OS X Mountain Lion Kills Parallels 6

It seems I am unable to perform at least one Mac OS X upgrade without finding some major faults. This morning, Apple released OS X Mountain Lion, and like its predecessors, there was at least one show-stopping problem following installation – namely, that Parallels Desktop 6 no longer works.

Following installation of OS X Mountain Lion, upon startup, Parallels Desktop 6 shows the following message:

The only known solution at this time is to upgrade to Parallels 7 for $50.

Official Response

Parallels has posted a response on their website

A Senior Member of the Parallels team, whose username is YanaYana, has replied in the Parallels forum that although Parallels Desktop 6 will be continued to be supported for years to come, this does not include making it work on OS X Mountain Lion. The Parallels representative also commented that select users were offered a free upgrade to Parallels Desktop 7 for a short period when OS X Lion came out, although many users have commented they were not notified of the offer.

Abandoning Parallels

One user hit the nail on the head when they wrote “Is it worth to pay $50 more for a $20 OS upgrade?”. In fact, I have decided that unless Parallels fixes this issue or offers me an upgrade, I will not be purchasing a Parallels product ever again as a form of protest. After all, there are plenty of alternatives, such as VMware and VirtualBox, which I would rather use.

Update [07/26/2012]: As one user on the forum noticed by reviewing the Google cache, Parallels, Inc recently changed it’s policy to exclude Parallels Desktop 6 from working in OS X Mountain Lion: Knowledgebase article. See if you can spot the difference between the previous and current version of the page:



Looking at older versions of the article shows that it had been active for months with the Parallels Desktop 6 text. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest a user could have purchased Parallels Desktop 6 in the last year, believing it would work with OS X Mountain Lion. This smells of bait-and-switch tactics. Perhaps it is time for a class action suit?

79 thoughts on “OS X Mountain Lion Kills Parallels 6

  1. I love how YanaYana, when informing users they needed to spend $50 on 7, indicated Parallels Desktop 8 would be out soon. So, spend $50 now for 7 and another $50 when 8 comes out… genius.

  2. well lets not forget apples hand in the whole scam, trying to get us away from the pc world while not providing adequate replacements. of course parallels is trying to rob us blind at every turn they cant afford to be weak and compassionate in front of the sharks in the water

  3. Shame on you, Parallels.

    Set the record straight and fix this mess without further unneccessary delay.

  4. Injust got my iMac w/ parallels desktop 6 in March. This really makes me mad that I have to pay for Parallels 7 because of I upgrade to Mountain Lion.

  5. I won’t be using Parallels again and will make sure that any retail sites I find will have a review to reflect that.

    Rip off merchants

  6. Feels like I just bought v6 of PD (Nov 2011), and now I need to shell out another $50 to use it on Mac OS 10.8? WTF?

  7. I will never ever buy any product from Parallels again. I paid full price for parallels 6 about 1.5 years ago and should now pay 50 EUR again. This is the worst customer experience ever. I can only recommend not to buy any product of them. Next time Apple updates their fabulous OS, you will be asked to spend 50 EUR again… Mountain Lion did cost me 15 EUR – now i need a new parallel version that would cost me 50 EUR – almost 4 times the price of Mountain Lion. NO NO NO NO. All other software runs fine under Mountain Lion – only Parallels 6 doesn’t.

  8. I can only echo the sentiments expressed above already – I am yet another reluctant Parallels user seriously considering an alternative product..

  9. For those of you who are facing an unwanted upgrade to Parallels Desktop 7, I just thought I’d mention that, on Snow Leopard at least, I found my VMs to perform much better under 7 than they did under 6 on the same system. YMMV and all that, but the upgrade was worth it for me.

  10. I realize Parallels has gotta make money to pay for development, but I’m pretty PO’d about the way they’ve handled this. It would be one thing if V7 had compelling new features, but most of what I’ve read indicates that it’s very incremental for an upgrade.

    To be fair, Apple also bears some of the blame because the 10.8 upgrade could have and should have let me know that Parallels was going to break BEFORE revamping my system (and charging my credit card), so that I could have made an informed decision. Now I’m stuck without VM access and very ticked off.

  11. Is it just me, or is Parallels the ONLY application in my Hard Drive folder named “Incompatible Software”?
    Skype works fine. Firefox and Google are OK. Toast is good. Graphic Converter, DVD Cloner, etc., etc.
    Funny. Parallels is the only don’t work I have.

  12. any way to at least recover files. my old bank records, quicken, etc; apple should have had compatibility software. i’m pissed..!

