Install Parsec app on macOS

This article covers installation and basic configuration of the Parsec app on macOS. Parsec is supported on macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or greater and requires Metal support. Parsec does not support case-sensitive file systems.

Install Parsec app on macOS

  1. Download the installer
  2. Double click installer to run
  3. Click 'Continue'
  4. Click 'Install'
  5. Click 'Close'

Login and connect

  1. Launch Parsec from your Applications folder and log in or create your account.logging_in.png
  2. Add a friend via the sidebar, or login with the same account on another computer that can host, then click 'Connect' on your local macOS computer to join the host computer.
    • Mac function keys may not interact with the Windows host as expected. You'll need to change the default behavior of your Apple keyboard to pass these hotkeys. Apple provides a great tutorial on changing these

Hosting on Mac

If you have pre-2019 hardware, Parsec hosting may not work, or you may not receive an ideal experience. Unfortunately the 2013 Mac Pro (regardless of what year purchased) do not contain modern enough AMD GPUs to offer high performance video encoding, thus do not currently work and may not be updated to work. Versions of macOS prior to Catalina may eventually be supported, but we are prioritizing Catalina or newer. A full list of supported features can be found here.

Host specs:

Minimum OS Recommended hardware
macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer 2019 Mac hardware or later (including Apple M1)


To enable hosting on your macOS computer, follow the steps below. Please note that due to Apple's permission policies on macOS, you will need to manually enable several permissions in the 'Host' tab in order for Parsec to capture the screen, capture audio (microphone loopback) and accessibility permissions in order to inject your keyboard and mouse inputs. Unfortunately, the following steps cannot be automated. If you require access to the login screen, please ensure all requirements are met.

  1. On the 'Computers' tab click the 'Setup'
  2. Click 'Request Permissions'
  3. Grant 'Parsec' Microphone permission
  4. Click 'Later'
  5. Grant 'Parsec' accessibility permission
    • This setting is required to use command hotkeys when using the macOS client. Additionally, we recommend enabling 'Immersive Mode' to ensure hotkeys are passed to the host.
  6. Grant 'Parsec' screen recording permission
  7. Restart the Parsec app
  8. Ensure 'Hosting Enabled' is set to 'Enabled'

You can view and modify these permissions in macOS by visiting System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy.

Parsec Audio Capture Driver

Installing this driver and the most recent version of the Parsec installer for macOS are required to stream audio to Parsec. You then must also select "Parsec Audio Capture" as your audio output device, as well as give Parsec microphone capture permission. Due to how our audio driver works, we need to capture a virtual microphone that is a loopback device directly connected to the output of the Parsec Audio Capture output device. When using the Parsec Audio Capture output device, you will NOT get local audio output on macOS host, to the system speakers for example (check tips below if you need both, local and remote audio).

In order to install or uninstall this driver, you must download and run the files linked above.


Other tips

  • By default, macOS supports official Bluetooth Xbox One, PS4, Xbox One Series S/X, PS5 and Made For Apple controllers only. If you've tried your Bluetooth controller and it doesn't work with macOS, but it is an official first party controller as mentioned above, Apple recommends upgrading to the latest version of macOS
  • When you're connecting to your own computer, you'll have full permissions. If you're joining a friend, they need to manually give you keyboard and mouse permissions in case you want to use that.
  • Quitting the Parsec Application during the stream requires you to follow the standard quitting shortcut (Command + Q)
  • Mac function keys may not interact with the gaming PC as expected. You'll need to change the default behavior of your Apple keyboard to pass these hotkeys. Apple provides a great tutorial on changing these
  • If you want to get local audio at the same time as remote audio (for a Parsec user remoting into your computer) you can create an aggregate audio device in macOS and use that to send audio to the local computer at the same time as the Parsec Audio capture device. Instructions to create an aggregated audio device can be found here:  
  • Prevent your macOS host from sleeping. If the macOS host is asleep, it is unable to host sessions.