How to Share Files Between Host and Guest in VMware

Many IT professionals perform their lab exercises using VMware Workstation or Player. They want to share files between host and guest in VMware to perform few lab exercises. There are two methods that allow you to access files from a host machine to virtual machine running on VMware. The first method is drag-and-drop and the second one is using the Shared Folders feature. The Shared Folders feature allows you to share files between virtual machines and the host system. Before configuring the Shared Folders feature for a virtual machine, you need to make sure the following prerequisites:

  • You have installed the latest version of VMware Tools in the guest operating system.
  • You have sufficient permission on the host system to allow access to files in the shared folders.

In this post, we will explain how to share and access files from the host machine to a virtual machine running on VMware Workstation or VMware Plyer. For this, we will use the Shared Folders feature. We assume that you have already downloaded and installed VMware Workstation or VMware Player and have a running virtual machine.

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To share files between host and guest machine in VMware, you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Select your virtual machine for which you want to share files. Wait a minute! Which platform are you using: VMware Workstation or Player? For VMware Player, click Player, select Manage and then select Virtual Machine Settings  to open the settings options for this VM. For VMware Workstation, click Edi virtual machine settings in the right pane to open the settings options for the selected VM. We use VMware Workstation in this article.Enable share folders in VMware
  2. On the Virtual Machine Settings window, select the Options tab, and then select Shared Folders.
  3. In the Folder sharing section in the right pane, you can select either of the following Shared Folders options:
  • Always enabled: Select this option to keep folder sharing enabled permanently, even when the virtual machine is shut down, suspended, or powered off.
  • Enabled until next power off or suspend: Enable folder sharing temporarily.
  1. Select the Always enabled radio button. If you want to map shared folder as a network drive, select the Map as a network drive in Windows guests check box and then click Add.Enable folder sharing between host and guest on VMware
  2. Needless to say but will have to say, on the welcome page, click Next.
  3. On the Name and Shared Folder page, click Browse, select the folder of your host machine that you want to share, in this case, H:\Virtual Data, and then click Next.Select folder that you want to share
  4. On the Shared Folders Attributes page, ensure that the Enable this share check box is selected, and then click Finish.Share files between host and guest in VMware
  5. On the Virtual Machine Settings window, verify that the shared folder is listed in the Folders section, and then click OK.
  6. Sign in to your virtual machine, open the File Explorer window and verify that your shared folder displays as a network drive. Alternatively, you can also type \\vmware-host in the Run dialog box to access shared folder. Use the shared folder and files as you wish on the VMware virtual machine.
  7. If you no longer want to enable sharing between host and guest machines, you can disable it anytime. To disable the sharing, remove the Shared Folders check box on the Virtual Machine Settings window.

In this post, we have explained how to share files between host and guest on VMware. Hope, you have enjoyed it. Let others to enjoy too by just clicking your favourite sharing buttons below.

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