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How to Increase Disk Size in VMware Virtual Machine

Need extra hard disk space in your virtual machine? Here’s a simple way to extend or increase disk size in VMware virtual machine in Windows.

For most users, VMware is one of the best when it comes to creating virtual machines. Mainly because the user interface is clean and the performance is pretty good compared to VirtualBox. When you are creating a virtual machine in VMware, it automatically allocates some space to install it. In fact, you can change how much space you want to allocat right in the VM creation wizard.

For example, for Windows operating system VMware suggests using around 60GB. For most people, installing the VM with suggested 60GB is plenty enough. That being said, like me, if you are a heavy user who uses the VM on a daily basis as part of the workflow, the poultry 60GB many not be enough. If that’s the case, you can change the allocated space before installing the VM. However, if the VM is already installed, then the process of extending the disk size is a bit different. You cannot simply go to the Windows Disk Management tool and extend the hard disk.

Thankfully, though not obvious at first glance, it is easier than you think. Follow the below steps to extend disk size in VMware virtual machine.

Steps to Extend or Increase VMware Virtual Machine Disk Size

Before proceeding to increase the virtual machine disk size in VMware, there are few things you should know and do.

Important Pre-steps

First, make sure the virtual machine for which you want to extend the hard disk size is completely turned off. i.e. not in Paused or Saved state.

Second, delete any snapshots of that virtual machine. Though not compulsory, depending on the VM’s operating system, snapshots taken before extending the hard disk size can cause problems in certain situations.

Once you’ve done the above two things, proceed to the steps below to increase VMware virtual machine disk size.


Note: I’m showing in VMware Workstation but the steps are pretty similar for VMware Player too.

1. First, open the VMware application by searching for it in the start menu.

2. After opening the VMware, on the left panel, select the virtual machine and then click on the “Edit virtual machine settings” option from the right panel.

3. In the VM settings window, select “Hard Disk” on the left panel. On the right panel, click on the “Expand” button next to “Expand disk capacity”.


4. In this window, type in the total new drive capacity of your choice. Click on the “Expand” button. For example, I want to expand the disk by 10GB, so I replaced 30 with 40. That way, the total new drive capacity will be 40GB.


5. The above action will expand the drive according to your settings. Once done, you will see the confirmation message. Click “Ok” to close it.


6. You can see the new VM disk size in the main settings window.


That is it. You’ve successfully increased the VMware virtual machine disk size.

Do keep in mind that though you’ve increased the disk size in VMware, the guest operating system doesn’t know it because the extended storage will be listed as Unallocated. So, you have to manually create a new partition or extend the existing partition from the guest operating system. For instance, if you’ve installed Windows in the virtual machine, you can open the Disk Management tool to create or extend partition.


That is it. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to create a shared folder in VMware and how to boot from USB in VMware.

2 thoughts on “How to Increase Disk Size in VMware Virtual Machine”

  1. Avatar for Nathan Marsili

    Hi, Thank you so much for this article, I am really confused when it comes to the allocation. I started out in VMware (VMplayer on windows7) creating 200 GB hard drive but did the expand command to 500 GB. It shows up in the settings on VMWare as 500 but still doing DF command I only think its 200 still. After I did this, I did not see 300 GB unallocated on my windows 7 disk management took, just the one partition for the entire C drive 1.8 TB. Is it possible that since I did not allocate hard drive space for the virtual machine when I created it, that I cannot allocate more of my C drive on Windows to expand it to 500 GB? Thanks so much!

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