Download and Install Windows

If this is your first time using Parallels Desktop and you don't have a copy of Windows, you can purchase, download, and install Windows directly from Parallels Desktop. Your Mac must be connected to the Internet.

To purchase, download, and install Windows:

  1. Open Parallels Desktop (in the Applications folder) and choose File > New.
  2. Click Buy Windows 7.
  3. Select a version of Windows. You can choose the Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate edition.

    To learn more, click Compare versions on Microsoft web site.

  4. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to purchase and download Windows.

    Note: You can use a major credit card to purchase Windows.

  5. In the Windows Product Key window, be sure to leave Express installation selected.

    Note: If you deselect Express installation, you'll need to install Parallels Tools after the installation to allow the most seamless operation between Windows and Mac OS X.

    It is also recommended that you use the 64-bit version of Windows, but if you want to use the 32-bit version, deselect 64-bit Windows version. When ready, click Continue.

  6. Select how you want to use Windows:
    • Like a Mac: Windows programs appear on the Mac desktop, just like Mac applications. Documents and media from Mac OS X and Windows are kept together on your Mac.
    • Like a PC: The Windows desktop and programs appear in a single window, separate from Mac applications. You can drag and drop objects between Windows and the Mac.
  7. Choose where you want to store Windows from the Location menu.

    By default, Parallels Desktop stores Windows in your Documents > Parallels folder. To allow all users of your computer to have access to this installation of Windows, select Share with other users of this Mac.

  8. If you want to pre-set things like how much memory Windows uses or whether it starts automatically when you open Parallels Desktop, select Customize settings before installation. You can also adjust these settings after the operating system is installed.
  9. Click Create. Once the download starts, you can pause it anytime by clicking Pause. To resume the download, click Resume. Once the download is complete, the installation of Windows starts automatically. The Parallels Wizard finishes the installation of Windows. You should expect this operation to take an hour or more, and your virtual machine may restart several times during this operation.

Once Windows is installed, you can start it up by opening a Windows program or by clicking the power button The Silver Start button in the Parallels Virtual Machines list.

Important: The first time you start Windows, Parallels Tools are installed to allow seamless operation between Windows and Mac OS X. Once Parallels Tools are installed, you're prompted to restart Windows.

If you didn't select Express installation in step 5 above, you must install Parallels Tools manually.

When you install Windows, Parallels Desktop creates an administrator account with a blank password. Once the installation is complete, it is recommended that you change this password.

Related Topics

Install Windows from an Installation Disc

Import Your Data from a PC

Use Boot Camp with Parallels Desktop

Import from an Earlier Parallels Desktop or Other Virtualization Application