In collaboration with Apple, Parallels engineers created the world's first prototype of a macOS virtual machine (VM) running on a Mac with Apple M series chips. With Parallels Desktop 18 for Mac, you can now download and install a macOS VM on Apple M series chips just with a few clicks.
Note: Parallels Desktop doesn't support creating a macOS virtual machine from the .app installation image on Mac computers with Apple M series chips.
1. It's possible to create macOS Monterey 12 and newer virtual machines only.
2. To install a macOS Monterey 12 virtual machine on a Mac with Apple M series chips (macOS ARM VM), the computer must have macOS Monterey 12 beta 3 or newer installed as the main macOS.
3. To install a macOS Ventura 13 virtual machine on a Mac with macOS Monterey, the only way is to upgrade your macOS Monterey virtual machine to macOS Ventura or upgrade your main macOS to macOS Ventura.
Note: automatic installation will install a macOS Ventura 13 VM on a Mac with macOS Ventura 13 as a host operating system and macOS Monterey 12 VM on a Mac with macOS Monterey 12 as a host operating system.
To install a macOS VM, start Parallels Desktop and follow the steps below:
1. Click the Parallels Desktop icon on the top menubar > Control Center.
2. Click + in the top right corner > Continue > scroll to the right under Free Systems > select Download macOS.
3. Click Download and proceed with the installation.
Alternatively, you can download the required installation file manually, so that you can install multiple new virtual machines from a local file.
Install macOS VM of the same version
If you want to create a macOS Ventura 13 VM on a Mac with macOS Ventura 13 or a macOS 12 VM on a Mac with macOS Ventura 12 manually, kindly follow the steps below:
- Get a download URL. To do it, execute the following command in Terminal:
/Applications/Parallels\ Desktop.app/Contents/MacOS/prl_macvm_create --getipswurl
- Copy the output URL, paste, and follow it in your browser.
- Once the file has been downloaded, use the following Terminal command:
/Applications/Parallels\ Desktop.app/Contents/MacOS/prl_macvm_create <path_to_ipsw> <path_to_macVM> --disksize <bytes>
Note: macOS ARM virtual machine's hard drive size can only be set once at the moment of creation. There is currently no way to change it afterward.
/Applications/Parallels\ Desktop.app/Contents/MacOS/prl_macvm_create ~/Downloads/UniversalMac_12.5.1_21G83_Restore.ipsw ~/Parallels/macOS.macvm --disksize 80000000000
- Wait for the installation to complete. You will see progress in the Terminal output.
- Once finished, locate the file in ~/Parallels/ (your home folder > "Parallels"), drag and drop the file to Control Center, or open the file with Parallels Desktop via Finder.
Install macOS VM of a different version
It appears that it is currently possible to install a macOS virtual machine on Mac computer with Apple M-series Chip only of the same macOS version as that installed on the Mac.
Hence, if you wish to create a macOS virtual machine with a different macOS version, it is necessary to create it on a Mac running that version, and then transfer the resulting .macvm file to the destination Mac.
Install Parallels Tools
Please note that Parallels Tools functionalities in macOS virtual machines on M series Mac computers are very limited. Parallels Engineering Team is researching ways to expand the list of supported features in future product updates. Shared Clipboard has already been added. To enable this feature, please install Parallels Tools.
- Open Finder in the macOS virtual machine.
- From the list of locations on the sidebar, select the "Parallels Tools" drive.
- Double click on the "Install" icon.
- Wait for the Parallels Tools installation to start. Enter macOS (VM) password when prompted.
- Wait for the Parallels Tools installation to complete.
- Restart macOS VM.
To run a macOS Monterey VM on Mac computers with Apple M series chips, Parallels Desktop 17 uses new technology introduced in macOS Monterey, that's why it is not possible to run earlier versions of macOS on a Mac with Apple M series chips.
Most productivity and integration features are not available to this VM yet. It is not possible to suspend and resume the VM, shared folders and snapshots are not supported for now. Apart from that it is currently not possible to adjust guest macOS screen resolution in real-time mode when resizing ratio; to change virtual machine amount of CPU and RAM or its hardware parameters (Device UUID and Serial number) and to register with Apple ID. USB and camera sharing are also missing in macOS Monterey VM running on a Mac with Apple M series chips so far.
Note: On Mac computers with Intel processors macOS Monterey 12 VM is featured with a full list of enhanced integration similar to what other Intel-based macOS virtual machines have.