Available article translations:

Computer Viruses in Windows Virtual Machines

  • Parallels Desktop
  • Parallels Access


  • I am running Windows virtual machine in Parallels Desktop® for Mac, and I suspect that my Windows was infected by a malware (viruses).

  • As I am running Windows on a Mac, does in mean that my Windows OS is protected from viruses the same way as my OS X?

  • I was told by Parallels Support team that my Windows virtual machine is infected by a malware and I need to install antivirus software. How do I check that?


Parallels Desktop for Mac runs guest OS in special virtualized environment that emulates entire computer. This virtualized computer is as vulnerable to viruses as an usual PC running Windows. We highly recommend you to have antivirus (AV) software installed in the guest OS.

NOTE: Please be aware that although computer viruses and similar malicious software cannot affect Mac OS X itself, it may corrupt Shared Folders content which is accessible from Windows side, so we recommend that you avoid storing any important data there (or at least create backups).

Installing Anti-Virus Software in Windows VM

The recommended antivirus software for Parallels virtual machines is Kaspersky Internet Security. To install Kaspersky Internet Security please follow instructions from one of the following articles:

You may also install any preferable antivirus software compatible with the version of Windows OS you are running in virtual machine.

NOTE: do not run multiple antivirus software in one OS: system performance will be significantly decreased due to AV software conflict.

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