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Parallels Desktop fails to start. "Unable to connect to Parallels Service"

  • Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac


  • I am unable to start Parallels Desktop with an 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.

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'prl_disp_service' crashes.


In order to workaround the crash please try to create test user account on Mac OS X:

  1. Find the virtual machine file:

    • start Parallels Desktop

    • in the menu bar at the top go to Window > Virtual machines list

    • right-click on the virtual machine name > Show in Finder
  2. Change the permissions:

    • right-click on WindowsXX.pvm > Get Info

    • in the field 'Sharing & Permissions' please change to 'Read & Write' for all users in the list (including 'everyone' and 'staff')
  3. Move your virtual machines to the /Users/Shared/Parallels folder

  4. Create new test Administrator user account:

    • go to Finder > Applications > System Preferences > Users & Groups

    • click on '+' to create a new user and called him Test

    • in the field New Account choose Administrator

    • set any name with simple password (e.g. 123) and click 'Create User'

    • check the option Allow user to administer this computer
  5. Log off from your current user account (Apple logo > Log out)

  6. Log in the new Test user account

  7. Launch Parallels Desktop and the virtual machine (you may need to choose the way to the virtual machine, it is /Users/Shared/Parallels)

If Parallels Desktop fails to start under new user account, please submit new problem report ID and contact Parallels Technical Support Team for further assistance.

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