Available article translations:

What is Crystal Mode and how to use it?

  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac Standard Edition


The Crystal is a feature of Coherence view mode and provides even higher level of integration between the host and the guest operating systems. In this mode, all Parallels Desktop controls, icons, and menus are hidden, except for the Parallels icon in the Mac menu bar and Windows Applications folder in the Dock.


Parallels Menu Bar Icon

This icon is used to control your virtual machine and Parallels Desktop while in the Crystal

- Click this icon to open a basic menu. It allows you to access the Windows Start menu, manage the virtual machine's devices, return to Window mode by choosing Exit Crystal, quit Parallels Desktop, and to switch between the running virtual machines.
- Right-click this icon to open the Windows start menu.
- Alt-click (or Option-click) this icon to open an extended menu. The extended menu includes additional options, including Report a Problem, Configure, Preferences, and many others.

Windows Applications Folder in the Dock

If you selected the Show Windows Applications folder in Dock option in the Shared Applications pane of Virtual Machine Configuration, the folder with all applications installed in your Windows virtual machine will be displayed in the Dock. You can use this folder to quickly access your Windows applications.


Switching to the Crystal Mode

To start working in the Crystal mode, do one of the following:

- Enable Crystal in Configure ► Options ► Coherence 

- Choose Coherence in the virtual machine View menu.

Note: To be able to use Crystal mode (as well as Coherence) Parallels Tools should be installed in Windows. Select Virtual Machine > Install Parallels Tools from top Parallels Desktop menubar.

To switch the virtual machine from Crystal to the Window mode, click the Parallels Status icon in the Mac menu bar and select the Exit Coherence option.

Note: You can switch from Coherence to the Window mode only. You can then switch from Window to any other mode.

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