This page has instructions on installing Windows on your Mac for the first time to use with Parallels Desktop.
You can also:
- Upgrade an existing Windows 7, Vista, or XP virtual machine to Windows 8. For instructions, see KB114985 Windows 8 upgrade: step by step instructions and tips for Parallels Desktop users.
- Import data from your Windows PC to your Mac. For instructions, see KB115007 How to migrate Windows PC to Parallels Desktop 8 Virtual Machine.
Step 1: Purchase Windows
Parallels Desktop for Mac does not include Microsoft Windows. If you don't already have a Windows installation disc or .iso disk image, you can purchase Windows on a DVD disc from many retail stores that sell software or online from retailers such as Amazon.com or the Microsoft Online Store. To install Windows 8, purchase a Windows 8 System Builder DVD.
Step 2: Create a New Virtual Machine1. Open Parallels Desktop (in the Applications folder) and choose File → New.
2. Click Install Windows from DVD or image file and click Continue.
Step 3: Select the installation media
You may install Windows from either a DVD or an .iso disk image.
Important: Windows installation files with an .exe extension can only be used to upgrade an existing Windows Virtual Machine. If you are performing a new Windows install to create a new Windows Virtual Machine, the .exe installation file will not work. Please contact the retailer to request either an .iso image or physical DVD.
Installing Windows from a DVD:
- Insert the Windows installation disk into the Mac’s DVD-ROM drive.
- Select Install Windows from DVD or image file.
- Select the Windows installation disc from the Install from menu
Installing Windows from an .iso image:
- Select Choose an image file in the drop-down list and provide the path to the .iso image.
Step 4: Enter your Windows product keyClick Continue. In the Windows Product Key window, leave Express installation selected:
Note: If you uncheck Express installation, you will need to manually install Parallels Tools after the installation.
It is also recommended that you use the 64-bit version of Windows. If you want to use the 32-bit version, deselect the box at the bottom that says 64-bit Windows version. When ready, click Continue.
Step 5: Select how you want to use WindowsSelect how you want to use Windows:
- Like a Mac: Windows programs appear on the Mac desktop just like Mac applications. Documents and media from Mac OS X and Windows are kept together on your Mac.
- Like a PC: The Windows desktop and programs appear in a single window separate from Mac applications. You can drag and drop objects between Windows and the Mac.
Step 6: Specify a name and locationName: You may specify a name for your Virtual Machine.
Location: The default location for Parallels Desktop Virtual Machines is /Users/username/Documents/Parallels.
If you want other user accounts on your Mac to have access to this installation of Windows, select Share with other users of this Mac.
Step 7: Begin the installation
Important: The first time you start Windows, Parallels Tools are installed to allow seamless operation between Windows and Mac OS X. Please do not cancel or stop the installation process. Once Parallels Tools are installed, you're prompted to restart Windows.