Parallels Desktop For Mac With Apple Silicon Limitations

Technology is ever evolving, but Apple made an enormous step by switching away from Intel processors towards its proprietary silicon architecture. While this move brought numerous benefits like enhanced performance and energy efficiency, as with any major change it also came with limitations that users might encounter when running Parallels Desktop for Mac on Apple silicon-based Macs. Here, we discover these boundaries similarly with Parallels computing device for Mac, an software in particular evolved for jogging Parallels on macs the use of this proprietary silicon.

Understanding Parallels Desktop

Before diving in to its limitations, let’s briefly define Parallels Desktop as virtualization software for Macs that allows users to run various operating systems – Windows and Linux alike – within it simultaneously. It has long been considered a reliable solution by individuals and businesses needing compatibility between Windows applications and its sleek hardware of Mac.

Limitation 1: Lack of Boot Camp Support

One of the major drawbacks to running Parallels Desktop on Apple silicon Macs is their incompatibility with Boot Camp, an Apple utility for dual-booting macOS and Windows natively on one machine. Unfortunately, with Apple silicon Macs no longer supporting Boot Camp users won’t be able to create virtual machines featuring native Windows installations via Parallels Desktop.

Limitation 2: Performance Variability

While Apple silicon has shown remarkable performance improvements across a wide array of tasks, virtual machines created using Parallels Desktop may vary considerably in performance. Running an x86 operating system on an ARM Mac introduces another layer of emulation which could hinder resource-intensive apps resulting in reduced speed or responsiveness from users in certain cases.

Limitation 3: Software Compatibility

Software compatibility can also be an area of contention; not all Windows applications have been optimized to run seamlessly on Apple silicon, creating potential compatibility issues when run as virtual machines in Parallels Desktop. Although its integration between macOS and virtualized operating system provides seamless transition, users may still encounter glitches and limitations with certain applications.

Limitation 4: Limited Gaming Experience

Gaming on Apple silicon Macs using Parallels Desktop may prove dissatisfying for gamers. While casual or less resource-intensive titles might run smoothly, running graphically demanding titles could present several obstacles due to lack of support for high-end graphics cards and performance variability that compromise gaming experiences.

Limitation 5: Potential for Increased Resource Usage

Virtual machines running on any system consumes resources, however on Apple silicon Macs there is a chance to increase the use of resources. This is because of the translation layer that is required to emulate x86 architecture on the ARM-based chips. It is important to be aware of allocation of resources in order for smooth multitasking.

Missing Features

  • Nested Virtualization with Mmap() Support in Linux Shared Folders
  • Switch PC to Virtual Machine Easily
  • Import VMware, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V virtual machines into an array.
  • Download an Install-and-run Windows 11 virtual machine equipped with Visual Studio 2016.
  • Use Windows from Boot Camp
  • PXE network booting support with NVMe disk controller support
  • macOS virtual machines running on Mac computers with Apple silicon may experience certain restrictions; for more details see Knowledge Base 128867.


Apple silicon chip is based around ARM architecture. The virtual machines (VMs) developed using Intel-based Mac computers use an an x86_64 CPU which is completely different than those using the ARM design.

Thus, a virtual machine made on the Mac equipped with an Intel processor can’t be run on an Mac equipped with an Apple silicon chips or vice versa. If you’re moving from an Mac that has the Intel processor to one with Apple silicon, or a Mac that has Apple silicon, or the reverse it is possible to transfer your personal information between Intel-based and ARM-based devices.

Third-party applications

Software applications are dependent on the CPU architecture of a computer A program that was designed or compiled for one platform cannot be run with ease on a different architecture. However, with Microsoft’s built-in emulator, Microsoft built-in emulator, the majority of software applications are able to run on Windows using ARM.

If, however, you have problems with third-party applications We suggest you take the steps outlined in the KB 128796.


Parallels Desktop for Mac is an efficient virtualization tool for Apple users that makes Windows and other operating systems available directly, but Apple silicon imposes certain restrictions that should be carefully taken into consideration: the lack of Boot Camp support, performance variability issues, software compatibility concerns and limited gaming capabilities among them. Resource usage must also be closely managed when using Parallels on Apple hardware.


How do you run a Windows emulator on a Mac?

To run an Windows emulator on an Mac it is possible to use virtualization programs like Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion or Virtual Box. These programs permit you to create an virtual machine (VM) which runs Windows along with macOS. You’ll require an Windows Installation ISO (or disk image) in order to create this virtual computer.

How are parallels virtual machine files stored?

Files for Parallels’ virtual machines are generally kept in a specific folder on the hard drive of your Mac. This folder is within the “Documents” folder. It is titled “Parallels.” It is home to files like an virtual hard drive, the configuration setting as well as snapshots from your machine.

How well does Windows work on Macs?

Windows generally runs smoothly with Macs and is particularly compatible with modern Macs that are powered by Intel and Apple’s M1 processors. The performance of your hardware, however, virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop has been designed to give you seamless Windows experience. It lets users to use Windows applications seamlessly with macOS.

Why is it that Macs can run Windows, but not vice versa?

Macs are able to run Windows via virtualization or dual-booting due to their identical hardware design (x86 or ARM or ARM, dependent on the type of model) to the standard Windows PCs. However running macOS on hardware that isn’t Apple’s (vice vice versa) is a challenge because of apple’s exclusive hardware, software and integration, which renders macOS closely tied in the Apple Mac computers. This integration causes compatibility issues, making it challenging for users to use macOS on hardware that isn’t Apple’s.

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