Latest version 12.1.2 still has severely broken FULL SCREEN mode!

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by StefanW6, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    I opened a ticket back in August(!) about this. In PD11 there was a checkbox in the VM configuration that said "use OSX full screen". When using dual monitor setup, the best way to use it is to keep this check box OFF and let Parallels handle full screen. That way I get to run Win7 on the left monitor and Mac OS on the right one, both in perfect full screen with no bars or menus in the way. Simply roll the mouse left and I'm in Windows, roll it right and Im on the Mac.

    Since PD12 where the check box is gone, when you switch any VM to full screen, the other monitors go blank. Dirty hack is to enable "Displays have separate spaces" in Mac Preferences / Mission Control but that too has severe drawbacks. Now can't drag and drop images from windows to mac, can't overlap Mac applications over the Windows VM, there's a 1 second delay when clicking in the Windows VM before it takes input and the OS X DOCK keeps disappearing when you accidentally roll the mouse all the way to the bottom on the 2nd monitor. Also the VM menu bar is greyed out or gone.

    All we multi-monitor people really need (I saw several other inquiries and posts about this) is that one check box back. NO NOT USE OSX FULL SCREEN!
    I want a simple one-space dual monitor desktop where one of the monitors is a full screen VM. Just like it was in all previous PD versions.

    2017-01-12 18.15.20 HDR.jpg
  2. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    Addition: I finally had to give in and downgrade to PD11 as the long delay when switching focus and the other mentioned issued above got too annoying. Support simply closed my support ticket on my, referring to the KB article 111936 (which describes how to turn on separate spaces).
    Apple has admitted that they haven't really thought the whole multi-monitor thing through with full screen. OSX's built-in full screen mode is good for 12 inch macbooks where you want a browser full screen really quick and then exit back out. It's not a functional, usable tool for productivity.
    PD11 and prior used its own way to occupy a whole monitor in a multi-monitor setup. Now it relies on the broken implementation from Apple.

    Please whoever reads this and is the same boat, make your voice heard with PD support!!
  3. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    Support just keeps on closing my support ticket with reference to the dirty hack that Apple calls "full screen" in Ma OS. Such a shame. Now the search is on for a working alternative. Pretty crazy after 7 years of being the best virtualization option out there for my iMac with dual screen setup, it has now become close to unusable :(
  4. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Staff Member

    Hi Stefan,

    Let me please clarify the situation a bit. Up to 11th version, we have used our custom Full Screen mode in Parallels Desktop for Mac, which basically did not use system's native Full Screen, but instead, we were just showing a borderless window resized to full display size. It had its benefits, but in Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac we dropped support for non-native macOS Full Screen mode, as it caused a lot more issues while playing games, working in CAD software and in similar use cases.

    Once Parallels Desktop for Mac switched to native macOS Full Screen mode, the behavior changed: now instead of the VM on external display a black screen appeared - and this is native macOS behavior. Try to enter Full Screen mode with TextEdit - you will get the same black screen. Why macOS disables the second display? God knows.. There are a lot of discussions on Internet about that:

    To make two displays having separate spaces in macOS, Apple developed an option in System Preferences (thanks to them) - Displays have separate spaces. After enabling this option (don't forget to log in/out) you won't get this black screen anymore - the external display will have its own macOS space. If you'd like to have your VM on both displays - enable 'Use All Displays in Full Screen' option in VM 'View' menu (see

    Also we have released a new Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac update v12.1.2 (41525) (download link), which brings the following feature: Activating virtual machine shows all its spaces. This feature can be activated in VM configuration > Options > Full Screen.

    When this feature is enabled, and you are using a VM on multiple displays, activating VM space on any display will automatically switch other display spaces to VM ones.

    NOTE: Please make sure to enable 'Displays have separate spaces' in macOS System Preferences > Mission Control.
    For more information about this update please visit

