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How to transfer a Boot Camp installation to a new Mac using Parallels Desktop for Mac

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition



I bought a new Mac® and I would like to transfer my existing Boot Camp® partition from my old Mac to the new one. Can I do that with Parallels Desktop?


You won't be able to transfer your physical Boot Camp partition from one Mac to another using Parallels Desktop. However, you can import your Boot Camp partition into a virtual machine and then transfer the virtual machine to a new Mac.


Create a virtual machine based on the physical Boot Camp partition

  1. Launch Parallels Desktop and choose File > New from the menu.

  2. Click Use Windows from Boot Camp, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

    If you don't see the BootCamp option, please visit KB 123027.

    Important: The first time you start Windows after setting Parallels Desktop to work with Boot Camp, Parallels Tools is installed to allow seamless operation between Windows® and Mac OS® X. Once Parallels Tools is installed, you will be prompted to restart Windows.

Import your Boot Camp partition into a Parallels Desktop virtual machine

  1. Shut down your new virtual machine that is based on the physical Boot Camp partition.
  2. Open the Parallels Desktop Control Center (Virtual Machine list in earlier versions). Then right-click (Ctrl-click) on the Boot Camp virtual machine and choose Import Boot Camp.

  3. Click Import.

  4. Locate where you want to store Windows and your data, and then click Choose. Wait until your Windows and all your data are imported from the Boot Camp physical partition into a virtual machine with a virtual hard disk.

  5. Once your Boot Camp is imported, you can still use the original Boot Camp Windows installation separately from Parallels Desktop.

Transfer the imported Boot Camp partition to your new Mac

  1. Locate the virtual machine with the imported Boot Camp on your old Mac hard drive.

  2. Copy the .pvm file to an external Hard Drive or transfer it via the network to a new Mac.

  3. Connect your external hard drive to the destination Mac.

  4. Copy the .pvm file from the external hard drive to any folder on the destination Mac.

    Note: The default folder for Parallels Desktop virtual machines is either the Documents/Parallels folder inside your user folder, or /Users/Shared/Parallels.

  5. Double-click on your .pvm file to start your virtual machine.

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