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Experiencing Remote Desktop Sluggishness in Parallels? I use M1 Apple computers, but sometimes I need Windows to get a few things done. While there are many programs that can host virtual machines, I prefer Parallels. However, I have run into an issue where the mouse and keyboard are very sluggish when using a Remote Desktop session within Parallels VMs. I use Windows 11 Parallels virtual machine to connect to a virtual desktop at work. I am big on privacy nut and do not want my employer to have access to my physical machine.

In an effort to make a long story short, I experienced a lot of sluggishness with my Citrix connection, making it completely unusable. I worked with a very good Parallels Support Team to remediate my sluggishness. Use the proceeding steps, if you are having issues with Remote Desktop sluggishness.

The Fix for Remote Desktop Sluggishness in Parallels

Step 1: Turn off any virtual machines that are running by navigating to the control center and clicking the power button. See Figure 1, below. Click into the virtual machine that is running, navigate to Actions, then click Stop.

image 1
Figure 1: Screenshot of Parallels Control Center. Navigate to Actions, then click Stop to turn off a VM.

Step 2: Open a Mac terminal, navigate to Applications, choose Terminal. Enter the following command, prlctl list –all and press return. The output should look like the output in Figure 2. Notate the UUID of the VM that has the Remote Desktop sluggishness issue.

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Figure 2: Output of prlctl list –all

The next step is very easy. In the same Terminal window, execute the following command, prlctl set <UUID> –3d-accelerate=off . Where <UUID> equals the UUID of the VM that has the sluggishness issue. For example, prlctl set b3f88976-2466-4847-901a-216d794bbc1d –3d-accelerate=off . Make sure not to include the {} in your UUID.

Step 3: Once you have executed all commands, test your VM to make sure the Remote Desktop connections are working as expected.

If you found this article useful and your remote desktop sluggishness in parallels is gone, please share it. Thank you!

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