Move Virtual Machines to another hard drive on Windows 10 PC

I have configured several virtual machines using VMware Workstation 10 on my Windows 10 computer. The VMware Workstation is installed on a disk with plenty of space, the virtual machines however are all created and saved on my system drive the C drive. It was my bad as I didn’t predict how large the VMs would grow in the first place. Now I run out of space on the system drive and want to move the configuration files or VMs to another location on the same PC. Currently I have VMware Workstation in D drive and its configuration files (the Virtual Machines) in C drive. There might be different ways to move a virtual machine that was created in VMware Workstation to a different location, a different HDD or even computer. Here is how I moved my virtual machines created in VMware Workstation 10 to a different location on another hard drive on the same Windows 10 PC. If you have other methods want to share, let us known in the comment section at the bottom.

VMware workstation

How to move VMware Virtual Machines to another drive in Windows 10?

Step 1. copy virtual machine files to new location

First of all, shut down the guest operating system and power off the virtual machine, or exist the VMware Workstation.

Go to remove VMware snapshots that you do not want to keep. They are used to restore a VM to a particular point in time when a failure or system error occurs. These files, *–delta.vmdk, *.vmsd and *.vmsn files, are usually very big. VMware recommends deleting snapshots within 24 hours. If you do not want to do it now, you can simply copy other VM configuration files to new location, and delete the snapshots after you have successfully relocate the VMs. Before you delete a VMware snapshot, make sure to shut down the guest operating system and power off the virtual machine, this can speed up the process. Otherwise it may take several hours or even longer.

Create a new folder in the new location or hard drive you want to save the virtual machines. Find the current virtual machines directory where all virtual machine files are stored. In my case, the Virtual Machines directory is saved in my system drive, I need to relocate them to another drive D. Copy the configuration files in the Virtual Machines directory from old disc to another disc in File Explorer, make sure to delete those snapshots or do not copy them as we mentioned above they are usually unnecessary and too big to be transferred.

Step 2. Add VMs to VMware Workstation

Once you moved the virtual machine to a different location or hard drive, run VMware Workstation, select File >> Open, and browse to the virtual machine configuration (.vmx) file in its new location.  If you get a message saying did you copy or move the VM, choose “move“.

Step 3. Verify VMs works in new location or disk

Run the virtual machine(s) on the new location to make sure they work properly.

Step 4. Delete VMs from their old location or disk

Click the name of a virtual machine from the library in the left hand side. From the Workstation menu bar, click to expand the Workstation menu, select Manage in >> Delete from disk. Click Yes to confirm. Go to the old Virtual Machines folder and delete all files if any. Then empty your recycle bin to free up the space on your hard drive.

Leave a Reply

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