Parallels Desktop for Mac provides a feature called Windows 7 Look for Windows® 8 and 8.1 virtual machines.
Note: The Windows 7 Look feature is not available in either the trial version of Parallels Desktop or in Parallels Desktop® for Mac Business Edition.
Windows 7 Look is a view mode that makes your Windows 8 virtual machine look and work much like Windows® 7:
- Windows boots directly to the Desktop.
- Windows 8 Modern UI apps run inside separate windows.
- The Windows Start menu is back and fully functional.
How to activate Windows 7 Look
Note: Windows 7 Look is only available for Windows 8 and 8.1 virtual machines. If you upgraded your Windows® XP, Vista, or 7 virtual machine to Windows 8, please make sure your virtual machine type is changed to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
Go to Configure > General and make sure the type of your virtual machine is set correctly.
There are two ways to activate Windows 7 Look:
Choose like Windows 7 when you install your Windows 8 or 8.1 virtual machine in Parallels Desktop 9.
In the Parallels Desktop menu bar, click on the View menu > select Use Windows 7 Look if you opted not to use "like Windows 7" when installing Windows 8 or 8.1, or if you upgraded to Parallels Desktop 9 or 10 for Mac.
How to turn it off
In the Parallels Desktop menu bar click on View menu > deselect Use Windows 7 Look.
Windows will log out to deactivate the feature.
How it works
The Windows start menu is back.
Your Windows 8 Modern UI apps are available in the Start menu and will run in their separate windows instead of full screen.
- Parallels Tools should be installed in your Windows 8 or 8.1 virtual machine to make this feature available.
- Windows 7 Look is provided by two separate applications, Start8 and ModernMix, which are automatically installed when you activate the Windows 7 Look feature.
- Your Mac should have an Internet connection in order to download the installation packages when activating the Windows 7 Look feature for the first time.
- Both the Start8 and ModernMix applications are provided by Stardock.
- For support questions on StarDock installation, updates, and troubleshooting, please contact StarDock directly at https://www.stardock.com/support/.
- Start8 and ModernMix will only work inside Parallels Desktop virtual machines. You can use them in BootCamp®, running in a virtual machine, but if you want to use them in BootCamp running natively, you have to purchase them from Stardock.