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Error starting Parallels Desktop: Unable to connect to Parallels Service

  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac


Your are unable to start Parallels Desktop or a virtual machine and you get the error message:

Unable to connect to Parallels Service. Make sure that the prl_disp_service process is active and it is not blocked by Firewall. For details, please refer to If the problem persists, contact the Parallels support team for assistance.

Possible Cause

  • prl_disp_service is blocked by Firewall
  • prl_disp_service cannot start due to insufficient permissions


Try to start Parallels Desktop or a virtual machine after every step you take:

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. Launch Disk Utility application located in Applications/Utilities > in Disk Utility click on Macintosh HD > click Repair Disk Permissions

  3. Make sure Parallels and Parallels are not blocked by a firewall: . If you use Little Snitch firewall or any other firewall please make sure that Parallels Desktop is in the list of approved applications.

Advanced Troubleshooting (not applicable for Parallels Desktop 8)

If you still have the issue after performing steps from Resolution part please do the following:

  1. Launch Terminal application located in Applications/Utilities
  2. Paste the command below into Terminal as is and hit return

    sudo launchctl stop com.parallels.desktop.launchdaemon
  3. You might need to type you Mac password and hit return (you will not see characters while typing)

  4. Paste another command to start Parallels Service and hit return:

    sudo launchctl start com.parallels.desktop.launchdaemon
  5. Try to start Parallels Desktop application or a virtual machine.

If you still have this issue

Uninstall Parallels Desktop and install it again by following one of these articles:

Note: your virtual machines will not be removed

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