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Windows 11 is officially supported on M1 and M2 Macs with Parallels

Published Feb 17th, 2023 12:00PM EST
Windows 11
Image: Microsoft

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If you’ve been wanting to use Windows 11 on your Apple silicon — in an officially supported way — that day has finally arrived!

Microsoft has announced that it has partnered with Parallels to bring Windows 11 to Apple silicon Macs using the company’s virtualization software. Now, Mac users with an M1 and M2 processor will be able to install Windows 11 on their machines using Parallels.

In an update on its support website, Microsoft says that “Parallels® Desktop version 18 is an authorized solution for running Arm® versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise in a virtual environment on its platform on Apple M1 and M2 computers.” However, while Windows 11 will run on those machines, you won’t get the full Windows 11 experience. The company notes that “the Arm version of Windows 11 has limitations that can impact your ability to use various types of hardware, games, and apps, including those that rely on DirectX 12 or OpenGL3.3 or greater.”

While the core Windows 11 experience will run, there definitely are some omissions, specifically that Android apps and DirectX 12, which powers gaming on Windows PCs, are not supported through the virtualization software. Below is a full list of what is not supported:

  • Windows Subsystem for Android, which enables your Windows 11 device to run Android applications that are available in the Amazon Appstore
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux, which enables a GNU/Linux environment on Windows 11
  • Windows Sandbox, a lightweight desktop environment to safely run applications in isolation
  • Virtualization-based Security (VBS), which enables customers to create and isolate a secure region of memory from the normal operating system
  • DirectX 12, a suite of multimedia technologies frequently used in Windows games and other apps, is not supported
  • 32-bit Arm apps available from the Store in Windows are not supported by Mac computers with M1 and M2 chips…customers can also use apps in x64 or x86 emulation on Mac M1 and M2 computers. 

Parallels 18 is available now and starts at $99.99 for a one-time purchase or up to $149.99 per year for its premium versions. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to purchase a copy of Windows 11 in addition to Parallels. Windows 11 Home edition costs $139 and the Pro edition costs $199.

The news comes a couple of weeks after third-party widgets started to arrive on Windows 11 from companies like Meta and Spotify.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.