All Advanced Configuration Options

The advanced settings are available through configuration files on both the host and the client, and allows for some settings not shown via the application itself. Before changing these though, try the more basic settings provided in the application. If you have trouble with lag or latency, troubleshoot what's causing it before tweaking anything.

For Teams customers, Parsec's configuration precedence is as follows:

1. Parsec for Teams Admin Panel Group-Overrides
2. Parsec for Teams Admin Panel Global Configuration
3. Local Windows registry entries
4. Local Parsec config.txt file


Finding and using the advanced settings file

Please read this separate article on finding the advanced settings (config.txt). Note that you must fully restart Parsec for changes in the file to apply.


Available for everyone

Client settings (for when you're connecting to someone)
VSync client_vsync=1
Use VSync while connected. VSync increases latency, but eliminates screen tearing. On some Intel decoders, you can actually turn this option off and continue to play without tearing. Use 1 for VSync (default), or 0 for turning it off.
Window Mode client_windowed=0
Run the Parsec application in windowed mode while connected. Set this to 0 for fullscreen (default), or 1 for windowed mode.
Overlay client_overlay=1
Display the Parsec overlay button in the top-left while connected. Set this to 1 for displaying it (default), or 0 for hiding it.
Swap Command and Ctrl for macOS client_macos_key_swap=false
When connecting to a macOS host from a non-macOS client, or connecting to a Windows host from a macOS client, swap the functionality of the Ctrl and Command/Windows keys for easier hotkey actions. Set this to false (default) to disable or true to enable.
Overlay Warnings client_overlay_warnings=1
Display network and hardware performance warnings in the client overlay. Set this to 1 for displaying it (default), or 0 for hiding it.
Decoder decoder_software=0
Use software decoding while connected to someone. Software decoding is much slower, but can be useful for compatibility reasons if you lack a hardware decoder. Set this to 0 for faster hardware decoding (default), or 1 for software decoding.
H.265 client_decoder_h265=0
Attempt to stream using the H.265 video codec while connected to someone, falling back to H.264 if any of the computers don't support it or any of the clients don't have this setting enabled. Set this to 0 for H.264 (default), or 1 for H.265.
Renderer client_renderer=3
The renderer to use for the Parsec application itself. There's OpenGL (0), Metal (1), Direct3D 9 (2), Direct3D 11 (3), Direct3D 12 Beta (4), and Experimental Vulkan (5). By default, Windows uses Direct3D 11, Mac uses Metal, and Linux uses OpenGL.
Immersive Mode client_immersive=0
Use immersive mode by default while connected to someone, which allows you pass keys like Alt+Tab and Windows+R to the host, and locks your mouse to the Parsec window. There's disabled (0), both (1), keyboard (2) and mouse (3). The default is 0 for disabled.
10-Bit Color client_decoder_10bit=false
Attempt to stream using high bit depth (10-bit). This allows for minimally better color accuracy at the cost of latency and network bandwidth. This setting will only be effective when HEVC is enabled. Turning this on may ignore the Decoder setting. Set to true to enable, or false to disable (default).
Network Client Port network_client_start_port=0
You can use this to manually tweak the UDP port used while connecting to someone, useful in case you want to manually forward the port on your router. You should use a value between 1025 and 65534, or leave it at 0 for a pseudorandom number (default).
Audio Buffer client_audio_min_buffer_ms=50
Controls the audio delay while connecting to someone, and it's the number of frames of video it's delayed. Our default minimum value is half of the max value. Increasing the max value increases the buffer/delay on the audio but resolves some issues with audio breaking up or crackling. This is measured in milliseconds.
Host settings (for when you're hosting a session to someone)
Hosting Enabled app_host=1
Allow connections to this computer. Set to 1 to enable and 0 to disable. This is enabled by default on Windows, and disabled by default on macOS. Note macOS hosting needs certain permissions to work, and toggling this setting alone is not enough to host.
Host Name host_name=COMPUTER_NAME
Your computer's name, which will be shown to others in Parsec. Use underscores instead of spaces. By default this is empty and the name given by your system is shown.
Stay Awake (macOS only) host_prevent_sleep=true
Prevent the system from sleeping while hosting is enabled. This allows network access so the host remains available. Set to false to disable (default), or true to enable.
Resolution (Windows only) server_resolution_x=0
The resolution this computer will change to when you join your own computer. The resolution must be supported by Windows and be 4K or lower, otherwise it will fail. Set both to 65535 to not change the host's resolution, or set both to 0 to use the client's resolution (default).
Bandwidth Limit encoder_bitrate=10
The maximum amount of bandwidth Parsec will use while streaming video to everyone connected to this computer. By default this is 10.
