Available article translations:

How to reclaim extra disk space from Windows virtual machine back to the Mac?

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


My Windows virtual machine occupies too much space on my Mac's hard drive. How can I make it smaller?


Reclaiming extra disk space clears up the unused hard disk space from Windows back to the Mac.

  1. To reclaim extra disk space find File menu on Mac menu bar > choose Free Up Disk Space...

  2. In the appeared window walk through each option in the list one-by-one starting from deleting snapshots if any.

  3. Shutting down the suspended virtual machines will also reclaim some disk space.

    Click on Resume button > then shut down all Windows virtual machines through Start menu button > Power button > Shut Down or by going to Mac menu bar > Actions > Shut Down.

  4. The third option reclaims space from a particular virtual machine. After clicking on Open Control Center select cogwheel under your virtual machine's name to open its configuration > go to General tab > choose Reclaim.

  5. If there are any cache files in Parallels Desktop application proceed to the forth option and click on Clean up button.

Additional information

To automate the reclaim procedure you can enable Real-time Disk Optimization (TRIM) feature which is designed to compact the virtual hard disk automatically in the background while the virtual machine is running.

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