Can I install Parallels on an external drive?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by MikeFromMesa, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

    Messages:
    56
    I have a Mac Mini with a relatively small main ssd. Because of the size of the ssd I keep most of my temporary files (mostly digital photos) on an external usb 3 ssd, and that works well for me. I also keep some of the larger apps on that external ssd and run them from there instead of installing them on my main drive. I was wondering if it was possible to install Parallels and Windows on that external ssd as well.

    Before I bought the Mini I had a MacBook Pro with 512GB main ssd, and had an earlier version of Parallels installed directly on that drive, but the space taken up by the package in Documents was something on the order of 60GB and that would mostly eat up the remaining space on my current drive. Using an external usb 3 ssd would solve my problem, if it is possible.

    I am currently running High Sierra and would install Windows 10, if possible.
     
  2. alexg

    alexg Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    543
    Hi Mike, yes you can install Windows on the external drive. Parallels uses just file images for any guest operating systems and it can be placed on any external drives. USB 3 SDD is good enough for that. But make sure you do not disconnect it while Windows is running. Suspend or Shutdown Windows first and them disconnect your external drive from Mac.
     
  3. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

    Messages:
    56
    Thank you. That is very helpful.

    I have not used Parallels since I switched to the Mac Mini so my licensed Parallels version is a bit old at version 10. Will that work with High Sierra and Windows 10? Or do I need to upgrade?
     
  4. alexg

    alexg Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    543
    It is not guaranteed, but you can try first.
     
  5. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

    Messages:
    56
    Thank you. I will give it a try and see if it works. If not, then I can upgrade.
     
  6. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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    3
    Please, could you explain "how" install Windows on the external drive?
    Freire
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  7. Sathiya@Parallels

    Sathiya@Parallels Staff Member

    Messages:
    364
    Hi freire. You can follow the steps from this article to create a Windows virtual machine using Parallels Desktop for Mac. In Step 7, you can specify the installation location and complete the process.
    Note: You can also create the virtual machine using Parallels Desktop for Mac in the default location and then move the '.pvm' file to an external drive.
     
  8. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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    3
     
  9. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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    3
    Thank you very much. It worked perfectly.
     
  10. Ajith@Parallels

    Ajith@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    1,625
    We are happy to hear that. Feel free to reach out to us anytime for support.
     

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