Difference between Shut Down, Stop, Suspend and Pause operations

266 users found this article helpful

This article explains the difference between Shut Down, Stop, Suspend and Pause actions.

Shut Down

Shutting down virtual machine in Parallels Desktop is just like shutting down Windows on a PC. All Windows applications close, giving you the opportunity to save your progress if necessary, and Windows stops running.

To shut down Windows, do one of the following:


Stopping a virtual machine is similar to pulling the power plug out of a physical computer. To turn off the virtual machine, use the standard shutdown procedure of the guest operating system installed in it, or click the Shut Down button in the Parallels Desktop toolbar. If the guest operating system cannot be shut down for some reason or other, you can forcibly stop the virtual machine by doing one of the following:

Warning: If you forcibly stop the virtual machine, you may lose all unsaved data.


Suspending a virtual machine is similar to putting a real computer into the sleep mode. When you suspend a virtual machine:

Suspending your virtual machine may prove efficient if you need to restart your Mac, but do not want to: quit the applications running in the virtual machine or spend much time on shutting the guest operating system down and then starting it again.

To suspend a virtual machine, do one of the following:

You can see the progress of saving the virtual machine's state.

Warning: If you edit the configuration of a suspended virtual machine, you will not be able to resume this virtual machine.

Suspend limitations

Suspending virtual machines is not possible when:


Pausing a virtual machine does the following:

To pause a virtual machine, do one of the following:

To continue running the virtual machine, click the Resume in the Parallels Desktop toolbar or choose Resume from the Actions menu.

Parallels Desktop is designed to operate like an ordinary computer application. This means that you do not have to change the virtual machine's state from running to paused, suspended, or stopped before putting your Mac to sleep. In sleep mode, your Mac does not allocate any resources to the running applications (including Parallels Desktop and all virtual machines) so that they are stopped automatically. As you start your Mac, all the applications are automatically up and running again.

Was this article helpful?

Tell us how we can improve it.