I have a Windows VM running in Parallels and is working just fine. I have mapped Apple-⌘ Cmd key to Windows-Alt and Apple-⌥ Opt to Windows-⊞ Win.

When I press ⌘ Cmd-Tab - even in full screen mode - I cycle through all Apps running in both Windows and MacOS. How do I get it to just be Windows?

3 Answers 3


To disable the OS X system keyboard shortcuts while the focus is on your VM, just change the setting under Shortcuts labelled "Send OS X system shortcuts" to Always. This will send all keystrokes only to the VM when it has the focus.

Screenshot of keyboard settings

  • 3
    This preference seems not to exist on Parallels 11 ...
    – jbandi
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 21:38
  • Correct, I dont see that option in Parallells 11
    – Ted
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:38
  • I don't see this in Parallels 12 either. I could really use something like this. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 5:24
  • I updated the screenshot and explanation to Parallels 12. It's all still there, just the setting looks a little different.
    – flakshack
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 19:13
  • 1
    It's in Parallels 17. under shortcuts, 'mac os shortcuts', in the control center preferences (not vm-specific configure options) Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 12:35

This has moved again in Parallels 13. You can now find it by:

  1. Clicking on the settings gear icon in the Control Center
  2. Click the Hardware Tab
  3. Click the Mouse & Keyboard entry
  4. Select the maxOS System Shortcuts
  5. Change the "Send MacOS system shortcuts" from Auto to Always
  6. (if needed) Allow Parallel to control System Accessibility and enter in your password

Here's what works for me in Parallels 19:

  • Parallels Control Center > Parallels Desktop (menu) > Preferences
  • Shortcuts > macOS System Shortcuts > Send macOS system shortcuts: Always

enter image description here

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