Nov 20, 2018 - Some recent Mac models will only work with Windows 10, although older. The first option is simply to confirm that you want to 'Create a Windows 7 or later install disk'. Virtualisation programmes such as Parallels Desktop and VMware. Fusion, but the two programs take the same basic approach.
If you've switched from Windows to a Mac, there's a good chance you want to run some of your old Windows apps, but there's no exact match for them in the Apple-centric world. Even if there's an OS X version of your favorite program, it may work differently than it does on Windows—as the OS X versions of Microsoft Word and Excel apps work differently than their Windows counterparts. This is the problem like Parallels Desktop are designed to solve. Parallels Desktop and are the leading virtualization software for OS X, and both let you run Windows apps on the OS X desktop almost as if they were running on a Windows machine. Parallels offers the deepest integration between Windows apps and OS X systems, and the latest version, Parallels Desktop 12, offers major advances in the depth of its integration with Windows 10. Combined with impressive speed improvements, Parallels remains the top choice for less technical users, though both Parallels and Fusion have their own advantages.
Versions and Pricing Parallels Desktop comes in three versions. The Standard edition (tested here) costs $79.99 for a license that lasts forever, but it doesn't include upgrades to any future versions. The Pro edition, which costs $99.99 per year, adds free upgrades to any future new version and a subscription to the Parallels Access remote-desktop service (normally $20 per year). The Pro version also includes high-level features that I didn't test, including the ability to access a guest OS via or from a browser (if the guest OS is set up as a Web server) and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio and virtualization tools like. There's also a Business edition, which is subscription-based and adds centralized management features, built-in access to cloud services like Dropbox or Box, and 24/7 support—you have to contact the company for pricing quote, however.
Use Cases Users typically run Parallels (or competitor Fusion) in one of two modes. Either you use the virtualization app to open a complete Windows desktop on your Mac, or you use it to open a single Windows app in an OS X window, as if the Windows app were actually an OS X app. If you sometimes need to work as if you were using a real Windows system, you use the Windows Desktop mode—and you can drag files between the OS X desktop and the Windows desktop.
If you only want to use, say, the Windows version of Excel on your Mac, then you use the Single App mode, which Parallels calls Coherence Mode. In either mode, you can set up a sharing option that lets your Windows apps save and open files directly to and from any folder on your OS X disk. If you use the Windows Desktop mode, Parallels gives you tight integration between the host OS X system and the guest Windows system. For example, you can select a file on the Windows desktop, or in a Windows Explorer window, then pop up the file's right-click context menu and find an option to Open in Mac. This causes the file to open in the default OS X application for that file type. Or you can do the reverse and add a Windows app to the Open With menu in OS X. This latter operation may require you to follow some manual steps in Parallels, however.
Also—and this needs no special setup—you get OS X's QuickLook feature in Windows. This means that you select a file in a Windows folder, then press the spacebar, and the OS X QuickLook window pops up a preview of the file.
You can also use the Single App Coherence mode, which opens a Windows app in an OS X window without showing the underlying Windows desktop. For me, and I think for most users, this is less distracting and more useful than the full Windows Desktop mode. An additional button in Parallels' OS X title bar switches from Windows Desktop mode to Coherence mode—the switch takes a few seconds, but not enough to be annoying—and you can set the Windows app always to open in Coherence mode, even from a Dock icon. The latest version of Parallels takes Windows integration to a new level. You can now schedule updates to take place at night or on weekends, to avoid slowing down your system when you need to get work done. Another small but welcome change: You can tell Parallels to start up a virtual machine when you start up your Mac.
You can also leave the Windows machine paused in the background so you can start up a Windows app in far less time than with previous versions. Getting Started To use Parallels, you'll need a copy of Windows on your Mac, and Parallels gives you multiple ways of getting one. A button on the New Virtual Machine wizard lets you download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft, either buying a new copy or using a license key that you already own. Parallels then automatically installs Windows 10. If you want to migrate an existing Windows system, an option in the wizard lets you download and install the Parallels Transporter utility to transfer your existing Windows system—including applications and files—either across a network or via a portable disk, You can also install any other Windows or Linux version from an ISO file or DVD.