    I'm sorry for all this mess with the view modes, I hope you're gonna love other improvements we made in Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac.
  5. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    Hello Dmitry,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond here on the forum. So far the forum and twitter (surprisingly) have been way more effective in getting a reaction than for example phone support. Let me try to explain to you, from a developer's and software engineer's perspective, the problems and why I think that it wouldn't hurt Parallels at all to just re-implement the non-native full screen mode.
    I specifically bought an iMac years back when PD8 or so was current, connected a 2nd monitor to it and set it up for Windows7 to be shown on that 2nd monitor full screen all the time. Now I get to have 2 PCs in one. Completely justified the expensive licensing (and re-licensing and re-licensing and now yearly subscription) to Parallels. One set of mouse and keyboard and you can simply roll the mouse over, drag and drop files between the OSs and so on. I know you call it "non native" but let's just call it a solution Parallels came up with at some point that just worked.
    OK now you say in the latest version it suddenly gets dropped in favor of something that your company doesn't even have full control over, because it is dictated by Apple. I know how the built-in full screen mode works in Mac OS and I never use it. It's busted. It might work better for games or a few other things like a quick full screen safari on a 12 inch Macbook, but for real productivity setups I haven't found a use for it yet. Now let me tell you again all the things that are BROKEN since Parallels does NOT simply create a border-less fullscreen window:
    The parallels context menu gets greyed out on the primary monitor when the VM is in focus, so you can't quickly access any functions, you have to roll the mouse all the way up to the left top corner and wait for it to appear (sometimes doesn't on the first try).
    The Mac OS dock with all the icons on the bottom randomly disappears when you accidentally touch the bottom of the task bar in windows inside the VM. Very confusing.
    You can't overlap windows any more or simply drag and drop content between the VM and MacOS.
    When clicking inside the VM to make keyboard and mouse focus inside the VM, there's a long (1-2 second) delay/dead time, before it was active immediately

    Whoever wants to play games can activate the MacOS fullscreen and then the spaces, that's fine. For people who just need to get a lot of work done between the two OSs it was absolutely better before because MacOS basically runs in dual monitor mode and moving and switching between them was nice smooth and FAST.
    How much effort would it be to just re-enable the feature we had before.
    Also I did mention the mess with the tabs, right? Before, my VMs would just all open exactly where they were placed before (the ones in window mode), now in PD12 everything gets completely thrown around and put into tabs that you have to manually pull apart again and re-position the windows every time you reboot!

    LARWORLD Bit Poster

    Cheers to you Stephan. I personally will not be renewing anything with Parallels until they get this right. It sucks that I paid for 12 and am still running 11. Parallels botched this one completely and instead of just giving users what they want, what they need, and what they ask for (over and over again), they keep coming up with excuses and half workarounds. Who cares if it's native or non-native? You broke it, you own it.
  7. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    Unfortunately now PD11 also seems to crash my iMac every 48 hours :( I leave it on 24/7 with two VMs running (the Win 7 on the 2nd monitor and a linux in a small window) and tell the iMac to just turn the displays off after 15 min. Since I downgraded to PD11 last week everything has become completely unstable. Three days already it has happened that I came to my office in the morning, tap the mouse or keyboard to wake the iMac and it just shows a blank screen with the notifications on the right and the mouse pointer frozen.

    This is becoming more frustrating and I really need a solution. Guess I'll have to start looking into alternatives which unfortunately there are not many.
    I do remember though when the Parallels Remote App for the iPhone was really nice AND FREE. Since that has become an expensive subscription service as well and completely botched handling and operation wise (crashes all the time, no full screen VMs supported etc) I was never really able to use it and let my subscription lapse. Having to use "old school" VNC for access to the iMac has been getting on my nerves already. VMWare only offers VNC for the remote access. Weird how sometimes software really evolves backwards and nice features or really useful options go away, just like the unlimited data plans on cell phones!
  8. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    For anyone still following this, the latest version of VMWare Fusion (8.5) still works perfectly the way it used to before PD12. Parallels support got back to me again saying they'll "forward my input" and closed the ticket. I have low hopes :(
  9. StefanW6

    StefanW6 Bit Poster

    To this day no fix. Additionally another bug now showed up. In fullscreen Windows trying to drag a window that sits at the top of the screen will instead drag the whole screen, not the window. Making it impossible to reposition that window or resize it, if the resizer is outside of the visible area on the bottom.
  10. Ray Konopka

    Ray Konopka Bit Poster

    This is so disappointing. I've been using Parallels for years going back to version 4. I do not have multiple monitors, but I do run all my Windows VMs in full screen mode with each one running on a separate desktop. For example, desktop 1 is for my Mac apps. Desktop 2 is for my primary Windows development VM. And Desktop 3 is for a Windows Build VM. I run each VM in full screen mode (in PD11). I can then use Cmd+1, Cmd+2, Cmd+3 to quick change between desktops (and thus machines). But none of this is possible with the changes made in PD12. You completely lose all control over how your VMs reside on the system.

    While I appreciate the insight from Dmitry, I find the explanation for the change to be really weak. So what if games had issues with the non-native full screen mode. There was an option to change that. But instead, Parallels decides to remove the option completely and by doing so have introduced a whole bunch of deficiencies. I would like to upgrade again to PD12. I tried it when it was first released, and hated it. The changes completely messed up my work flow. I am currently running PD11, but I'm worried that some day this will no longer be supported.

  11. Xiaoken

    Xiaoken Bit Poster

    Yup, it's PD13 and parallels hasn't reconsidered adding the don't use Native OSX full screen option, what a shame.

    The current full screen will move the dock from the other monitor when the mouse is at the bottom.
    At least stop the dock from moving?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017

Share This Page