Windows cannot access \\Mac\Home\Desktop error

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Windows cannot access \Mac\Home\Desktop notification pops up every time Windows virtual machine (VM) starts.

A similar error can appear but for the Downloads folder:


  1. Incorrect configuration of shared folders driver.

  2. Your macOS Desktop/Downloads folder location is not a default one.

By default, Desktop location is /Users/your username/Desktop where /your username/ is the name of your Mac user account (e.g. /Users/John/Desktop). The same applies to the Downloads folder that is usually /Users/your username/Downloads


Fix incorrect driver configuration

  1. Start Parallels Desktop. Do not start your virtual machine or shut it down if it is running.

  2. Open virtual machine configuration > General. Make sure that the type of the virtual machine matches the type of guest OS installed.

  3. Follow instructions from KB 4841 to reinstall Parallels Tools.

Fix Mac Desktop location back to default

  1. Make sure that Desktop/Downloads folder is actually located in /Users/your username/)

  2. Start Terminal (Finder > Applications > Utilities) and execute the following command:

        ls -la

    NOTE: If you notice that your Desktop/Downloads folder is located in another directory, then one of the cloud storage applications changed the location of these folders. You may either disable Desktop/Downloads sharing with Parallels virtual machine (VM configuration > Options > Sharing > Share Mac > Configure… > uncheck Desktop/Downloads and click OK), or to revert Desktop/Downloads location to its original location using the instructions below.

  3. Note the corresponding path to your original macOS Desktop/Downloads folder.

    In this test case it is a link to the Dropbox location.
  4. Move macOS Desktop/Downloads folder from the current path to its default location.

        mv /Users/pdteam/Dropbox/My\ Mac\ \(MacBook-Pro-parallels-2.local\)/Desktop ~/

​​​​​​​The same applies to the Downloads folder.

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