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How do I get Windows 10 to run in a virtual machine?

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
  • Parallels Desktop Lite

Question

  • I want to buy and install Windows 10 in a Parallels virtual machine.
  • I have an active Windows 10 license, and I want to install Windows 10 in a Parallels virtual machine.

Information

If you don’t have a Windows copy, you can purchase Windows 10 from the Microsoft Online Store:

NOTE: visit this page if you need help to choose Windows 10 edition: Home or Pro.


Step 2: Download installation image

After the purchase please visit the Download Windows 10 page to create your own installation media:

  1. On the opened web page, choose the required edition and click Confirm.

  2. Choose the required system language and click Confirm.

  3. Choose the desired bit version and click the corresponding button.

Note: Refer to the FAQ page if you are not sure which bit version to choose.

  1. After clicking on either button your web browser will offer to save an installation image.
  2. Proceed with the image download.
  3. Once the image is downloaded, open Parallels Wizard (Parallels Desktop -> File -> New...).

  4. Select Install Windows or another OS... and click Continue.

  5. If installation image was not detected automatically, select or drop an image file to the Parallels Wizard window and click Continue to begin the installation.


To upgrade an existing virtual machine

You can use the same installation image for a Windows 10 upgrade.

  1. Make sure you are running the latest version of either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update. Visit this page to find out what version you are running.
  2. Make sure that your virtual machine has at least 2GB of RAM (KB 113649).
  3. When your virtual machine is in focus, go to Devices- > CD/DVD 1 -> locate and select the downloaded image.

  4. Open File Explorer in your Windows virtual machine, double-click on the CD/DVD drive, and follow the upgrade instructions.

Note: We recommend you to take a snapshot before proceeding with the upgrade, just to be on the safe side.


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