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macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2021
I still remember being told "you'll be back" when we made the jump from our malware magnet Windows OS PC to our first MacBook Pro in early-2011. Well, it took more than 12 productive years as Mac users, but now we're in a situation that calls for a software utility that was written for Win 7, with no updates for the utility in question available, so it looks like we may "be back" after all.

We have two MacBook Pros - one an early 2011 MBP 17 (8,3) and the other a mid 2015 MBP 15 (11,5) - that both operate via macOS Sierra (10.12.6). We have purposely kept them at this OS level because our [much used] version of M$ Office won't run under macOS 10.13.X or newer and, more to the point, we can't afford to latch onto the M$ subscription teet.

As I really don't wish to research and buy a decent Win 7 PC laptop - if there is such a thing 😉 - I though that I'd ask the OS Combinations and Virtualization forum board about possibly employing a Win 7 virtual machine (VM) in macOS? Can it still be done?

By the way, I've done a bit of reading about Parallels for Mac ... and, once again, the latest version ( Parallels 18 ) won't work in macOS Sierra.

I appreciate your time.
Last edited:


Jun 8, 2018
Use VirtualBox or VMWare. At this point you'll have to download an older version of these apps for Sierra, I myself use VirtualBox 6.0.24 which is available on their site. You'll obviously need a Windows 7 install media and product key, but otherwise it'll work just fine. I don't know what kind of app you're using but most stuff should run fine as long as it doesn't need access to something like a direct parallel port connection.

Note that once you upgrade to Apple silicon this option is not available, virtual machines still rely on the host processor architecture, they are not an emulator. and FWIW a lot of Dell and Lenovo (ThinkPads) business class laptops are extremely reliable machines and well built enough if you're ever looking for real hardware.
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macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2021
Unrelated to the initial question, you can still buy Office licenses which are not subscriptions.
Does this mean that you can buy some sort of license that allows one to upgrade from one version of Office to a newer version? 🤔


macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
Does this mean that you can buy some sort of license that allows one to upgrade from one version of Office to a newer version? 🤔
They don’t sell upgrade licenses, but sometimes you can find discounted licenses for Office.


macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
I have bought those discount licenses a couple of times this year. Great deal - at a steep discount. You get an absolutely legit microsoft license, without the future hassle of "renting" MS Office. It's a one-time purchase, at a really good price. Jump on the deal when you see it, as they are often only available for a very short time. But if you miss the deal, just be patient, until the special price shows up again. You can usually find those offers at


macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2020
Has anyone successfully activated one of these MS Office 2021 for Windows perpetual licenses in a Virtual Machine?

The Stack Social website states (for both Win 11 and Office 2021 for Windows):
"This is NOT compatible with MS Office on Parallels Pro and other Virtual Machines"
That was a little confusing, so I asked their tech support and they e-mailed me that these licenses cannot be activated from within a VM.

That said, I have purchased two licenses for the Mac version of MS Office Pro 2021 from them and both successfully activated.
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