Parallels Desktop for Mac key types

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A key which is used to activate Parallels Desktop can be referred to as an activation key, a product key, license key or a license.

There are three types of keys available for Parallels Desktop:


Trial keys are built into Parallels Desktop and are not sent separately. They are free of charge, valid only for 14 days and are not divided into upgrade and full.

A trial period gives an opportunity to use Parallels Desktop before buying a license.

From the technical point of view, a trial Parallels Desktop copy allows you to take advantage of all Parallels Desktop features.

To start a trial Parallels Desktop period, you should first install the software, then open it and click on Try Free for 14 days in Activate Parallels Desktop window. Please visit KB 123273 for detailed information on activation trial Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Upgrade key

Upgrade keys can be used to upgrade from previous versions of the software, hence they require the license key for one of the older versions and cannot be used standalone.

You can buy a permanent upgrade license, or a subscription.

Full key

Full licenses activate Parallels Desktop without any additional keys. If you have never used Parallels Desktop before, then a full key is what you need.

You can choose between a permanent license and a subscription. Please visit article #122929 to learn more about the difference between these kinds of licenses and decide which one you prefer.


Parallels Online Store offers both full and upgrade keys for Parallels Desktop:

If you have several keys and would like to know what their types are, please register them in your account at For help with registration, please visit this page.

Please go to the Parallels Desktop page of your account to see all your registered keys, their types will be indicated next to each of them in brackets: full or upgrade.

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