Privacy Mode

Privacy Mode is a feature available for Teams and Warp customers that disables the physical displays on the host computer to offer privacy to the user who is joining through Parsec. The host computer also goes to the lock screen when the last guest disconnects.


Keep in mind that normally you need to join the computer using the same account as the host for the feature to work. The exception is that this isn't necessary for Team customers using Team Computers.

This setting can be enabled in the host machine, in Parsec's settings > Host > Privacy Mode. The first time you enable this setting, you must disconnect from your Parsec host and reconnect once.



The Virtual Displays setting in Parsec needs to be turned on. Virtual Displays has the following requirements:

  • The host must be running Windows 10 version 1607 or newer, Windows Server 2019 or newer, or macOS 10.15 or newer
  • The host must have the Virtual Display Driver, which is available for download directly from the settings page in Parsec. You may also want to restart the computer after installing it to ensure it works correctly


  • If you use Houdini with virtual displays and privacy mode, Houdini may crash. You can avoid this crash by going into Houdini's installation directory, opening the bin folder, and renaming the OpenCL folder there to something different. When you open Houdini, there will be a warning about OpenCL which can be safely ignored, and Houdini will open fine
  • Privacy Mode will automatically stop the Windows 10 host outputting to any non Parsec virtual display, this includes physicals displays, and other virtual displays. This runs constantly while the user is connected to the host with Privacy Mode enabled. You will also be unable to set your displays to clone/duplicate mode
  • The audio is not muted on the host while this feature is on
  • Privacy Mode is only in effect when the user is connected to the host. When the user disconnects, the host computer will automatically lock and if a physical display is connected, Windows will resume outputting to that display (showing a lock screen)
  • If the user ungracefully disconnects from the Parsec host (eg. Closing their client laptop, or disconnecting from the WIFI), it may take up to 60 seconds for the physical display to turn back on, as the Parsec host application will wait 60 seconds before assuming the client is gone.
  • If an account connects that is different from the account that is signed into the host, Privacy mode will not be enabled and a warning will be visible in the Parsec app. This means if you have friended someone via Parsec and given them the ability to connect any time, Privacy Mode will not be enabled.
  • The Lock Desktop setting will be forced on when Privacy Mode is enabled
  • If you are using Parsec Virtual Displays in combination with Privacy Mode, and then decide to disable Privacy Mode but keep the virtual displays, you may need to visit Windows Display Settings and set your physical monitor to be extended, as it may remain disabled