Make the most of Mac multitasking

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Hands-on: Windows on Mac with Parallels 13

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Then launch it and click the blue "New" button in the toolbar to create a new virtual machine. Give it a name like "Windows 10" and choose your operating system from the list—like Windows 10 bit. If you aren't sure whether you're using or bit Windows, read this —but there's a good chance you're using bit. Next, you'll need to allocate resources to your virtual machine—like RAM and hard drive space. More is better, but remember, the more you give Windows, the less you'll have for macOS when you're running both in tandem, so try to strike a balance. As long as you stay within the green bar for RAM and choose a Dynamically Allocated disk, you should have enough leeway.

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Once installed, select the virtual machine in the sidebar and click the "Settings" button in the toolbar. But in order to install Windows, you'll need to go to the Storage tab and load the ISO you downloaded earlier. Click OK when done. Now click the big green Start button in the toolbar, and you're off to the races. VirtualBox will launch the Windows installer, and you can set it up just as if it were on a new PC.

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Your virtual hard disk will be empty, so you'll have to choose "Custom Install" when prompted, and select your hard drive and click "New" to format it. This will give you shared folders, better video support, and other handy integrations. You'll even be able to run applications in their own window on your Mac desktop using Seamless Mode, accessible from VirtualBox's "View" menu.

If you like the idea of virtualizing Windows but VirtualBox feels a bit too technical, or you want more features—like the ability to virtualize your Boot Camp partition —Parallels is a fantastic way to run Windows on your Mac. Install it on your Mac, and start it up. If you already have a Boot Camp partition, it'll ask if you want to use that as your Windows installation.

If not, you can just click the "Install Windows" button, and Parallels will do all the heavy lifting for you—downloading, installing, and preparing Windows.

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Just sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and in a little while, you'll be dumped onto the Windows desktop. You'll have to create a Parallels account in order to use the virtual machine, but once you've done so, you can click around Windows, install programs, and use it as normal. You can adjust Parallels' resource allocation in its settings if you feel Windows needs more RAM or CPU than Parallels has provided , or click on its menu bar icon to enter "Coherence Mode," where you can launch Windows apps in their own window on your Mac desktop.

When it comes to ease of use, Parallels is definitely worth the money. Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years.

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As you hold the button, the window shrinks and you can drag it to the left or right side of the screen. Release the button, then click another window to begin using both windows side by side.


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  4. Work in Split View In Split View, you can use both apps side by side, without the distraction of other apps. Swap window positions by dragging a window to the other side.