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When installing Parallels Desktop For Mac version 14.1.3, I was prompted for a password. I assume that means some kernel extensions or drivers were installed into macOS.

The official Uninstall Parallels Desktop for Mac page says simply to discard the Parallels app.

➥ Does that mean some macOS alteration is left in place?

Also, according to this page there is some other stuff left behind as well.

  • If you want to know what's associated with an App and where it is, that you want to uninstall, I've found AppCleaner both informative and useful to clean up the cruft when uninstalling an App. Note that I have no affiliation with its developer and am just a user of the app. – user3439894 Jul 14 '19 at 20:41
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is basically a customer support question. – user3439894 Jul 14 '19 at 20:47
  • Please be aware that the linked page primarily exists to sell a 3rd party app cleaner (ant that there is a difference between kexts and preferences somewhere in ~/Library – nohillside Jul 15 '19 at 5:09
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    @nohillside, Parallels Desktop's kernel extensions are within its application bundle and AppCleaner is free. If you just delete the application bundle, that is not everything, but what's left, sans the VMs and OS install media, is minor cruft. – user3439894 Jul 15 '19 at 18:35
  • @user3439894 Thanks for your Comment, as it gave me a clue about looking for .kext files. I wrote up my findings as an Answer below. – Basil Bourque Jul 15 '19 at 19:43
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Aren't there drivers or kernel extensions too?

Yes, apparently Parallels does use kernel extensions.

If in the Finder we select Parallels Desktop.app and context-click to choose Show package contents, we can navigate to nested folder Contents > Library > Extensions > 10.9 to find some .kext files such as prl_hypervisor.kext.

Are such kernel extensions copied somewhere else upon installation? Yes. Doing a sudo find / -name prl_hypervisor.kext in the Terminal.app shows two hits, one inside the app and one copied elsewhere into a StagedExtensions folder:

  • /Applications/Parallels Desktop.app/Contents/Library/Extensions/10.9/prl_hypervisor.kext
  • /Library/StagedExtensions/Applications/Parallels Desktop.app/Contents/Library/Extensions/10.9/prl_hypervisor.kext

screenshot of Finder showing path to .kext files made visible by choosing "Show package contents".

I have not yet tried deleting the app via the Trash yet. So I do not know if doing so removes the copy as well as the original.

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    You said, "I have not yet tried deleting the app via the Trash yet. So I do not know if doing so removes the copy as well as the original." and if you just delete the /Applications/Parallels Desktop.app by placing it in the Trash and emptying it, then that is all that's deleted. As I've already mentioned, but appears to be overlooked by you, AppCleaner is both informative and useful to clean up the cruft when uninstalling an App. – user3439894 Jul 15 '19 at 19:58
  • I sugget you to make a list of files you detected as installed by Parallels and then try freemacsoft.net/appcleaner . Then you will be able to check which method is the best. – dan Jul 15 '19 at 20:17
  • You could also test this shell script:unix.stackexchange.com/a/253217/31707 . – dan Jul 15 '19 at 20:22

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