Update, Aug 23: Parallels 12 and the free trial is now available to all. We’ve also started announcing our giveaway winners below.

Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular software that lets you easily run Windows and other Intel operating systems (including other images of macOS) as virtual machines on your Mac, is today releasing the latest upgrade to version 12. Those who buy Parallels 11 today (or bought through the Tech Garantee after August 1st) are eligible for a free upgrade.

On top of getting Parallels ready for the release of macOS Sierra, version 12 introduces a number of great new features and an over 25 percent performance improvement, according to the company…

A new standalone app called Parallels Toolbox for Mac is a set of 20 utilities that offer one-click functions for things like screen casting, media downloads, and file management (unzipping, archiving, and password protecting files). In other words, many of the handy utilities and apps you’d normally have to download to a new Mac from a long list of third-party/shareware sources, all in one location, paid for and simplified for ease of use. The Toolbox will be included for Parallels 12 users and also available standalone for $10/year. Here’s what’s included:

  • Distraction-free presentation modes for both Mac and Windows VMs, including: Hide Desktop Files, Do Not Disturb, Keep Mac Awake.
  • Archive, encrypt and password protect all of your files.
  • Simply capture screen shots or record video of a screen, window or area.
  • Download videos from YouTube, Facebook and other websites with a single click.
  • Time management tools—an alarm, timer, date countdown and stopwatch.
  • Unpack files from ZIP, RAR and many other formats.

Here’s a look at the new Toolbox with the utilities launching initially:


Parallels also says it’s worked with Blizzard to enable support for popular PC and Xbox game Overwatch, and the Windows 10 Xbox app is now supported, allowing streaming of Xbox games to your Mac via Parallels if your Mac can handle it.

You can also now buy Windows 10 and install it directly via a redesigned installer wizard (pictured above), and the company is including Acronis True Image 500GB cloud backup storage for free to all users.

You can eventually try Parallels Desktop 12 for free for 14 days, or buy it for $79.99 or $99/year for Pro and Business subscriptions.

You can upgrade for $49 from Parallels Desktop 10 or 11. Upgrades from 10 and 11 to 12 are available today and version 12 will become available on Aug 23rd for those who purchase new. Those who purchased version 11 from Aug. 1 or later will automatically get an upgrade to version 12. 

Business and Pro subscriptions offer support for additional pro and business apps, 24/7 tech support, and includes Parallels’ $99/year mobile Access service (review).

In addition, we’ll be giving out 4 separate Parallels 12 Pro codes, a $100 value, 1 each to readers who retweet on Twitter or like this post on Facebook, or new newsletter or Youtube subscribers. Update: Winners announced below.


  • Twitter: @_flowg
  • Facebook: Donald Hutchinson Jr
  • YouTube: ItsInnk
  • Newsletter: Ervins Strauhmanis

A full list of what’s new in Parallels version 12 below:

Parallels Desktop 12 What’s New:

  • Parallels Toolbox for Mac:20 tools that simplify everyday tasks on your Mac.
  • Simplified backup: One year of Acronis True Image 500GB cloud backup storage, which can backup new incremental changes to a VM,instead of having to resave an entire VM and changes every time changes are made.
  • Support for Blizzard Entertainmentís Overwatch PC game.
  • Support for Windows 10Xbox app, for streaming and playing all Xbox games on a Mac
  • Schedule Windows updates for an appropriate time at night to avoid time-consuming disruptions during your day.
  • Control storage space used by VMs directly from the Optimized Storage in macOS Sierra.
  • Store Microsoft Edgeôand Internet ExplorerÆpasswords in Mac KeychainÆ.
  • Assign special behaviors to Windows apps, such as Always Open Full Screen or Always Hide Other Apps, so they play even better on your Mac.
  • Easily cancel time-consuming VM actions.
  • Open documents from SharePointÆand Office 365Æin MicrosoftOffice for Windows desktop applications directly from your favorite Mac browser.
  • Keep Windows ready in the background, instead of suspending the VM,to instantly open Windows applications and documents.
  • OutlookÆfor Windows now features your recently accessed documents, both Mac and Windows, so they are conveniently available to select when you add attachments to your emails.
  • Improved RetinaÆsupport for resizing Windows VMs.
  • Archive VMs to save space in the Pro Edition
  • Set resource usage limits for VMs in the Pro Edition.
  • Network Conditioner in the Pro Edition now features preconfigured network profiles (Edge, 100 percent loss, 3G, DSL, Very Bad Network and Wi-Fi)to make testing a breeze, as well as customizable settings.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.