What is Coherence?
Coherence is a view mode that allows you to run Windows applications on your Mac, as though they were native Mac applications.
Note: Parallels Desktop virtual machines start in the Coherence view mode when they are first loaded. If you want to change the view mode, right-click the Windows Start menu icon in Dock and select View > Exit Coherence.
In Coherence mode, you can use both your Windows and Mac applications at the same time without managing two separate desktops or rebooting. You can even load Windows applications directly from your Mac Dock or Mac desktop. In this mode, all Parallels Desktop controls, icons, and menus are hidden, except for the Parallels icon in the Mac menu bar and the Windows Applications folder in the Dock.
Windows Task bar, Start button and Desktop are hidden:
Working with a virtual machine in Coherence
To launch a new Windows application, you can do one of the following:
- Click on the Windows Applications Folder in the Dock and choose the application you need:
- Right-click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar to activate the Windows Start menu:
- Click on the Windows icon in the Dock to activate the Windows Start menu:
To switch among already started Windows applications click on their icons in the Mac Dock:
All Windows applications icons are marked with the Parallels symbol to distinguish them from Mac applications.
Additional options for Windows applications are available by right-clicking on their Dock icons:
- Quit, Hide, Show All Windows, Keep in Dock, and Add to Launchpad are the same as for native Mac applications.
- Show Jump List activates the Jump List available for Windows applications' icons in the Windows Task Bar.
If you have several windows of the same Windows application open, you may switch among them in Mac:
- Choose from the list:
- Activate the Show All Windows option.
To access the virtual machine configuration:
- Either right-click on the Start menu icon in the Dock:
- Or click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar and press Alt.
Turning Coherence mode on and off
To exit Coherence mode, click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar and choose Exit Coherence.
To enter Coherence mode from Window mode:
- Click on View menu > Enter Coherence:
- Click on the Coherence icon in the top right corner of the virtual machine window:
The settings for Coherence mode are available in virtual machine Configuration > Options > Coherence.
Note: To be able to use Coherence mode, Parallels Tools should be installed in Windows: in Parallels Desktop 10 select Actions from top Parallels Desktop menu bar > Install Parallels Tools, in previous versions click on the Virtual Machine menu > Install Parallels Tools.
As an alternative resource on this topic, we also recommend visiting this blog post: