Resetting the Guest OS Password

If a virtual machine user forgets the password of their guest OS account (e.g. a Windows user password), it can be reset outside the virtual machine using the command line interface.

To use this functionality the following conditions must be met:

  • Parallels Tools must be installed in the guest OS.

  • The virtual machine must be running. If it's stopped, start it and wait until you see the guest OS login prompt.

  • Depending on your requirements, the following option can be selected or cleared in the virtual machine configuration dialog: Security > Require Password to: [ ] Change guest OS password via CLI. If this option is selected, you will be asked to provide the macOS administrator password to change the guest OS password from the command line. If the option is cleared, the administrator password will not be required. By default, the option is cleared.

To reset the password, open Terminal and enter the following command:

prlctl set vm_name --userpasswd username:new_password


  • vm_name is the virtual machine name. To obtain the list of virtual machines installed on this Mac, type prlctl list.

  • username is the guest OS user name.

  • new_password is the new password.


prlctl set My_Win8_VM --userpasswd JohnDoe:A12345

If the Require Password to: Change guest OS password via CLI option is selected in the virtual machine configuration dialog (see above), the command will display the following text and prompt:

Only host administrator can change user password in the guest OS.
Confirm your administrator credentials.

Enter the name of the macOS user with administrative privileges and press the Enter key. Type the user password and press Enter again.

Once the new password is set, you can use it to log in to the guest OS.

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