How to extend Parallels capabilities for free

ParallelsA few weeks ago I wrote about how impressed I’ve been with Parallels. The other day I discovered an incredibly easy way to make Parallels twice as useful as it already is, for free. All you have to do it go to the “Actions” menu in Parallels and select “Download Parallels Tools”.

Parallels Tools Menu

Parallels Tools is a collection of little utilities that vastly improve the performance of Parallels and make it generally much quicker and easier to use. The installation of Parallels Tools takes no more than a few minutes although you have to restart Parallels for it to take effect.

Amongst others, there are 3 major benefits of installing Parallel Tools are:

1. Instant OS switching

You can switch from MAC OS to Parallels without touching the keyboard. Just moving the mouse into Parallels activates it automatically – no more pressing “Ctrl-Alt” to change between Windows and Mac OS.

2. Hardware Acceleration

If you’ve been having problems with your mouse moving slowly or sluggishly, it’s simply because Windows is not using all of the hardware acceleration capabilities available on your Mac. Parallels Tools instantly solves this.

3. Folder sharing

Although by default Parallels does allow you to access files on your Mac hard drive, you have to specify this when you originally installed Windows and it’s more complicated to do after that. Parallels Tools instantly allows you to instantly access all your files on your Mac. In addition, you can use items on your Mac clipboard within Windows which makes cutting and pasting between the two operating systems simple.

The only question I have is why weren’t Parallels Tools included in Parallels by default. They’re so useful, it seems a crime not to!


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