This article explains how to install Windows 11 on a Mac M1 or M2 using Parallels Desktop, which is capable of running Windows on Apple Silicon and Intel Macs.
How to run Windows on a Mac
If you want to install and run Windows 11 on your Mac, you can do so using the Parallels app. Parallels is available directly from the Mac App Store and is officially recognized by Microsoft as a valid solution for running Windows 11 on Apple devices. It works on both older Intel Macs and newer Macs M1 and M2, and the process is simple enough that you don’t need to be a macOS or Windows expert for it to work.
Here’s how to install Windows 11 on a Mac using Parallels:
1. Search Parallels Desktop in the App Store and tap Gets.
Important : If you already have a subscription that you purchased directly from Parallels, they recommend Instead of downloading the app from their website. In this case, download and open Parallels from the website, then go to Step 4.
2. Click install.
3. Click Opens.
NB : The app will ask for permission to send usage data. Click on do not send If you do not wish to share this data or on Send automatically If you would like to share it.
4. Enter your information and click open an account If you haven’t used Parallels before, click I have a password Enter your login information if you already have an account.
NB : If you prefer, you can choose to sign in with your Apple, Facebook, or Google account. If you click any of these buttons, you do not need to create a separate Parallels account.
5. Click Complete.
7. Click Try for free.
NB : You can click Restore Purchases or I have a subscription if you’ve paid for Parallels Desktop in the past.
8. Click Complete.
9. Use Touch ID or your PIN to authenticate.
10. Click Complete.
Important : When you click Continue, you agree to pay an ongoing subscription fee if you do not cancel within the trial period. Parallels requires a subscription, so there is no way to continue without accepting the free trial and subscription terms.
11. Click Yes to confirm your subscription.
12. Click Yes.
13. Click Yes.
14. Click Yes.
NB : Parallels needs access to your download folder because it needs to download Windows.
15. Click Install Windows.
16. Wait for Parallels to download Windows 11.
17. Click do not allow If you are not using your webcam under Windows 11 or later Yes If you want to be able to use a webcam.
18. Click do not allow If you are not using your microphone in Windows 11 or later Yes If you want to be able to use the microphone.
19. Wait for Parallels to install Windows 11.
20. When you see the installation complete message, tap the screen to continue.
21. Read the Windows license agreement and click accepts.
22. The Windows installation process is complete when you see this screen.
Since Windows 11 is now installed on your Mac, you can close your web browser and Windows Update windows and start using it as you would on any PC.
How to activate Windows 11 in Parallels
Windows 11 is ready to use once you complete the installation process described in the previous section, but it won’t be registered until you add and activate a product key.
You can use Windows 11 in Parallels without activating it for as long as you want, but Microsoft places some restrictions on installs that aren’t activated with a valid product key. If you want to fully use Windows 11 on your Mac, you will need to purchase a product key.
If you want to activate your copy of Windows 11, you can go to Settings > System > activation. You can then either enter a key you purchased elsewhere or click on it Go to the shop To purchase a key directly from Microsoft.
What is Parallels Desktop?
Parallels Desktop is an application that allows you to run alternative operating systems such as Windows 11 and Linux from macOS. This means you can switch instantly between macOS and another operating system without having to restart your Mac. Since Parallels achieves this feat by creating a virtual machine that emulates a Windows compatible PC, it is able to run Windows 11 on Apple Silicon M1 and M2 as well as older Macs that use Intel processors.
NB : Parallels Desktop installs the ARM version of Windows 11 on M1 and M2 Macs, which may cause compatibility issues with some applications. Apps with genuine Windows 11 ARM builds usually don’t have issues, many other apps work too, but some don’t.
If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Also check out this guide if you want to know how to install apps on your Mac.