, sign-in screen, welcome screen)

Another thing that I like about Parallels Desktop is that I can actually run Windows 8 on a window the same way I use browsers! It doesn’t always have to be on full screen.

The beauty of working on it like it’s just a regular window is that I can drag and drop files from the Mac side to the Windows side and vice versa!

Windows 8 as a window on Mac with Parallels Desktop

Running Windows 8 in one window

Parallels Desktop is an awesome software that anyone with a MacBook should have — especially if you know you’ll be needing programs that may not have a Mac version. It’s so easy to use and it doesn’t use up a significant amount of resources on my system.

Now I can have the best of both Mac and Windows worlds on just one computer! Be sure to check it out here!


Disclaimer: I am a member of The Social Media Panel, LLC. who was given the opportunity to review this product. However, the brand or company has not influenced me in any way to provide any type of review other than my true and honest opinions. I am disclosing all information provided in this review according to the information provided in Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Run Windows On Your Mac With Parallels Desktop — 29 Comments

  1. Interesting! I have never heard of parallels before! Looks like a great software! I love that you don’t have to reboot the system too! I will definitely have to look into this because Parellels looks like there are many positive features!

  2. WOW. I never knew there was a product out there that can do all this! I used to have a Mac but it broke and when we finally decided to get another computer, we purchased a windows computer. However, for those who still work on a Mac computer, this sounds like terrific software! Thanks for sharing this important information with all of us! I always enjoy reading your reviews and information! Thanks, Michele 🙂
    Michele Ash recently posted..$200 Kohl’s Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

  3. I use a PC but my friend that just bought a Mac is going crazy because she has to relear how to do things coming from a PC to a MAC. I will have to mention this to her. Thanks!

  4. I am not a MAC user but this looks like a really great software for running Windows on a MAC. Wow, so there’s nothing stopping me from getting a MAC. Thank you for sharing this post.

  5. How very cool! Never knew one could do this. My teen wants a MAC so I’ll keep your link for when she gets one!

  6. This is so great! I have a Mac at home but a PC at work so I can’t work from home on a lot of projects.

  7. First I’d have to get a MAC. Want to have a contest where I could win it? Very useful progrom.

  8. I just got the new Windows on my computer and I’m having to get used to this app version and the way it looks. I’m liking it so far though.

  9. what a great software, never heard of this before but am glad, because my nephew is big into music, he even has in own studio..thanks will see if he needs this..

  10. sounds like it might be a bit too complicated for me but i’m sure my hubby could help me use it

  11. I dream of a world where Windows and Mac can use the same software packages, but in the meantime, this sounds like a great fix. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow. I never new about this. My husband has a Mac and sometimes he needs programs that can only be run on windows. I’m going to show him this review.

  13. WOW! thank you so much for so useful article. All my office here have Macs and I’m the only one who has ACER with Windows 8.1, because of the more tools and functionality but now I can ask for Mac as well! Thank you!

  14. Thanks for breaking this down, I have flirted with the idea, but it seemed so cumbersome. The pictures always help me.