Levels of integration - Like a Mac or Like a PC

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Introduction

When you're installing Windows on your Mac, you need to choose how you would like your Windows programs to work - like a Mac or like a PC:

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In this article, we're going to explain the difference between these two options. But first of all, keep in mind that no matter which option you choose in Parallels Wizard, you can easily change these settings after Windows has been installed on your Mac.


Like a Mac

If you're used to working with Mac OS X, we recommend that you choose Like a Mac. In this case, the Coherence view mode becomes the default one. This view mode makes running Windows programs appear on the screen exactly like Mac OS X applications while the Windows desktop becomes invisible:

Moreover, if you choose Like a Mac, the Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, Movies, and Downloads folders of your Mac are shared with those in Windows. What does it mean? If you save a file, say, in the Documents folder in Windows,

it is saved in the Documents folder in Mac OS X:

And the same with other folders. For example, if you save a picture in the Pictures folder in Windows, it is saved in the Pictures folder in Mac OS X. This is done so that you didn't have to browse through the Windows folders every time you need to open these files again.

If you choose Like a Mac, the Windows Recycle Bin is also merged with the Mac OS X Trash. From that point on, when you delete a file from the above mentioned folders in Windows, they are placed not in Windows Recycle Bin, but in Mac OS X Trash. So you don't have to clean both the Recycle Bin in Windows and the Trash in Mac OS X - just empty the Mac OS X Trash and forget about the Windows Recycle Bin.


Like a PC

If you prefer to make Windows less integrated with Mac, we recommend that you choose Like a PC. In this case, no Mac OS X folders are shared with Windows and the Window view mode becomes the default one. In this default view mode, you work with Windows and Windows programs in a separate window:



How to change integration settings after Windows is already installed?

Technically both "Like a Mac" and "Like a PC" modes are a combination of integration features provided by Parallels Desktop.

The following features are enabled when "Like a Mac" mode is used:

  1. Coherence
  2. Shared Folders and Shared Profile
  3. Shared Applications
  4. Shared Clipboard

To instantly switch between "Like a Mac" and "Like a PC" modes you can just switch between the "Window" and "Coherence" view modes.

Additionally you can change the level of integration between the Mac and your Virtual machine:

Then go though Sharing, Applications, Coherence and Advanced options to make necessary changes and adjust your preferred level of integration.

To learn more about how to change various integration settings after Windows is already installed on your Mac, please refer to Parallels Desktop User's Guide available online or from the Help menu. Using this guide, you can learn how to:




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