Review: Parallels Desktop 16 – The Powerhouse of VM

Whatever your reason for needing a Virtual Machine on your Mac, Parallels Desktop 16 will be a great investment. From easily converting a Boot Camp partition into a VM, to having quick access to Windows Only software, Parallels Desktop does it all. 

Parallels Desktop 16 has added over 30 new features with up to 20% faster DirectX enhanced graphics support, and improved OpenGL 3 to run apps and games better than ever before! When working in this new Parallels Desktop, users can select the type of productivity needed, and Parallels will optimize the VM settings and performance automatically without needing any manual adjustments. This includes better optimization for full scaled 3D games, software development, design, software testing and basic productivity. Parallels Desktop 16 will put more focus on the performance demands and resources to better support the level of power needed for your individual needs. If the workflow changes, this can be adjusted in each VM’s configuration under “General” and modifying “Configuration for:”

Boot times have sped up as well. Parallels Desktop 16 application itself will boot up to two times faster, and it will resume or quit Windows up to 20% faster. This is a significant difference from previous versions and very noticeable. It is also optimized for the latest Windows 10 updates, and stays current, so users are never waiting around for fixes.

Knowing Apple’s MacOS Big Sur 11.0 is right around the corner, Parallels has already optimized version 16 to support its many changes. This includes creating Virtual Machines running Big Sur, and powering applications like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Apple Maps, and many others inside the VM environment. Parallels Desktop 16 is able to achieve this by using System Extensions that are natively part of MacOS by default. This makes MacOS Big Sur the very first Metal graphics acceleration in a VM ever! This is a HUGE leap forward.

Battery and Storage Space Efficiency

Battery Life has increased up to 10% while using less energy running Parallels Desktop 16 on the go. This new feature is found in the quick actions popup in your Mac dock and selecting “Enter Travel Mode”

Automatic Reclaim is a fast and efficient way to free up storage space in the VM. Temporary disk space is used by software during past sessions that can be deleted and reclaimed. This wasted area can also be from apps that have been deleted or updated and now uses less disk space. 

More New Features

A lot of the new features are based on common used procedures from either Mac, Windows or Linux that we probably found alternative workarounds. We now can use these directly in Parallels Desktop 16.

Some of these include:

  • Printing directly from Windows VM on both paper sides and in different formats.
  • Full integration of Office 365 – This will allow Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint documents to open natively in the Windows Office app directly from Safari.
  • Retina Display Support for even greater detail.
  • Smart resizing and independent screen resolutions for separate displays.
  • One-Click Tuning – This feature was explained in more detail above.
  • Many one-touch tools for cleaning your drive, taking screenshots, downloading videos, etc. all with just a single click.
  • Launch and access Windows applications right from the Mac Dock.
  • Remote access to your Mac from any iOS device, Android device or browser with Parallels Access®
  • Virtual machine encryption
  • MacOS guest support
  • Auto-detect games keyboard
  • Express installation of Windows 10
  • MacBook Touch Bar support
  • Parallels Toolbox Bonus with Subscription.

Final Thoughts

Parallels Desktop has been around for a long time. The company started back in 1999 and released the very first mainstream Windows and Linux virtualization to Macintosh computers in 2006. This hardware emulation virtualization software was the first of its kind and used the (at that time) all new Intel Mac processors to harness the power and place a fully installed Virtual Machine running inside Mac OS X. Since then, Parallels Desktop has come a long way from that first announcement to the world. They have improved their software in every direction possible and made the needed changes and enhancements to speed up the individual workflow for its vast audience. 

If you are looking for a fast and stable way to run another OS on your Mac without restarting, Parallels Desktop 16 is an outstanding choice!

Parallels Desktop has a few different choices for obtaining a license.

  • For Home and Student Use – A New License is priced at $79.99 or $49.99 for an Upgrade. 
  • Parallels Desktop Pro Edition – $99.99/year
  • Parallels Desktop Business Edition – $99.99/year

All Licenses can be purchased directly from

About Author
Bruce is a seasoned tech reviewer with a passion for exploring the latest gadgets and innovations. With years of experience testing and reviewing technology products, Bruce has become a trusted voice in the tech industry.