Available article translations:

Unable to start Parallels Desktop: Troubleshooting Parallels Desktop start issues

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


Note: you may have your Virtual Machines configured to start automatically when Parallels Desktop starts. This article describes Parallels Desktop start issues only, if you need help starting a Virtual Machine please check this article Troubleshooting Virtual Machine start issues.

You are unable to start Parallels Desktop because of one of these reasons:

  • Parallels Desktop hangs or crashes
  • An error message comes up when you start Parallels Desktop
  • Nothing happens when you try to start Parallels Desktop


It may happen because of one of these reasons:

  • Parallels Desktop installation is corrupted
  • File permissions issue on Mac OS X
  • Parallels Service is blocked by Firewall


Parallels Desktop reinstallation is the first step you should take. This procedure does not affect existing Virtual Machines, only the application will be overwritten.

Uninstall Parallels Desktop following the steps from this article and install it again downloading Parallels Desktop here. Your virtual machines will be detected automatically.

Your are unable to start Parallels Desktop or a virtual machine and you get the error message:

    Unable to connect to Parallels Service 

If you still having the same issue:

  1. Repair Mac OS X file permissions, as some Parallels Desktop files may have wrong permissions:

    • Open Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/).
    • Select your Mac OS X startup volume (Macintosh HD by default) in the column on the left of the Disk Utility window, then click the First Aid tab.
    • Click the Repair Disk Permissions button.
  2. Reset Home folder permissions and ACLs using this article.

  3. Add Parallels Desktop in the Firewall and Privacy exception:

    • Open System Preferences.
    • Click the Security or Security & Privacy icon.
    • Select the Privacy tab > Accessibility.
    • Click the lock icon in the preference pane, then enter an administrator name and password.
    • Drag and drop Parallels Desktop app (/Applications/Parallels Desktop) in the Allow the apps below to control your computer box.
    • Select the Firewall tab.
    • Click the Firewall Options button
    • Click the Add Application (+) button.
    • Select the app you want to allow incoming connection privileges for.
    • Click Add > OK.

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