Parallels 18 officially approved for running Windows 11

Parallels is an easy solution for running Windows on a Mac. Now Microsoft has officially approved this for M-series chips and Windows 11 on ARM as they kept quiet before whether or not this was in accordance with their license agreement.

Parallels 18 officially approved for running Windows 11
Parallels is officially available for M-series chips (Source: Parallels)

In a recent article I talked about options of running Windows on a Mac with a M1 (or M2) chip as you can no longer use Bootcamp to install Windows directly.There I mentioned Parallels as an option to run a Windows virtual machine. Until now however, this option wasn‘t officially approved by Microsoft which could theoretically lead to licensing issues. Since writing that Microsoft has published a support article about running Windows 11 on M1 as well as M2 chips and explicitly mentioned Parallels as a possible solution. Alludo also released a press statement confirming this.

If you‘re e.g. a sys admin who was waiting for an official confirmation that this solution didn‘t break any licensing terms, now you can use Parallels to virtualize Windows for ARM on M-series chips.


However, there are limitations to running Windows in Parallels, e.g. DirectX 12 isn‘t supported and you can‘t run 32-bit ARM applications. x64 and x86 apps will work fine on the other hand. What also doesn‘t work currently is any feature that relies on an additional layer of virtualization (like the Windows Subsystem for Linux). It isn‘t yet clear if these will ever be fully functional but I suspect it isn‘t really a priority for Microsoft to get this working as they already waited for Parallels to develop a solution instead of doing it themselves.