Move Parallels Desktop to a new Mac

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Move license

If you would like to use your Parallels Desktop for Mac Standard or Pro Edition license on a new Mac, you should just download Parallels Desktop on the new Mac, install it and activate the product as described in KB 124225.

Upon activation on the new Mac you will see a warning that the license is already in use:


Click on Activate on This Mac and the current copy will be successfully activated. As a result, the license will be automatically deactivated on the old Mac.

To move Parallels Desktop Business Edition license to a new Mac, please follow the steps from KB 122760.

Move virtual machine

Note: a virtual machine (VM) created on an Intel-based Mac cannot be started on a Mac computer with M1 chip. A new VM on a Mac with Apple M1 chip must be created (see KB 125375). However, you can transfer your data from the original VM as per KB 125344.

Note: if you have a Windows 11 virtual machine that contains a TPM chip, please check the Move virtual machine with TPM to another Mac section of KB 122702 to learn how to transfer such a virtual machine.

If you don't want to lose work progress and install your virtual machine from scratch on the new Mac, you can move your virtual machine to the new Mac as well:

1) Make sure the VM is shut down. Don't just close the virtual machine window with a red button at the top left - shut down it with its guest OS means(for Windows it will be Start button - Power button - Shut down) or click Action at the top Mac menu and select Shut down.

2) Locate the virtual machine on your Mac.

NOTE: in order to transfer a Boot Camp partition, see KB 113658.

By default, virtual machine files are saved either to the Parallels folder inside your user folder or at /Users/Shared/Parallels. Another possible location is the Parallels folder inside the Documents folder.

Parallels Desktop virtual machines have a .pvm extension

3) Copy or move the .pvm file to the new Mac and double-click it there to start the virtual machine on the new Mac.

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