July 14, 2023

Mac-on-Mac: Running a Virtual macOS using Parallels Desktop

Mac-on-Mac: Running a Virtual macOS using Parallels Desktop

In this step-by-step guide, I delve into the process of setting up a macOS virtual machine, integrating it seamlessly with Microsoft Intune, and optimizing it with the Enterprise SSO Plugin. 🌟

By leveraging this powerful combination, you can enhance your organization’s device management capabilities, simplify user authentication, and improve productivity across your macOS environment. 💪

Whether you’re an IT professional, system administrator, or simply interested in macOS management, this blog post is a must-read! 📚🔍

What is Parallels Software?

Parallels is a globally recognized software that allows users to run Windows, Linux, and indeed another instance of macOS, on their Mac, without rebooting. The software provides a seamless way to run applications and perform tasks on different operating systems simultaneously.

Preparing for the Installation

  • Download Parallels Software: The first step is to get your copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac. You can download it directly from the Parallels website.
Application and Desktop Delivery | Parallels RAS
Parallels Official Site | Mac & Windows Virtualization, Mac Management
  • Ensure System Requirements: To create a virtual macOS, your system must meet the minimum requirements set by Parallels. The details of these requirements can also be found on the Parallels website.

Install Parallels on your Mac

  • Double-click on the downloaded .dmg file, followed by another double-click on "Install Parallels Desktop" within the resulting window. If prompted for admin confirmation, choose "Open" to proceed.
  • Following that, please wait while Parallels downloads the required installation data. Once completed, enter your Password and click on "Continue" if prompted to choose between the Trial version. Then, proceed to accept the license agreement and select "OK" for any permission prompts that may appear. Finally, follow any remaining instructions to successfully finish the installation process.

Creating a macOS Virtual Machine

Once Parallels has been successfully installed, it will automatically launch and present you with the option to install Windows 11. All you need to do is click on the "Install macOS" button, patiently wait for the installation process to finish, and then agree to the terms of use.

We can use the virtual macOS just like we would use a physical Mac, with access to all macOS features and applications.

Great! At this point, we have successfully set up a virtual Mac machine that is now prepared for enrollment in Microsoft Intune. In the upcoming steps, we will proceed with enrolling this macOS virtual machine in Microsoft Intune.

Enroll Your macOS VM using the Company Portal App

Our newly installed macOS VM will appear in the Parallels Desktop Control Center.

Install Company Portal app

  • Wait while the Company Portal installer .pkg file downloads. Open the installer when it's ready.

  • On the Introduction page, select Continue.
  • On the License page, read through the Microsoft Application License Terms. Select Continue.
  • Select Agree to agree to the terms of the software license agreement.
  • On the Installation Type page, select Install.
  • Wait for Company Portal to finish installing.

Enroll your Mac

  • Sign in to the Company Portal app with your work or school account.
  • On the Set up access page, select Begin.
  • On the Install management profile page, select Download profile.
  • Your macOS system settings open in a new window. The management profile you just downloaded is shown. Select the profile to install it.
  • Wait while the management profile installs and then enrolls your device.
  • Return to the Company Portal app and verify that there's a green checkmark next to Install management profile.
  • When setup is complete, select Done. Your device is ready to use for work. You can go to Devices in the Company Portal app to view and manage your enrolled Mac.

Excellent! With the Mac VM created and successfully enrolled in Intune, we are now ready to proceed with configuring the Enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO) plug-in as the final step of this process.

Use the Microsoft Enterprise SSO Plug-in On macOS Devices


To use the Microsoft Enterprise SSO plug-in on macOS devices:

  • The device is managed by Intune.
  • The device must be running on macOS 10.15 and newer
  • The Microsoft Company Portal app must be installed and configured on the device.

In the Microsoft Intune admin center, create a device configuration profile. This profile includes the settings to configure the SSO app extension on devices.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.
  2. Select Devices > Configuration profiles > Create profile.
  3. Enter the following properties:
    • Platform: Select macOS.
    • Profile: Select Templates > Device features.
  4. Select Create:
  5. In Basics, enter the following properties:
    • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the policy. Name your policies so you can easily identify them later. For example, a good policy name is macOS: Microsoft Enterprise SSO plug-in.
    • Description: Enter a description for the policy. This setting is optional, but recommended.
    • Select Next.
    • In Configuration settings, select Single sign-on app extension, and configure the following properties:
      • SSO app extension type: Select Microsoft Azure AD:
    • App bundle ID: Enter a list of bundle IDs for apps that don't support MSAL and are allowed to use SSO.
    • Continue creating the profile, and assign the profile to the users or groups that will receive these settings.

End User Experience with Enterprise SSO Plug-in

macOS/enterprise-sso.mp4 at main · pathaksomesh06/macOS
macOS. Contribute to pathaksomesh06/macOS development by creating an account on GitHub.


Creating a virtual macOS with Parallels Software is a convenient and simple procedure that opens a world of opportunities for testing macOS with Microsoft Intune. This process endows you with the ability to run several instances of macOS concurrently, perfect for scenarios like software testing, operating applications that aren't compatible with your primary system, or for exploring the features of a new macOS version.