How to share files and folders between Windows and OS X using Parallels

This brief tutorial will show you how to share files and folders between the guest OS (Windows) and the host (OS X) using Parallels.

  1. The very first thing you need to do to (easily) share files and folders between Windows and OS X is install Parallels Tools. Though the instructions (from the previous link) are specific to Windows Vista, they’re very similar for XP.
  2. Once Parallels Tools has been installed, shut down Windows. Back in the Parallels configuration window, click the Edit button.

  3. click to enlarge

  4. Select Shared Folders in the the Resource column. Make sure that Enable shared folders is checked and then click the + (plus) button.

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  6. Give your shared folder a name and then click the Browse… button. Navigate to the folder you want to share with Windows, and select it. Enter a description (if you want, it’s not mandatory) and then click OK.

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  8. Make sure Parallels now knows to share the folder and then power up Windows.
  9. Once Windows has started, double-click the Parallels Shared Folders icon on the desktop
  10. Your newly shared folder should now be visible. Double-click it..
  11. And there’s the folder in OS X you selected to share!

  12. click to enlarge

12 thoughts on “How to share files and folders between Windows and OS X using Parallels”

  1. Pingback: How to install Vista in OS X using Parallels - a complete walkthrough - Simplehelp

  2. Hi,

    I liked ur tutorial on installing ubuntu as a parallel and this particular one on sharing data between mac and windows. i have installed fedora core as a parallel and was wondering how i can transfer files back and forth between mac and fedora. i tried the drag and drop but to no avail.


  3. The Parallels Shared Folder icon never shows up on my desktop. I followed the above very simple instructions exactly and it does not work on my system. There is clearly a configuration with my system that is different. Any other advice?

    Separate but related topic: Advice for those looking to purchase Parallels Desktop software, regarding support or help from Parallels, expect to be left out in the cold. I have emailed Parallels support 3 times allowing days in between for a response. I got one criptic response that offers less detail then the tutorial on this web site.

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  5. I had the same problem as bwbcg. You have to install Parallel Tools. In Parallels (while logged in to Windows) click on Actions > Install Parallel Tools. Voilà. Solved my problem.

  6. Muchas gracias por el tutorial resulto a la perfeccion.

    Mi unico problema es que no funciona el boton 2 del mouse, antes era control + el primer boton para ahora nada.

    ¿sabes como solucionarlo ?

  7. Christian Unigarro

    Hola bwbcg te recomiendo que revises si tienes instalado los Parallels Tools, sino los tienes instalados simplemente abres el parallel y luego en el mac en Actions buscas Install Parallels Tools les das click y listo estas herramientas se instalan por si solas, luego te pide que reinicies y luego de reiniciar te aparecerá éste icono para compartir carpetas de windows a mac y viceversa.

    Espero haberte ayudado

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  9. Pingback: How to install Vista in OS X using Parallels – a complete walkthrough – Simple Help

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