How to open VMware virtual machine in Parallels Desktop for Mac

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Parallels Desktop iconParallels Desktop for Mac is a popular virtualization software for Mac OS X much like VMware is on Windows platform. However, Parallels and VMware use their own virtual disk formats and configuration files, that are not compatible with each other.

If you need to run your existing VMware virtual machines in Parallels read these short instructions down bellow.

These instructions are working for Parallels Desktop version 6 and 7. Older versions use the Parallels Transport utility to convert third party virtual machines to Parallels format. The current version no longer has this feature and it is only able to transport data from computer to virtual machine.

How to open and run VMware virtual machine in Parallels Desktop for Mac

Step 1 - Add a new virtual machine in Parallels Desktop on your Mac computer

Start Parallels Desktop in your Mac and select File  New... menu option, which will start Parallels Wizard as you can see on the screenshot below.

Parallels Desktop Wizard

Select Add Existing Virtual Machine option and click on Continue button.

Step 2 - Convert VMware virtual machine to Parallels Desktop

In the next window (Open) browse to the folder where your VMware virtual machines are stored and select the VMware configuration file (.vmx file extension) you want to load and click on Open button.

Parallels Desktop open .vmx file window

Parallels Desktop should now show an information window about the upcoming conversion. Click on the Convert button and select folder, where you want to store your new Parallels virtual machine.

Parallels Desktop VMware virtual machine converting

Step 3 - Start new Parallels virtual machine

Wait until the program finishes the conversion of VMware virtual machine to Parallels Desktop format (using .pvm file extension) and you can start to work in the converted machine right away.

Parallels Desktop start virtual machine window

Parallels Desktop also supports mounting of VMware virtual disk hard drives (.vmdk file extension) to Mac OS X system. Open Finder → go to the directory, where the *.vmdk file is stored and double click on it. Parallels Desktop will mount *.vmdk as a removable storage device to the system and you can work with data stored on virtual machine disk.

Related software and links:

Parallels Desktop for Mac icon

Parallels Desktop for Mac    Apple macOS / Mac OS X platform
Mac version of the popular virtualization software

VMware Workstation icon

VMware Workstation    Microsoft Windows platform
VMware Workstation is application used to create computer virtual machines in one hosting operating system.


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Related file extensions

hdd - Parallels Desktop or Workstation virtual hard disk

pvm - Parallels Desktop virtual machine

vmdk - VMware virtual disk

vmx - VMware configuration file

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