Windows 11 on ARM on Apple M1 Macs isn’t officially supported, says Microsoft

Laurent Giret

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If Mac users can already run Windows 11 in a virtual machine thanks to Parallels Desktop, Microsoft announced this week that its upcoming OS won’t be officially supported on M1 Macs. In a statement to The Register, the company said that running Windows 11 on an M1 Mac in Parallels Desktop is not “a supported scenario.”

Parallels Desktop 17 has been marketed as being “ready for Windows 11,” and it’s already possible to use the virtualization software to install Windows 11 preview versions on both Intel and M1-based Macs. The Parallels team did some work to deliver full compatibility with Windows 11 in Parallels Desktop 17, adding a virtual TPM 2.0 module in the app to allow Mac users to easily update an existing Windows 10 VM to Windows 11.

Now that Microsoft released ISOs for Windows 11 and Windows 11 on ARM, creating a Windows 11 virtual machine with Parallels Desktop for Mac is even easier (here’s how). Parallels also fixed issues preventing users from joining the Windows Insider Dev and Beta channels in Parallels Desktop 17.0.1, though it’s still not clear if what Microsoft not officially supporting Windows 11 on Macs means for Parallels Desktop users going forward.

Microsoft recently announced that users installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware may not receive updates via Windows Update, including important security updates. It remains to be seen if Microsoft is really going to leave these Windows 11 installations in an unsupported state, but Microsoft has recently started pushing Windows 11 testers on unsupported PCs to reinstall Windows 10. We’ve reached out to Parallels to get more details about the situation, but in the meantime, Parallels Desktop 17 still remains the way to go for running Windows 11 on Macs.