Parallels Toolbox for Windows adds presentation mode, enhanced tools and much more

Parallels is probably best known to Mac users for making a tool that lets them run Windows inside of macOS, but it changed things up a bit in mid-2017 by launching a suite of tools for Windows users as well. Now that set of tools, called Parallels Toolbox, is getting a boost to version 1.5 with a handful of new and enhanced features.

Perhaps the biggest addition is a dedicated Presentation Mode, which can help to silence interruptions while you're giving a presentation. The mode can be enabled with a click to hide desktop files, block email and message notifications, prevent sleep mode, and automatically detect and adjust resolution for external displays.

Also new in version 1.5 is a feature called "Clean Drive," which can help to free up disk space. According to Parallels, the feature scans your PC to detect and remove duplicate files, as well as temporary OS and application files. This comes in addition to a new "Switch Resolution" option, which lets you quickly change display resolutions. It's not anything you couldn't already do with a quick trip to the "Display Settings" menu on your PC, but Parallels is aiming to make that process quicker.

In addition to the new features, Parallels has introduced enhanced versions of existing tools. Here's a look:

  • Record Area: Preselect your preferred video resolution, audio settings, time-delay and even highlight your mouse clicks. Simply click and drag your cursor to highlight the area you want to record and click inside of it to start. Stop recording by clicking again and your video file will appear on your desktop.
  • Capture Area: Select your desired file format (PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF and GIF) and time delay. Highlight just the area of your screen that you want to capture and then click to have your customized image appear on your desktop.
  • Record Screen: Record full-screen video with audio from the computers microphone, system sound or muted, and optional highlighted mouse clicks to help viewers follow along. Users with multiple displays can simply click on the display they want to record.

Parallels Toolbox includes a whole slew of tools that, ultimately, may or may not be useful, depending on how you use your PC. What makes it interesting, however, is that it brings together a whole bunch of disparate tasks in one place. If you're interested in checking out version 1.5, current subscribers should be able to pick it up now. Otherwise, you can sign up for a free trial at Parallels or buy the suite for $19.99 per year.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl