Error message: Unable to start Parallels services

164 users found this article helpful

Symptoms

Parallels Desktop cannot be started. The notification window Unable to start Parallels services appears.

alttext

Cause

Troubleshooting

As a first troubleshooting step restart the Mac and try launching Parallels Desktop, then try reinstalling it:

  1. Restart the Mac and try launching Parallels Desktop again.
  2. If the first step hasn't fixed the issue, uninstall Parallels Desktop.
    NOTE:  Restart is required to finish the uninstall process.
  3. After restarting the Mac install Parallels Desktop again. If required, download the installation image from the Downloads for Parallels Desktop page.
  4. Try launching Parallels Desktop again.

Information

As an alternative to most troubleshooting steps listed below, it's possible to either update the macOS operating system as described here if an update is available or reinstall macOS from Recovery as per instructions from the article. Both actions will refresh system files and restore permissions for system folders, which are required for Parallels Desktop functionality.

Advanced troubleshooting

  1. Start Terminal: open Finder - Applications - Utilities - Terminal.
  2. Execute the following command:

    sudo kextcache --clear-staging

    Note: You will need to enter your Mac password to run the command. No symbols will be shown due to security measures, so just hit the keys and use return/Enter.
  3. Try starting Parallels Desktop. If the issue still persists, execute next command:

    sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions
    Note: You will need to enter your Mac password to run the command. No symbols will be shown due to security measures, so just hit the keys and use return/Enter.
  4. Restart the Mac and try launching Parallels Desktop.

  5. If the issue still persists, restart your Mac and hold down Command+R on the keyboard until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
    alttext‚Äč
    Note: If you see a login window instead of the Utilities window, it's possible that you didn't press Command+R early enough. Restart your Mac and try again.

  6. From the top menu bar select Utilities and then Terminal.

  7. Execute the following command:

     spctl kext-consent add 4C6364ACXT
    

    Note: Hit return/Enter after entering the command to execute it.

  8. The result of performing this command should look like the below image:

     

  9. To restart Mac into normal mode execute the command reboot or select Apple logo > Restart...

  10. Try launching Parallels Desktop again.
  11. If none of the steps above have helped, the only solution left is to reinstall macOS® from Recovery to update system files as per instructions from the article. By reinstalling macOS® from Recovery, only system files will be updated, keeping personal files and installed applications intact.

Using MDM for deployment of Parallels Desktop

In case you install Parallels Desktop in Enterprise environment, disable MDM or check its settings. It may block extension installation if certain settings are enabled for Manageable profile.

To configure MDM profile for use with Parallels Desktop, refer to Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition IT Administrator's Guide (p.31)

Was this article helpful?

Tell us how we can improve it.