If you’d like run Windows 11 on a Mac that includes an M3 chip, you can now officially do so: Microsoft has authorized Parallels Desktop as the app that can run Arm versions of Windows 11 (both Pro and Enterprise versions).
In fact, Appleinsider wrote that according to an updated support document from Microsoft, “all three M-series generations are now authorized to run ARM versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise via Parallels Desktop 18 and 19.” (Appleinsider said that ARM versions of Windows 11 were already authorized by Microsoft to run on Parallels Desktop for M1 and M2 Macs in 2023.)
Parallels Desktop lets you run Windows 11 for Arm on Apple’s M3 Macs
According to the Mircosoft support document, you can use Parallels Desktop version 18 and 19 as authorized solutions “for running Arm® versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise in a virtual environment on its platform on Apple M1, M2, and M3 computers.”
In 2023, we gave a Parallels Desktop 19 high scores as a virtualizing app: Our reviewer wrote, “I’ve been amazed at how well it can run certain games at full speed, such as Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. It’s a game that’s never come to the Mac, yet I’ve been able to play it as if I’ve bought it from the Mac App Store, thanks to Parallels.”
But it’s not perfect for all use cases: The support document also notes that there are limitations to using this Arm version of Windows 11, which “can impact your ability to use various types of hardware, games, and apps, including those that rely on DirectX 12, a suite of multimedia technologies frequently used in Windows games and other apps.” It also noted that “experiences that depend on an additional layer of virtualization (nested virtualization) are not supported.”
Appleinsider also stated that “each piece of hardware and virtual machine will need its own unique Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise license.”
A subscription for Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac starts at $99.99 a year.