Article ID: 5061, created on Apr 15, 2008, last review on May 11, 2014


  • Parallels Desktop for Mac supports USB devices. You can connect them to the virtual machine at runtime using the Devices menu or by right-clicking (Ctrl+clicking) the USB device icon at the bottom-right corner of the Parallels Desktop window.Parallels Desktop for Mac doesn't support Express Card, Bluetooth and Firewire devices [FireWire External Drive can be connected by means of Parallels Shared Folders].
  • The common workaround for the device access problems is using a network connection to access the device from the guest OS [see the Setting Up a Network Printer article]. Generally, it's applicable to printers and USB data storage devices:
    • Printers: You can set up printing in a Windows VM by sharing your printer on the network on Mac OS X side. To do so open System Preferences - Sharing - Services - check Printer Sharing service in the list. Then go to System Preferences - Print & Fax - Sharing and make sure that your particular printer is configured as a shared printer. Download and install
    Apple Bonjour for Windows version. Please make sure that you select the Generic/Postscript printer driver in Bonjour regardless of your particular printer model. You need a Postscript/Bonjour compatible printer for this operation. See Printing from Windows VM using Apple Bonjour for more information.
  • Also it is possible to connect the printer by means of Virtual Printer feature covered in this article : Printing from Windows VM using the Virtual Printer feature.
  • USB Data Storage: If your USB data storage device is not detected in your guest OS, you can connect the device on Mac OS X side and share it with the VM by using the Shared Folders feature of Parallels Desktop. Check your Parallels Desktop for Mac User Guide for instructions on how to set up Shared Folders.


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