  13. I will never buy another Parallels product. It shows they don’t have the resources maintain their products and are eager to earn another buck on “the latest and greatest”. There are other options. Oracle VM VirtualBox is FREE. This is poor on Apple as well. A compatibility mode should be available.

  14. I ran into the same problem only I am running version 7! Maybe it was because I upgraded from 6, but the install of OS 10.8 killed Parallels v7 for me! Bummer!

  15. I want to add my voice to everyone else’s. This policy by parallels essentially means that I will never buy their product again.

    I don’t mind paying a compatibility fee (let’s say $5 or something) for whatever effort required to make Parallels Desktop 6 compatible with Mountain Lion. Otherwise, they should just be completely transparent and tell people upfront how long they plan to support their software.

  16. @Andrew: I guess you just need to update your P7. If you download the latest P7 install from the Parallels website you should be back in the game.

    I bought P6 about 10 month ago, was spammed with “Upgrade offers” for a version which biggest change is the version number. I certainly won’t spend another 50$. Bye Bye Parallels.

    If you think about: Even if they would change their mind right now, the shitstorm would continue as many customers accepted the “generous” offer of 10$ discount (after speaking with a call center located in India or Usbekistan) as they need access to their VM.

  17. I am really frustrated that they are charging almost 4 times the cost of the OS upgrade. I doubt i’m going to shell out $50 just to use parallels. Sorry, parallels no more upgrades from you.

  18. Parallels, you SUCK! A few months ago I updated to 6, and now do I have to update and pay again????? NOOOO way

  19. I am also going to leave Lion and by the way any possibility to use parallels desktop. 50 euros to be able to continue to use a product I have bought, this is racketeering.
    I am also going to download virtualbox and I will never give a cent anymore to this company. Shame on them!

  20. You have no respect for your customers ! I bought a $79 license for Parallels 6 and a couple of months later I was “Invited” to upgrade for an extra $49 fee. That is absolutely rude considering that Parallels 6 was not fully functional in Lion. Now it is absolutely broken in Mountain Lion, and all you can say is that Lion and Mountain Lion has ” a lot of changes” ? Well it is ok if you are building a newer version, and you don’t want to suppor the old one, many of us are developers too, and we know what it takes, but it is unacceptable to keep up buying new versions of your software every time we need to upgrade to a new version of the OS to support our own apps over Mac OS. This is absolutely no way of treating customers, and we, the developers are the ones being hit hard with your idiotic policy.

    Thanks for nothing Parallels. I won’t buy another version of your software, and will probably strongly disencourage any one considering so.

  21. I just got bit by this – are you serious? This is a joke. +1 for virtualbox – I just can’t believe my $79 is down the tubes unless I chase it with more money.

  22. Thank you for this article – I felt I was the only one who was feeling Parallels commercial strategies were not being fair with customers. I received a “promotional” email from Parallels yesterday saying that I would have to pay $49 in order to upgrade to 7, and I would be able to upgrade to 8 *IF* it gets released in 6 months. Not only this is obscene; when I purchased Parallels 6, just a few months before they released 7, they haven’t offered me the upgrade for free; actually they offered a bigger discount if would use my VMWare Fusion serial code than if I upgraded from 6.
    I’m switching back to VMWare Fusion.

  23. Shame on you Parallels! I’m uninstalling your product now and won’t be installing anytime soon!!!

  24. **** you, Parallels. This caught me totally by surprise, and of course on a day during which I need my VM badly – but no, I’m not going to be blackmailed into spending $50. I will never buy a Parallels product again.

  25. I too have just installed Mountain Lion and I find all my software works except Parallels 6. Well to hell with Parallels. I will not be purchasing it ever again. I have purchased it twice in the last 2 years … full price for 5 then an upgrade for $49 for 6 … less than a year ago and now they want another bunch of money. No way I say. I’ll try something else or not bother with Windblows on my Mac Book Pro.

  26. I too have found myself without access to my VM. That means access to all my bookkeeping is now gone. It also looks like I’ll have to buy Parallels, reinstall Windows and reinstall QuickBooks Pro. I bought Parallels 5, then 7 months later they told me I should upgrade to 6, since it was way faster (it was), and now I have to upgrade again? Forget you Parallels. I’m moving on.

