Available article translations:

Windows cannot access \\Mac\Home\Desktop error

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition


Windows cannot access \Mac\Home\Desktop notification pops up every time Windows virtual machine (VM) starts.

MacOS Terminal shows a result similar to the following (when executing ls -la for default username location):


  • Incorrect macOS Desktop folder synchronization settings.

  • Your macOS Desktop folder location is not default.

    By default, Desktop location is /Users/your username/Desktop where /your username/ is the name of your Mac user account (e.g. /Users/John/Desktop).

  • Your Desktop folder is replaced with a third party cloud application symilink.


  • Method 1:

    1. Start Parallels Desktop. Do not start your virtual machine or shut it down if it is running.

    2. Open its Configuration -> General. Make sure that the type of the virtual machine matches the type of guest OS installed.

    3. Start your virtual machine, go to Start -> Control Panel > Programs and Features and remove Parallels Tools.

    4. Once Parallels Tools are removed, reboot Windows and install Parallels Tools back.
  • Method 2 (Advanced):

    1. Remove incorrect symilinks

    2. Make sure that Desktop folder is actually located in /Users/your username)

    3. Start Terminal (Finder > Applications > Utilities) and execute the following command:

      ls -la

    4. Note corresponding path to your original macOS Desktop folder.


      In this test case it is a link to the Dropbox location.

    5. Make sure your original Desktop folder is copied to a backup location.

      In our test case we copied /Users/parallels/Dropbox/Desktop/ folder to the safe location.

    6. In Terminal window execute the command:

      rm ~/Desktop
    7. Copy macOS Desktop folder to its default location.

    8. In Terminal window execute:

      mv ~/Dropbox/Desktop ~/

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