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Unveiling the 10 Best VM Software for Mac: In-depth Comparison and Review

Unveiling the 10 Best VM Software for Mac: In-depth Comparison and Review

Parallels Desktop


Coming in at number one, Parallels Desktop is a top-notch VM software for Mac. Not only does it offer impressive macOS integration, but it also has a strong reputation among users. 👌

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Seamless macOS integration
  • Strong user reputation

🥺 Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Consumes significant system resources

VMware Fusion


VMware Fusion is another excellent choice, boasting compatibility with a wide range of operating systems. It’s a tried-and-true option for many. 🌐

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Wide OS compatibility
  • Reliable performance

🥺 Cons

  • Complex setup process
  • Requires substantial disk space



For those on a tight budget, VirtualBox is the best free VM software for Mac. It’s open-source and boasts a robust development community. 👨‍💻

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Free and open-source
  • Strong development community

🥺 Cons

  • Lacks advanced features
  • Can be slow at times



QEMU is a versatile VM software that supports a broad array of systems and architectures, making it a viable option for tech-savvy users.🛠️

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Supports a variety of systems
  • Highly customizable

🥺 Cons

  • Not user-friendly
  • Lack of official support



Veertu is one of the lightest VM software for Mac. It’s perfect for those who need a functional VM without sacrificing disk space.💽

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Minimalistic interface

🥺 Cons

  • Limited feature set
  • No longer under development



UTM is powerful VM software that allows for running numerous guest OS on Mac, including Android and Windows.🔀

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Supports multiple guest OS
  • Good performance

🥺 Cons

  • Installation can be tricky
  • Occasional crashes



Wine is not a VM in the strictest sense but is a compatibility layer that allows running Windows applications on Mac.🪟🍎

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Ability to run Windows apps
  • No performance overhead

🥺 Cons

  • Not all apps are compatible
  • Complicated setup

Microsoft Remote Desktop


Microsoft Remote Desktop is a VM alternative that allows you to remotely access your Windows PC from your Mac.💻🔄

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Seamless remote access
  • Easy to set up

🥺 Cons

  • Requires a Windows PC
  • Limited to one user at a time

Crossover Mac


Crossover Mac is much like Wine, developed by the same community, featuring a more user-friendly setup process.🍷🖥️

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Runs Windows apps

🥺 Cons

  • Doesn’t support all Windows apps
  • Lags occasionally



Docker is not a traditional VM but a platform for deploying applications in containers. For developers, it’s a game-changer.🚀

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Efficient resource utilization
  • Ideal for software development

🥺 Cons

  • Requires technical experience
  • Not suitable for running OS

🏁🏁 Conclusion 🏁🏁

In conclusion, finding the best VM software for Mac boils down to assessing your individual needs and budget. Different software offers different features, so carefully consider what you need your VM to accomplish. Now that you’re equipped with this top 10 list, you stand a much better chance at making an informed decision. 🎯


What is VM software?

Virtual Machine (VM) software is a type of software that allows you to run a different operating system within your current operating system.

Why would I want to use VM software on my Mac?

VM software can allow you to run programs that only run on other operating systems, test out new operating systems, and isolate software for security purposes.

Does running VM software slow down my Mac?

Running VM software can take up more system resources, which may slow down other processes if you don’t have a lot of RAM or a very fast processor.

What VM software is best for Mac?

The best VM software can vary based on your specific needs. Some popular options are Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, and VirtualBox. We review these and others in our article.

Are all VM software for Mac paid?

While some VM software products are paid, there are also free options available such as VirtualBox.

What is Parallels Desktop?

Parallels Desktop is a popular VM software for Mac. It is known for its strong integration with macOS and ability to run Windows seamlessly.

What is VMware Fusion?

VMware Fusion is a VM software for Mac offered by VMware. It’s geared towards professional users and offers a wide range of features.

How do I install VM software on my Mac?

The installation process can vary by software. Generally, you would download the software from the provider’s website and follow the installation instructions.

Can I run games on VM software?

Some VM software can handle running games, but performance may not be as good as running the game natively on your Mac.

Is VM software safe?

Most VM software is safe to use, but it’s important to download it from a trusted source to avoid malware. Additionally, the safety of the software you install within the VM software falls on you.

Can I use VM software to run Linux on my Mac?

Yes, most VM software for Mac will allow you to run various distributions of Linux.

What are the system requirements to run VM software?

System requirements vary by VM software but usually include a certain amount of RAM and disk space, as well as a processor capable of virtualization.

How is the performance of VM software on a Mac?

Performance can vary significantly based on the VM software you use. However, most modern VM software is quite efficient, and performance is often strong.

Can I use VM software to test software in a safe environment?

Yes, one common use of VM software is to create a ‘sandbox’, a self-contained environment where you can test software without the risk of damaging your main operating system.

How much does VM software cost?

The cost of VM software varies widely. Some, like VirtualBox, are free, while others, like Parallells Desktop or VMware Fusion, can cost between $60 and $250, depending on the version and license type.

Can I move files between my Mac and the VM?

Yes, most VM software will allow you to move files back and forth between your Mac host and the VM. However, the exact method for doing so can vary by software.

Does VM software come with the operating system I want to use?

Most VM software does not come with other operating systems. You would typically need to provide your own copy of the operating system you want to run.

Can I run multiple VMs at once?

Running multiple VMs is possible with most VM software. However, keep in mind each VM requires its own share of your system’s resources.

Can I run VM software if my Mac has an M1 chip?

Certain VM software supports the M1 chip. However, as the chip is relatively new, not all software may support it yet.

Is it possible to run a Mac OS on VM software?

Yes, it’s possible to run Mac OS on VMs, depending on the restrictions of the software and the version of Mac OS.