Fallback To Virtual Display (Windows only) host_virtual_monitor_fallback=false
Adds a single virtual display if no other displays are present. This feature requires the Parsec Virtual Display Driver, downloadable below this setting in the Parsec interface.
FPS (Windows only) encoder_fps=60
The stream's frames per second. If you join your own computer, this will also try to change the display's refresh rate to match. Setting this above 60 may cause instability in some devices. By default this is 60.
Idle Kick Timer host_idle_kick_time=0
The number of minutes after which an idle client is kicked. Idle time is the time since the last button, keyboard, or pen input. Set to 0 to turn off completely (default).
Exclusive Input Mode (Windows only) host_exclusive_input=0
Allow only one guest to control the mouse at a time. The host will always be able to take control from the guests by moving their mouse. Use 1 to enable, or 0 to disable (default).
Echo Cancelling (Windows only) host_audio_cancel=1
Prevent echo from using Discord on this computer. Use 1 for the "Legacy" option (default), 2 for the "New" option (requires Windows 10 21H1 or newer, requires you to set the chatting app that will be excluded with the echo_app_selection setting), or 0 to disable. Learn more.
Echo Selection (Windows only) echo_app_selection=discord.exe
The selected app to be excluded from the client audio. Requires the "New" echo cancelling option (see the host_audio_cancel setting description). Although the actual Parsec app only shows a handful of chatting apps, you can use this advanced config for a custom executable name.
Parsec Virtual USB Gamepads (Beta, Windows only) host_gamepad_mode=0
Use our new Parsec VUSB driver for guest's gamepads. If VUSB cannot be found, ViGEm will be used automatically. Set to 0 (default) for the new VUSB driver, or 1 for the ViGEm driver.
Virtual Gamepad Type (Windows only) host_gamepad_type=1
The virtual gamepad type assigned to guests when connected. Set this to 1 for Xbox 360 (default, most compatible with games), or 2 for Dualshock 4. You do not need to match this with the controller type the guests have.
Quality (Windows only) encoder_min_qp=5
The maximum quality of the video stream (a lower value means higher). Limiting the maximum quality can smooth out network performance. May cause performance issues if set lower than 5. In the Parsec interface, 5 represents "Lowest Latency" (default), 0 represents "Balanced", and 64 is a special value that represents "Highest Quality" and is equivalent to 0 but also enables multi-pass encoding.
Approved Apps (Windows only) host_require_whitelist=0
Use Approved Apps. This only impacts guests, and causes Parsec to freeze the screen as well as any guest inputs when a non-approved application is in focus. Use 0 to disable (default), or 1 to enable. Learn more.
Network Host Start Port network_server_start_port=0
You can use this to manually tweak the UDP port used when you are going to host, useful in case you want to manually forward the port on your router. If you for example use port 8000 as the starting port, if 4 people were to connect to this host, then 4 ports starting from 8000 would be used (in this case, 8000 to 8003). Make sure to forward all those additional ports if you expect multiple people to join. You should use a value between 1025 and 65534, or leave it at 0 for a pseudorandom number (default).
Congestion Algorithm network_cg_level=1
Behavior when network conditions deteriorate or increasing bitrate begins getting throttled. Don't change this unless you're having network problems. Use 1 for the new sensitive setting (default), 2 for new relaxed, or 0 to test the old algorithm.
Mute Speakers server_admin_mute=1
Mute this computer's speakers when you join your own computer. Use 1 to mute (default), or 0 to not mute.
Maximum Client Amount server_max_clients=20
The maximum number of people that can connect to this computer. Keep in mind when changing this that your bandwidth is split between the people connected, so 30mbps for 5 people would mean each person has 6mbps, which is not a lot for fast action games. By default this is 20.
Constant FPS host_full_fps=false
Attempt to always stream at the full frame rate of the stream. May improve quality on the desktop after the screen goes static. This should be disabled for games running in full screen mode. Set this to false to disable (default), or true to enable.
Other settings
Audio Codec network_raw_audio=0
Select which audio codec is used on the stream. Set this to 0 to use Opus for high quality compressed audio (default) or set this to 1 for uncompressed audio when quality is important and host bandwidth is not limited. Both codecs use 48.000kHz/2-channel audio. Both the host and all connected clients must change this value to 1 for uncompressed to be used, otherwise it defaults to Opus.
Turn off crash handler (Windows/macOS only) app_no_crashhandler=false
On Windows and macOS, Parsec ensures that whenever Parsec crashes, it gets rebooted so you're able to try connecting to the machine again. This config turns this behavior off, notably useful for macOS machines when you want to see the crash log window to share the log with the Parsec team. Set to false to disable, or true to enable the automatic restart (default).


