How to install or upgrade to Parallels Desktop 12

1288 users found this article helpful

Upgrading to Parallels Desktop 12

After upgrading to Parallels Desktop 12, you do not need to reinstall Windows or create a new virtual machine. You can use your existing virtual machine.

Note: If you have a subscription for Parallels Desktop for Mac or Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition, you can upgrade Parallels Desktop to the latest version with the license you own. Download and install Parallels Desktop 12 and use your subscription license for activation. A subscription allows you to upgrade to the latest version at no additional charge as long as your subscription is valid.

Important: Upgrades are possible for Parallels Desktop 10 and later. For activation instructions with a Parallels Desktop 12 upgrade license from Parallels Desktop 10 or 11, visit KB 123866.

If your previous version key is for Parallels Desktop 9 or earlier, visit the Parallels Online Store to purchase a full license for Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac.

To install Parallels Desktop 12, follow the instructions below.


Note: Take a backup of your virtual machine before you proceed with the instruction below to be able to revert all the changes.

  1. Parallels Desktop 12 is distributed as a downloadable .dmg image. The installation file is available at

  2. Double-click the downloaded Parallels Desktop 12 installation file with the .dmg extension to mount it to Finder. Then double-click the Install icon.

  3. Enter your Mac user account password to begin installation.

Parallels Desktop 12 is now installed. Check out our tips for new users:

Was this article helpful?

Tell us how we can improve it.