This feature allows the person who is hosting to choose the games or applications that guests can see and interact with. Whenever the host or a guest switches to any application that isn't approved, the entire screen will freeze for the guests and they will be unable to control anything. This is especially useful to prevent guests from doing unwanted stuff if you manually gave them keyboard and mouse permission.
Note, however, that whenever one of the approved apps are the active window, Parsec will display the entire screen. If your approved app isn't in fullscreen mode, keep in mind that people can still see everything else in the screen. The guests can also see overlays (like Steam's) in that approved application.
How to enable and use
To enable and tweak the applications on the host, go to Parsec's settings > Approved Apps.
There may be cases in which an application will not show up in this list:
- Xbox GamePass and other UWP apps from the Microsoft Store don't show in the list currently. If you plan to host those, you will need to turn off Approved Apps
- Steam is intentionally blocked from showing in the list to avoid people from putting their account on risk, as people would be able to buy games and do other unwanted stuff. You should run a game and add the game itself to the approved apps list, not Steam
- For anything else, Parsec may actually be lacking some permissions. You can check if the Parsec service is running correctly
How approved apps is seen by the guests
If your approved app is in windowed, the guests will still be able to see everything around it, like the image below.
If the app is in fullscreen, then only the app will be shown to the people connected.
If you minimize the app or close it, the screen will freeze and say "The host is doing something else right now. Please wait a moment!".
If your app has an overlay, like Steam's in-game overlay, keep in mind that Parsec will still show it.