Parallels Desktop 16 is now available, bringing new features and performance improvements to the popular virtualization software. Arguably, the most important new feature is full support for Apple’s upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system update.
When Apple debuted macOS Big Sur earlier this year it was revealed that the new OS ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels used. On macOS Big Sur, Parallels Desktop 16 uses native macOS System Extensions over deprecated Kernel Extensions by default.
Parallels 16 also includes several new features and improvements:
- DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3: Up to 20 percent faster DirectX 11 and improved OpenGL 3 graphics in Windows and Linux.
- Increased battery life: Stay productive on the go with up to 10 percent longer battery life when Windows runs in Travel Mode.
- Automatically reclaim disk space: Virtual machines (VMs) can be set to automatically return unused disk space when shutting down.
- New multi-touch gestures for Windows apps: Use smooth zoom and rotate Trackpad multi-touch gestures in Windows apps.
- Enhanced printing: Print on both sides and use more paper sizes, from A0 to envelope.
This version claims to launch twice as fast and offers a 20% improvement in DirectX performance, while OpenGL 3 graphics in Windows and Linux are also said to be improved.
New multi-touch gestures for Windows apps such as smooth zoom and rotate multi-touch gestures are now available, and printing from Windows (with Shared Printers) now allows users to print on both sides and use more paper sizes, from A0 to envelope.
Virtual machines (VMs) can be set to automatically return unused disk space when shutting down. Meanwhile, the new version is said to have up to 10 percent longer battery life when Windows runs in Travel Mode.
Pro Edition users can now name their custom networks, and export virtual machines in a compressed format that are a said to be a fraction of their pre-compressed size. A plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio to simplify testing on different operating systems is also now available.
While Parallels hasn’t announced how they’ll handle running Windows on Apple’s upcoming Apple Silicon-based Macs, but the company says news about that is forthcoming.
Parallels Desktop 16 requires High Sierra 10.13 or later to run.
Availability and Pricing
All editions of Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac (Standard Edition, Pro Edition and Business Edition) are available now for purchase either online at parallels.com/desktop (which also offers free full-featured 14-day trials for new users) or from retail and online stores worldwide. Parallels Desktop subscriptions include complimentary concurrent subscriptions to Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Windows and Parallels Access, which are also separately available to all PC and Mac users as standalone products for free trials and subscriptions.
Current Parallels Desktop for Mac customers (any edition) can get upgrade pricing for Parallels Desktop 16 online at parallels.com/desktop-upgrade. New customers can download free trials and purchase at parallels.com/desktop. Pricing details follow below:
Recommended Retail Price (RRP)
Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac
- Upgrade from any edition to a perpetual license – US$49.99
- New subscription – US$79.99 per year
- New perpetual license – US$99.99
Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
- Upgrade from any edition – US$49.99 per year
- New subscription – US$99.99 per year
Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
- US$99.99 per year