I'm using Windows 7 with Parallels Desktop.

When I open an instance of Windows 7, I see the 'Device' menu. I can choose which OS (Windows or OS X) can own a device within the menu.

The problem is, When I let Windows own my mouse, there's no way to get it back to Mac OS. The only way I found so far is to open a terminal then kill the instance of Parallels.

How do I get a device back within Parallels?

  • I don't see that this is an off-topic question, as it relates to OS X software. – daviesgeek Aug 15 '12 at 5:13
  • There is a valid question hidden here (how do I reassign external devices between OS X and a Parallels VM) but the specific problem with the mouse is rather strange (because Parallels handles the mouse differently). Seems to be rather localized. – nohillside Aug 15 '12 at 18:20

Is SmartMouse enabled for your Virtual Machine? If not, clicking inside the Parallels window will capture the mouse and you will need to use Ctrl+Option (Ctrl+Alt) to release it back to your Mac.


In early versions of Parallels, you can get the mouse back by shutting down the VM. You could also connect a second mouse and leave that controlled by OS X - in effect you'd have a "Mac mouse" and a "Windows mouse".

For other devices, suspending the VM should give control back to OS X. (If you want to do this with the mouse, I suggest either the two-mouse setup or learning VoiceOver so you can do mouse-only things with the keyboard.)

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