  27. I tried to convert the existing parallels 6 VM’s but ran into trouble when running latest VMware fusion. Long story short, I decided to google for parallels vs vmware and found a link on parallels website that gives you the parallels 7 UPGRADE for half price at $29.99 if you enter a vmware fusion license key!!! So heres what I did:

    – Download the vmware fusion trial. Get the license key.
    – Entered the license key in http://www.parallels.com/landingpage/dskd81/?source=g_row&gclid=CKfQu_KEwLECFYhMpgodHQwAaA

    I know it still costs but I had to do this because I did not want to loose my programs etc on my existing XP VM.

    Hope this helps.

  28. I completely agree and echo all of the sentiments above. The majority of the software development world were able to work with Apple and produce software which is compatible with Mountain Lion…this is clearly a “bonus bonanza” for Parallels and one I certainly wont be paying them. It is a totally disrespectful approach to client who like myself have been with them for a number of years. I am already making the point of looking for alternatives just based upon making a point. We are after all supposed to be important to them but clearly this is not the case 🙁

  29. It was a long morning, but finally I have eliminated any trace of the parallels 6 from my macbook. Now virtualBox already is working very well, for free …
    bye bye paralells.

  30. Speaking as a developer myself (no affiliation with Parallels), I understand the financial ouch, but 2 things come to mind: Why would somebody upgrade to 6 when 7 is already out, and why would somebody expect non-current software to be updated to support a new OS? PD7 was released almost a year ago. It’s unreasonable to think that new features would be added to PD6 at this point.

    Yes, if PD6 didn’t work natively on ML, then adding that support is adding a feature. It’s kinda like expecting Ford to add shoulder harnesses to a ’67 Mustang because you paid good money for that car when it was new and it should have the same features as newer Mustangs.

    That said, from some of the comments here it appears that Parallels allowed some users to upgrade to PD6 without them being aware that ML wouldn’t be supported. If that’s the case, then game on; they’ve serious grounds to complain. Parallels had access to the MLDP early on and their upgrade documentation should have been updated accordingly.

  31. You want to be a successful, profitable business and you have rationalized that alienating your customers and leaving them in a lurch with an inoperable version of your software on Mountain Lion makes sense. Whatever marketing person, CFO, etc, that made this decision, you should hand in your resignation now. Screwing your customers is wrong. You can’t justify it. Make v6 work with Mountain Lion. Good will lost will never be regained.

  32. WTF all I want to do now is access my windows files so that I can delete and forget PD forever!

  33. Today I installed OS X Mountain Lion, but not only the parallels desktop 6 don’t work! A have a many good apps that unworkable, such as the VOX Player, Plants vs Zombies v1 game etc. Apple just want to pump out our money!

  34. Pingback: Parallels 6 and Mountain Lion, a lesson in bad customer service | mmikkel.no

  35. 50$???? This is joke… I dream to remove 4ever Parallels & MS Windows from my MBP.
    Parallels shame on you!

  36. This does not make sense to pay $20 for ML OS X & Pay $50 for Parallels. $50 is not too much but why such games with consumers? It is time to say good bye to Parallels & Windows. MAC users can very well live without them.

  37. I reflect the same feels as everyone here. I was already jaded when they wanted me to pay $50 just to upgrade to 7. Then only to have this happen. I was NOT notified of free update. VirtualBox here I come.

  38. This is just a disgrace! I will NEVER buy Parallels again or anything that company sells. Cheers Parallels, may you go bankrupt ASAP.

    Hello VirtualBox!

  39. I upgraded to ML 2 days and was unable to work because the parallels have stopped working. I find it absurd to have to pay $ 50 forcefully. All resolved with the installation of VirtualBox. Bye Parallels

  40. I have used parallels 6 with windows 7, on Mac
    computer for over 2 years, because of the way parallels has abused its fans, I think I will not be using windows or parallels again.

  41. Apple are as much to blame…not even a warning regarding which software wont work post upgrade. As for Parallels….guys, you suck. Period. BAD mistake…$20 for ML…FIFTY BUCKS for parallels?!! Are you mental? There goes all your customer loyalty. Idiots.


    [SOLUTION REMOVED: We do not condone solutions that are illegal in nature. While we may be disappointed with Parallels, that does not give anyone the right to steal their product.]

  43. i got caught out too, and i’m never buying a parallels product again either. i’m still annoyed at their claim that it would run windows like windows, as wordperfect was always crashing, and games ran in a 6 inch window while claiming to be full-screen. back to boot camp; i only need a few documents in wordperfect anyway.

  44. I will never buy a product from Paralles again. I have 6000 friends who use their product, and will be sure that none of them use the product again. There are better alternative products, unless they give us Free upgrade to vs 7.

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