Available article translations:

How can I improve Windows performance in my virtual machine?

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac Pro Edition


  • I am not satisfied with my Windows performance.


  • Windows misconfiguration
  • Windows corruption
  • Virtual machine(VM) related issues


Getting rid of viruses

The first thing to come to the mind causing Windows performance issues is a virus. Make sure that the virtual machine contains no malicious software. You can use any kind of an anti-virus programs to scan your Windows.

Disabling antiviruses

The majority of anty-virus programs cannot differentiate virtualization process from malware activity. As a result they can block some virtual machine features or even remove some vital files causing Windows corruption.

As a matter of fact, if you don't download any suspicious content from any untrusted resources there's no actual need in using anti-virus programs. Computer virus does not spread like a flu. One needs to download the file and run it infect the system.

So, manually initiating an anti-virus to scan your Windows from time to time, and turning off active protection is the better way to use an anti-virus in a virtual machine if you don't need to download a lot of data from the Net every day. Please keep in mind that having more than one anti-virus can harm the operating system as they will conflict with each other and can remove vital files. This is fair for physical PCs as well.

Task Manager

The rule is equally valid for both virtual machines and physical PCs - the fewer processes the system runs on the start-up - the faster it performs from the very beginning.

  1. Right-click Windows Taskbar and choose Task Manager.


  2. Click More details if the view is minimalistic.


  3. Switch to Startup tab and disable all the application you surely don't need to start automatically till you need them running:


If Windows performance still does not satisfy you, check if some particular resource (CPU, memory, hard disk) is mishandled:

  1. Open Task Manager - Processes and check if any of resources (CPU, memory, disk) is overloaded(used for more than 80-90%)

  2. Sort the processes by the aimed resource consumption by clicking on the aimed resource name(here - Memory)


  3. The process on the top of the list is the the one that consumes the most of the resource amount (here - Firefox). It can be either misconfigured or can be this way by design. In first case you need to restart or even reinstall the application. The second case can't be cured as some applications are very resource-consuming themselves (e.g. graphics or vector editors like Photoshop or AutoCad) and this is normal.

Virtual environment problems

Being a system installed on no matter physical or virtual hardware Windows highly depends on this environment. To know more about how to set your VM according to the best practices check this KB

a9c6e0b6a5209e617a7c0dd5eace86cf 1e5db16426987d561060acdf56d947b4 4987860c21de5849bcebfeb0472cfd03 f9b6a8d63f3437e0dca35c9704a9033c 75d98cd907f9039d751a2fcf959077c7 b5b4596be13eab7e173e552861335790

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