You must have Windows 8.1+ (or Windows Server equivalents) to host. Windows 7 and Ubuntu cannot host. If you're looking to host on macOS, see this other article about the macOS hosting preview.
Here are some basic steps to get Parsec ready for hosting on Windows 8.1 or newer. Make sure your computer's hardware is supported before attempting to host.
- Download Parsec for Windows (ensure you get the 32-bit version if your computer is 32-bit)
- Run the installer and choose whether you want a Per User or Shared installation. Read the description in the installer for more information
- Once you install Parsec, it will launch automatically. Login or create your account
- Add a friend via the sidebar, or login with the same account on another computer. Your computer will show to friends or other computers on your account and you can click "Connect" to join it. See this article for more details
- When you're connecting to your own computer, you'll have full permissions. If a friend is joining you, you must manually give you keyboard and mouse permissions if they want to use it
- You can use Approved apps in the Parsec settings to prevent guests from controlling some programs, and temporarily freeze the screen
- Controllers should show up and be recognized by Windows on the host when buttons are pressed. If you're having trouble with controllers, check this article on controller issues