Installing Windows 11 ARM in Parallels on M1 Macs for Students


Windows Virtualization may be an option, however, prior to purchasing Parallels and Windows virtualization rights, you should check with your department or instructor to make sure the application will run using Parallels on an M1 Mac.

Access to Windows virtualization rights must be purchased before a license and download for the Parallels pre-built image is made available. To order the Windows Virtualization Add-on License, please visit and place an online order.


These virtual machine instructions require Parallels, which is not sold by the Virginia Tech Software Service Center but is available through the Virginia Tech Bookstore as well as third party retailers. Before proceeding, ensure that you have purchased and installed Parallels.

  1. Access and login using your VT PID and PID password. Select Virtual Software and then choose Virtual Windows 11 Education (21H2) ISO for use with Parallels on M1 Based Macs.
  2. After accepting the licensing terms, click the Product Key(s) button to obtain your product key.  The product key is necessary for activation, so write down or copy the product key.
    Click the Product Key(s) button
  3. Ensure your Mac is connected to the internet and open Parallels Desktop. In the dialog box that appears, click Install Windows to begin installation of Windows 11 for ARM. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this process can take 20 - 60 minutes to complete.
    Open Parallels and click Install Windows
  4. When the installation is complete, click anywhere within the window to begin using Windows 11.
    Click within the window to continue
  5. In Windows, click the Start button and then click Settings.
    NOTE: The position of the Settings icon may differ in your start menu.
    Click the start button and then Settings
  6. In the Settings window, select System and then click Activate now.
    Click System and then Activate now
  7. Now, click the Change button and enter the product key you obtained in step 2.
    Click Change next to Change product key
  8. In the Upgrade your edition of Windows dialog box, click Start to upgrade and activate Windows.  Windows will restart to complete the upgrade.
    NOTE: You may receive a message that states Unable to upgrade your edition. If you receive this message, simply restart Windows and the upgrade should complete automatically.
    Click Start to begin upgrade and activation

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