Available for Warp and Teams customers

Client settings (for when you're connecting to someone)
Enhanced Pen client_enhanced_pen=1
Enable enhanced pen functionality while connected, such as tilt, rotation, and pressure. This will enable Windows Ink mode on the host. Use 1 to enable (default), or 0 to disable. Learn more.
Prefer 4:4:4 Color client_decoder_444=false
Try to use full color (no chroma subsampling). This improves color quality but will use the CPU to decode. Leave this off if having problems at high resolutions. Use false to disable (default), or true to enable. Learn more.
Host settings (for when you're hosting a session to someone)
Virtual Displays (Beta) host_virtual_monitors=0
How many additional virtual displays to use during owner connections. This feature requires the Parsec Virtual Display Driver. Set this to 0 for no displays (default), 1 for a single display, or 2 for two displays. Learn more.
Privacy Mode host_privacy_mode=0
Shut off all physical displays while virtual monitors are enabled and someone is connected to this computer. The computer will be automatically locked after the last guest disconnects. This feature requires the Parsec Virtual Display Driver and at least one virtual display enabled. Set this to 0 to disable (default), or 1 to enable. Learn more.
Virtual Tablet (Beta, Windows only) host_virtual_tablet=false
Creates a virtual Wacom Intuos Pro (M) device which can be used in combination with a 2017 (or later) Wacom Tablet, when connecting from a Windows client. This feature replaces Windows Ink pen injection and simulates a native Wacom tablet experience. This feature requires the Parsec VUSB driver, downloadable below this setting in the Parsec interface. Set this to false (default) to disable the virtual tablet, or true to enable it. Learn more.
App settings (settings related to the application)
Show Friends app_friends=1
Show the Friends icon in the Parsec menu. This does not disable the functionality at an account level, but rather just hides it from the interface. Set this to 1 to show Friends, or 0 to hide.
Use app-level HTTP proxy app_proxy=1
Enable app-level proxy. Value of 0 is disabled. Value of 1 is enabled. When configured, this proxy will be used for all requests made to Parsec’s HTTP and WebSocket APIs.
HTTP proxy server address app_proxy_address=some_hostname or IP
HTTP proxy server hostname or IP address
HTTP proxy server port app_proxy_port=8443
HTTP proxy server port. This is optional. If not included, default will be port 443.
HTTP proxy server path app_proxy_path=/somePath
HTTP proxy path parameter. This is optional. Must contain leading forward slash - "/".
HTTP proxy server scheme app_proxy_scheme=https
http or https proxy.
Allow copy and paste app_copy_paste=true
Allow users to copy and paste text between the guest and host on owner connections. Use true to allow (default), or false to disallow. Important: Note that free users can already copy and paste by default, this option is for allowing paid users to intentionally disable it if necessary.
Watermark Stream app_watermark=My_cool_watermark
Sets the text displayed on the bottom-left corner when someone joins this computer, or at the top-left when this computer joins another computer. Whitespace is not supported, use dash or underscore instead. By default this is empty and no watermark is shown.


Available for enterprise customers

App settings (settings related to the application)
Relay Host IP Addresses app_stun_address=IP@PORT,IP@PORT
A high performance relay that relays many simultaneous Parsec connections through a single IP address/port configuration. If more than one is provided they will be used at random with the rest as failover. Format IP@PORT,IP@PORT. Learn more.
Relay Client IP Addresses app_client_stun_address=IP@PORT,IP@PORT
Please ignore for now.
Force Relay (WAN only) app_force_relay=1
Parsec's default connection negotiation behavior can result in a successful P2P connection without using the relay if the host peer has outbound UDP connectivity to the internet and the client peer's router/firewall supports UPnP or UDP hole punching. Force relay disables this behavior and forces all P2P traffic over the relay. This should only be set on the host.
Force Relay (WAN or LAN) app_force_relay=2
Like the above, but will allow the host to accept connections from either the relay (WAN) or directly via LAN. This should only be set on the host.