Parallels Desktop Pro on Shared Mac: Activation Issue

Discussion in 'Product updates and feedback' started by Macintosh Rescue, Jul 9, 2024.

  1. Macintosh Rescue

    Macintosh Rescue Member

    This post is intended as feedback so I hope that the Parallels moderator team pick this up.

    In my home I use a Mac mini and have Parallels Desktop Pro activated in my user profile. My partner has their own user profile as we share this Mac mini and I was unhappy to discover that when my Partner tried to use Parallels Desktop it demanded signing in and would not work when we canceled. If it wasn't bad enough that apparently Parallels expect two subscriptions for the same computer, I then discovered in my user profile that Parallels had deactivated requiring me to sign in again and select my license. I did some testing on another Mac using another licence key that I purchased and it appears than with a shared Mac that if any other user so much as clicks something that launches Parallels Desktop it deactivates for the user who pays for the license.

    This is completely unacceptable so I'm having to look into other virtualisation options.

    To further illustrate how ridiculous this situation is: if we use fast user switching I can install the virtual machine in my user profile, give it bridged networking, activate its desktop or terminal sharing and the other user can then use the virtual machine through something like Microsoft Remote Desktop or SSH.

    I would appreciate a Parallels representatives comment on this.
  2. LeRoi

    LeRoi Hunter

    Not a Parallels rep but licenses are for a person and not a computer. If they were intended for multi-user use, I'm reasonably sure there would be no name associated with the license.
  3. Macintosh Rescue

    Macintosh Rescue Member

    I just remembered that it definitely was possible for another user to use Parallels Desktop on a shared Mac as we did this less than a year ago, so the block has been introduced with a recent update.

    There's still a Knowledge Base article about sharing a virtual machine with other users on the same Mac which presumably is impossible now:

    If there's been a change of policy Parallels should have warned users.
    I'm interested to know if anyone else is affected by this issue, and if this is an intentional change or an unforeseen and a testing omission. I'll open a support ticket shortly if there is no response here from a Parallels representative.

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