Parallels 16.5 Can Virtualize ARM Windows Natively on M1 Macs With Up to 30% Faster Performance

Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs.

parallels windows 10 arm mac
Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared to a 2019 model 15-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, and Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics. Parallels also indicates that on an M1 Mac, Parallels Desktop 16.5 uses 2.5x less energy than on the latest Intel-based MacBook Air.

Microsoft does not yet offer a retail version of ARM-based Windows, with the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview available on Microsoft's website for Windows Insider program members. The ability to run macOS Big Sur in a virtual machine is a feature that Parallels hopes to add support for in Parallels Desktop later this year as well.

Anyone with a Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac license can get an automatic update to Parallels Desktop 16.5 at no additional cost. Otherwise, one-time or subscription-based pricing options are listed on the Parallels Desktop product page, with Parallels currently offering 10% off most license configurations with code 2KQ-PTG-DYZ.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Paralles. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Top Rated Comments

Cheesehead Dave Avatar
10 months ago

I don't get the appeal.
If you need to run virtualized Windows, it's most likely you have a x86 application dependability. Windows 10 ARM will only execute x86 apps from the Windows store.
Here's my M1 MacBook Air, using Parallels to virtualize the ARM version of Windows 10, which is emulating an x86 version of an app that’s further emulating a PlayStation 2.

Attachment Image
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
10 months ago

Can you not run windows 10 x86 normal iso under this on m1
No - it's virtualisation, not emulation
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
10 months ago
I wrote an article on Microsoft Community about how setup the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview in the Parallels Desktop Preview on M1; the article got over 15k in views and Microsoft promptly deleted it. So, I suspect they don’t condone this.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
10 months ago

Can someone explain why it's impossible to emulate x86 on an M1 processor? VirtualPC was able to do it on a PowerPC processor.
Nobody said it’s impossible.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GubbyMan Avatar
10 months ago
Now I wanna see a comparison between the M1 Macbook Air and a Windows laptop running x86 applications.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
10 months ago



Here's my M1 MacBook Air, using Parallels to virtualize the ARM version of Windows 10, which is emulating an x86 version of an app that’s further emulating a PlayStation 2.
Otherwise known as the matryoshka rig.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mac mini macbook pro macbook air m1

Parallels 16 for M1 Macs Now Available Through Technical Preview Program

Thursday December 17, 2020 10:55 am PST by
Parallels today began informing customers about the launch of a new Parallels Desktop 16 for M1 Mac Technical Preview Program, which is available today. The software cannot run an Intel x86-based OS, and requires an Arm-based operating system installation image. Microsoft is offering a version of Arm-based Windows that's available through the Windows Insider program that will run on M1 Macs ...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

PSA: macOS Big Sur 11.3 Includes Colorful New Wallpapers Designed for M1 iMac

Thursday May 6, 2021 11:44 am PDT by
Apple in macOS Big Sur 11.3 introduced a series of colorful wallpapers that are designed specifically for the M1 iMac, but you can unearth them and download them on any Mac with a few quick instructions. These are the wallpapers that have been used in Apple's marketing materials for the 24-inch iMac, with different colored lines and patterns available for each iMac color. To get to these...
microsoft surface book x

Microsoft Brings x64 Emulation to Windows on Arm PCs

Friday December 11, 2020 11:43 am PST by
Microsoft today announced the first preview of x64 emulation for Arm PCs, with the feature now available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. That means Windows users who have Arm PCs like the Surface Pro X can now install apps that have not been ported to Arm64. When we first launched Windows 10 on ARM in late 2017, the long tail of apps customers needed were dominated by 32-bit-only x86...
macbook air deals

Deals: Save Up to $79 on Apple's M1 MacBook Air, Starting at $949 for 256GB

Wednesday April 7, 2021 6:10 am PDT by
Today you can get the 256GB M1 MacBook Air for $949.00, down from $999.00. We've seen this model go down to around $899.00, but those sales have been infrequent in 2021. Today's discount is the best around online and the best we've tracked in a few months. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Deals: Apple's 512GB M1 MacBook Pro Hits New Low Price of $1,349.99 ($149 Off)

Wednesday March 10, 2021 11:16 am PST by
Amazon today has Apple's M1 13-inch MacBook Pro (512GB) for a new lowest-ever price of $1,349.99, down from $1,499.00. This price will be reflected at the checkout screen on Amazon after an automatic coupon worth $49.01 is applied. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
apple transporter

Apple Transporter and Microsoft Remote Desktop Gain Native M1 Mac Support

Thursday April 15, 2021 3:18 am PDT by
Apple has updated its Transporter app for developers with native support for Apple silicon Macs, while Microsoft has done the same for its Remote Desktop app. The Transporter app lets developers drag and drop binaries for quick upload to App Store Connect and easily view details like progress, warnings, errors, and delivery history. The added support for Apple silicon means developers...
m1 mac mini screen

Deals: Amazon Slashes M1 Mac Mini to New Low Prices, Starting at $599.99 for 256GB ($99 Off)

Friday May 21, 2021 10:52 am PDT by
Amazon today is offering the 2020 M1 Mac mini in both 256GB and 512GB storage options for new lowest-ever prices. Both of these sales will be seen at the checkout screen on Amazon, after an automatic coupon is applied to your order. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
nomad 20 percent off exlusive 5

Exclusive Deals: Take 20% Off Sitewide at Nomad This Week

Thursday May 6, 2021 8:14 am PDT by
We're partnering up with Nomad again this week to offer our readers a chance to save 20 percent on most full-priced products across Nomad's entire website, using the code MACRUMORS. This sitewide sale will last through Sunday, May 9th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Nomad. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...