Parallels Desktop enables internet connection on your VM by sharing your current Mac's connection via ethernet-like network.

I want to access on my Windows VM wifi connection, not get it from Mac but to actually connect on it's own - how to do that if there's no wireless adapter device nor wireless icon in taskbar?

  • Both Parallels and VMware abstract the hardware so your Mac OS truly controls the hardware. Depending on what the goal of using WiFi - there might be easy solutions like enabling it on the Mac as secondary and setting bridge mode on the virtual/software network switch Parallels operates.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


In Parallels you have a few choices of how to connect to a Network or Internet, Shared Networking, Bridged Ethernet Networking and Host-Only Networking. In all of these the Guest OS/VM only sees a Wired Ethernet Adapter as that is what the software provides. It does not provide a Wi-Fi Network Adapter even though the Guest OS/VM can connect to a Network or Internet using Shared Networking or Bridged Ethernet Networking (which can be bridged to the Host's Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapters) and does not show a Wi-Fi icon in e.g. the Windows Taskbar System Notification Area. So even following the directions in Using WiFi in a Virtual Machine which uses Bridged Ethernet Networking the connection in the Guest OS/VM will still appear as a Wired Ethernet Connection.

If you want to have direct Wi-Fi connectivity in the VM, in other words have a Wi-Fi icon in e.g. the Windows Taskbar System Notification Area as if the virtual machine was a physical machine that had a built-in Wi-Fi Network Adapter, then you will need to supply your own USB Wi-Fi Adapter and connect it directly to the VM. In this scenario there is no other way!

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