Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac released – faster, more flexible

Macworld Australia Staff
18 August, 2016
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Parallels, IT, support, webinar, macworld australiaParallels (, has launched Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac ( Parallels Desktop 12 is macOS Sierra ready, includes up to 25 percent performance improvements, and features more than 20 simple single-function tools and utilities, which are also available as a standalone Parallels Toolbox for Mac app. In addition, all Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac customers will receive a one-year subscription to an industry-leading backup solution from Acronis True Image, which includes a fast incremental backup feature that reduces the time and size of subsequent backups ups and provides up to 500 GB of free online storage.

New utilities featured in all editions of Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac make it easy to perform common tasks with simple single-function tools for both the Mac and Windows virtual machines (VMs). Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro and Business Edition subscribers, and Parallels Toolbox for Mac subscribers, also receive free updates of additional tools which will be made available every quarter. Initial tools include:

  • distraction-free presentation modes for both Mac and Windows VMs, including:
    • Hide Desktop Files
    • Do Not Disturb
    • Keep Mac Awake
  • the ability to archive, encrypt and password protect all of your files
  • simple capture of screenshots or record video of a screen, window or area
  • the ability to download videos from YouTube, Facebook and other websites with a single click
  • time management tools – an alarm, timer, date countdown and stopwatch, and
  • the ability to unpack files from ZIP, RAR and many other formats.

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac also adds the ability to purchase Windows 10 and simply install it via the Parallels Desktop Wizard, and a Scheduled Windows Maintenance option so Windows Updates and maintenance can take place overnight or at times when it is not disruptive to a user’s workflow.

PC and Xbox game players will get increased support in Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac. Parallels engineers worked with Blizzard Entertainment and optimised Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac to support Overwatch, a popular 2016 PC and Xbox game that sold more than 15 million copies in just over two months. Parallels Desktop also supports the Windows 10 Xbox app, enabling people to stream and play Xbox games on their Mac devices.

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac Product Feature Highlights

  • Parallels Toolbox for Mac: 20 tools that simplify everyday tasks on your Mac.
  • Simplified backup: one year of Acronis True Image 500 GB 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 Entertainment’s Overwatch PC game.
  • Support for Windows 10 Xbox 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 Optimised Storage in macOS Sierra.
  • Store Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer passwords in Mac Keychain.
  • Assign special behaviours 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 SharePoint and Office 365 in Microsoft Office for Windows desktop applications directly from your favourite Mac browser.
  • Keep Windows ready in the background, instead of suspending the VM, to instantly open Windows applications and documents.
  • Outlook for 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 Retina support 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 customisable settings.

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac performance improvements include:*

  • Up to 90 percent faster Snapshot creation.
  • Up to 60 percent faster suspend of VMs.
  • Up to 25 percent faster Shared Folders performance.
  • Compile Visual Studio projects on shared folders up to 25 percent faster.
  • Up to 10 percent battery life improvement
  • Enjoy improved VM responsiveness when your Mac is low on free memory.

Availability and Pricing

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition are available today for subscribers and upgraders from Parallels Desktop 10 and 11(, and general availability is 23 August online at and at local retail and online stores worldwide.

The recommended retail price (RRP) of Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac is $99.95. Upgrades for existing Parallels Desktop 10 and 11 for Mac perpetual licence customers are $64.95, with an introductory offer to upgrade to a Parallels Desktop Pro Edition subscription for $64.95 per year for life. Parallels Desktop Pro Edition and Parallels Desktop Business Edition are available to new customers for $124.95 per year. Parallels Desktop Pro Edition and Business Edition include a complimentary Parallels Access ( subscription to remotely access up to five Mac or Windows PCs from any device.

Parallels Toolbox for Mac is a feature of all versions of Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, which will also be available as a stand-alone subscription product for $12.95 per year, including all new tools and updates planned for release every few months. Starting 23 August, a 14-day full-featured free trial can be downloaded and subscription purchased from


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Ron Gent says:

    I am still using the CS2 versions of Illustrator and Photoshop which I understand are now out of date. Can these sites be upgraded? If not how expensive will it be to change to the latest versions?

    I have an iMac operating OS X 10.6.8.

    Yours sincerely

    Ron Gent

  2. Macworld Australia Staff says:

    Upgrading from CS2 will, I think, require starting over but you can check Adobe’s website for upgrade pricing.

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