Parallels for Mac: Right Alt Key Not Working

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 | 4 comments

Hopefully I will save you the hours of time it took me to figure this one out:

Using Parallels Desktop (v.8) for Mac OS X (10.8), the right alt (option) key in a Windows VM does not send an Alt key message to Windows, it sends the option key message. This is not always handy for those of us who need to use the Alt key on the right hand side of the keyboard. Here’s how to fix the problem.

Step 1. Open the Parallels preferences (cmd-,) and click the shortcuts tab

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 5.24.12 PM

Step 2. Under Virtual Machines, select Windows 7 (or 8 depending on your OS) and choose a generic profile.

Step 3. Click the + sign to add a mapping, which will pop up a dialog as shown below.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 5.24.31 PMStep 4. As you can see, we have clicked the option\alt key on the top and the option\alt key on the bottom. Now don’t click anything else except OK.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 5.23.49 PM


Step 5. You should now see the key mapping which is mapping the Option key to the Alt key as shown above. That’s it, you are done!

Now you can go back to your VM and enjoy using the right option key, which will now map to the Alt key in windows!



  1. Trying to remap COMMAND key to CTRL in Windows. Is that what is going on here? Had no success trying this method 🙁

  2. This is genius! Thank you.

  3. Thanks so much! Still an issue with Parallels 10.

  4. This was killing me. Thanks for the solution!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *