Upgrade virtual machine to Windows 10

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I want to upgrade my Windows virtual machine to Windows 10. How do I do that?

Before you proceed

In January 2020 Windows 7 will reach the end of extended support (no more security patches).

Please note that only the following versions of Windows are supported for the upgrade to Windows 10:

For more information please refer to Microsoft Support: Windows 10 Specifications, Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ.

Also make sure that you are running the latest update of Parallels Desktop for Mac.

NOTE: Windows 10 free upgrade policy from Microsoft ended on July 29, 2016. You may purchase a Windows 10 license from Microsoft at:


To upgrade your Windows virtual machine to Windows 10 please follow the upgrade path given below.

Step 1

  1. Even though Parallels Desktop automatically detects whether 32-bit or 64-bit Windows version is installed in the virtual machine, you can check which one you've got by clicking on Start menu > right clicking on Computer > Properties.

  2. Choose one of the links below depending on Windows version shown in computer's properties.

    Download Tool Now (32-bit version)
    Download Tool Now (64-bit version)

    NOTE: for installing 64-bit version of Windows 10 please make sure your virtual machine has at least 2GB of RAM assigned. To check virtual machine's RAM please open configuration menu > Hardware > CPU & Memory.
    To increase the memory you would need to shut down your virtual machine.
    Also make sure that you have at least 10GB of free space available on the virtual hard disk for the upgrade. You can check the amount of a free space in File Explorer of your Windows VM (C: partition). To add more free space please visit KB 113972.

Step 2

  1. If you have Parallels Desktop Sharing Tools enabled, you can run the downloaded file from the Mac's Downloads folder.
  2. Run MediaCreationTool.exe and follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade Windows.

    Choose desired option

    Download installation media

    Confirm installation preferences

    Sit back and relax
  3. Once the upgrade has finished you can shut Windows down and rename it.

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