How to Create VMware Shared Folder in Windows 10

To share data and files between host the operating system and guest operating system, you need to add or create VMware shared folder. Here’s how.

After installing the guest operating system in VMware, you can share folders between the host and guest. This allows you to quickly share files and data between the systems without having to drag and drop or use cloud services. Moreover, the shared folders also allow you to set quick rules for different users if you are sharing the VMware virtual machine with other users.

One of the best things about VMware is that it makes it easy to add shared folders via the VM settings panel. In this quick and simple guide, let me show the steps to create VMware shared folder in Windows 10.

The steps shown below will work in Windows 7 and Windows 8 too.

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Important Note: Make sure the virtual machine is completely turned off. i.e, not in the paused/saved state. When in paused or saved state, the Shared folder option in VM settings will be disabled. If it is in the paused/saved state, turn it off before adding the shared folder in VMware.

How to Create VMware Player Shared Folder

If you are using VMware Player, these the steps you should follow to add a shared folder in the virtual machine.

  1. Open “VMware Player“.
  2. Select the virtual machine for which you want to add the shared folder.
  3. Click on the “Edit Virtual Machine Settings” link at the bottom on the right panel.
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  4. Go to the “Options” tab.
  5. Select the “Shared folders” option on the left panel.
  6. Select the “Always enabled” option on the right panel.
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  7. Click the “Add” button.
  8. Click “Next“.
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  9. Point and click on the “Browse” button.
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  10. Select the folder you want to share and click “Ok“.
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  11. Type a name in the Name field and click “Next“.
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  12. Select “Enable this share” checkbox.
  13. (Optional) Select “Read-only” checkbox if you want the shared folder to be read-only.
  14. Click “Finish“.
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  15. Click “Ok” in the main settings window.
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That is it. You’ve added a shared folder to VMware virtual machine. 

Note: When you set a shared folder as Read-only, the VM cannot write or modify data in it. This option is a must if you want to protect the host operating system from malicious software running in VM.

Following the same steps, you can add as many VMware shared folders as you want.

How to Create VMware Workstation Shared Folder

If you are using VMware workstation, these are the steps you should follow to add a shared folder.

  1. Open “VMware Workstation“.
  2. Select the virtual machine for which you want to add the shared folder.
  3. Click on the “Edit virtual machine settings” link.
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  4. Go to the “Options” tab and select the “Shared folders” option.
  5. Select the “Always enabled” option.
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  6. Click “Add“.
  7. Click “Next“.
  8. Select the folder you want to share and click “Ok“.
  9. Name the shared folder.
  10. Select “Enable this share” option.
  11. To make the shared folder read-only, select the “Read-Only” checkbox (optional).
  12. Click “Finish“.
  13. Click “Ok“.

That is all. You’ve added the shared folder in VMware Workstation. You can access it directly from the File Explorer in the guest operating system.

Note: When you set a shared folder as Read-only, the VM cannot write or modify data in it. This option is a must if you want to protect the host operating system from malicious software running in VM.

Following the same steps, you can add as many VMware shared folders as you want.

How to Mount Shared Folder in VMware

Once you add the shared folder in the virtual machine settings, it is added to the guest operating system.

To mount the shared folder in VMware, turn on the virtual machine, open the File Explorer, and click on the “Network” option on the left panel.

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Go to “vmware-host → Shared Folders“. You will see the shared folder with the name you chose in the steps above. Click on it to mount the shared folder. If you want to, you can pin the folder to the File Explorer. To do that, right-click on the folder and select “Pin to quick access”.

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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, check out how to increase VMware disk size.

FAQ: VMware Shared Folder Windows 10

Can I share folders with VMware virtual machine?

Yes, you can. Open the VM settings and add the folder from the Shared Folder option. You can follow the steps shown above.

I cannot see shared folder in the VMware virtual machine.

If you are not able to see the shared folder in the guest operating system, make sure that the file sharing is enabled. In case of Windows, go to “Control Panel → Network & Sharing Center → Advanced Sharing Settings”. Select both “Turn on network discovery” and “Turn on file and printer sharing” options.Enable-sharing-in-windows-060720

Can I share folders with all VMs at once?

You have to manually share folders with each VM individually. VMware has no option to bulk share folders with all VMs in VMware.

How to protect the shared folder?

To protect the host operating system, you can make the shared folder “read-only”. This prevents the guest OS from writing or modifying data in the shared folder.

How do I remove shared folder in VMware?

To remove the shared folder, open the VM settings, go to “Shared Folder”, select the shared folder you want to remove and click “Remove”.

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