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Parallels is a virtualisation software which can virtualize an operating system such as Windows 11 ARM on macOS.
- On November 10, 2020, a free version of Parallels 16 was made available in the form of a Technical Preview which allows users to install Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview onto M1 Macs, and some games became playable such as Half-Life 2 and Fallout 2.
- On April 14, 2021, Parallels released version 16.5 which offered increased support for M1 Macs, and made a license requirement and also offered a 14 day free trial.
- On August 10, 2021, Parallels released version 17 with improved performance.
Install Windows 11 on M1 Mac through Parallels
There is no Windows 11 ARM VHDX file, therefore the Windows 10 ARM VHDX file is required first, and then it can be upgraded to Windows 11 ARM.
|Windows 10 ARM installation instructions|
After this first stage is completed it is then possible to upgrade to Windows 11. There are several methods.
|Windows Insider Program upgrade|
This option is available for some early Windows Insider Program members:
|UUDP ISO download|
At first, the initial build of Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview only supports applications which are native to ARM, and many applications will be 'greyed out' or the 'install button' won't be enabled, or there is a 'side-by-side configuration is incorrect' error message. This is due to the fact that x64 applications were not supported.
On December 10, 2020, Microsoft released Windows 10 Inside Preview Build 21277 which enabled x64 emulation, which substantially increased the compatibility of games PC games such as Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 3.
|Enable Dev channel|
- Many of these optimisations come from this reddit post and will dramatically increase gaming performance, for example stuttering on Overwatch.
- It is recommended to create a Parallels 'Snapshot' before applying any further customisations, especially the Powershell changes.
- Allocate 50% of the CPU cores (for M1 this means 4 cores total) and 50% of the RAM (for 8GB Mac allocate 4GB, for 16GB Mac allocate 8 GB), the virtual machine guest operating system can only make use of 50% of the resources of the host computer
- Install ParkControl into Windows and disable everything and enable Bitsum Dynamic Boost
- Open Task Manager - press Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Esc, More details, click the Startup tab and ensure all launchers are disabled
- Open Device Manager - press Start and then type Device Manager, open System devices and find Parallels Memory Controller and uninstall (this can be reversed by reinstalling Parallels Tools)
Chris Tech script
- Currently using any part of this script will cause internet access to be disabled, we are looking for a fix.
Use Chris Titus Tech debloat script to disable services and make Windows use fewer resources:
- Press ⊞ Win and then type Powershell, then right-click onn Powershell and click Run as administrator
- Paste in Chris' command:
iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://git.io/JJ8R4'))
- Essential Tweaks
- Action Center
- Background Apps
- Visual FX
- Windows Search
- Security - Low
- Windows Update - Security Updates Only
- Follow first 4 steps of #Essential start
- Disable visual effects - press Start and then type Advanced System Settings, then under Performance click Visual Effects and select Best Performance and apply - (optional) select Advanced tab and under Virtual Memory click change, uncheck automatic paging and select No Paging File and Set - this may affect games differently
- Disable Defender - go to Windows Defender settings and disable Tamper Protection, then click Start and type Local Grop Policy, go to Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Microsoft Defender Antvirus, Enable "Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus" and reboot
- If Defender is disabled then consider isolating Windows from the macOS host - on the Mac open Parallels, Control Center, click settings of the virtual machine, click Security and enable Isolate Windows from Mac
- Warning: this script disables GUI - it will be very difficult to re-enable services again. Not recommended unless you know how to tinker with Windows services and Powershell intimately. Please make a new snapshot in Parallels Control Center so that changes can be easily reverted.
- Powershell - press ⊞ Win and type Powershell, then right-lick and click Run as administrator, type the script
set-executionpolicy unrestrictedand enter
- Download the stripwindows.ps1 script. This script is designed to run Overwatch automatically after Parllels is run, and it also disables GUI and other Window services.
- Once the file is downloaded into the Desktop, you can run the command from Powershell
cd ~/Desktopand then
.\stripwindows.ps1- this will restart the virtual machine and then automatically launch Overwatch if it has been installed in the default directory.
Flickering textures or invisible objects
This fix affects several games including:
- Parallels WORKS on M1 Mac Tutorial - Windows 10 Gaming Test on Apple Silicon ARM - YouTube - last accessed on 2020-12-18
- Here's how you can try Windows 11 on your PC, even if Microsoft says you can't - last accessed on 2021-08-11
- Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21277 - last accessed on 2021-04-01
- Parallels Advanced Gaming Setup M1 Apple Silicon - Windows 21277 x64 Emulation, DirectX, Controllers - last accessed on 2020-12-26
- Windows 10 ARM Lite for Overwatch - Guide/Script : macgaming - last accessed on 2021-06-22
- Certain Games that I launch in Parallels have invisible objects and objects that flicker - last accessed on 2021-05-16