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Control+Alt key combinations in a virtual machine console (1011705)


  • Virtual machine Ctrl+Alt key combinations do not function as expected
  • Commands such as Ctrl+Alt+Delete or Ctrl+Alt+Esc do not work


Some applications within a virtual machine might require certain key combinations to pass through the console. However, some key combinations are trapped key sequences and may not function as expected on the virtual machine. You have to use alternative key combinations.
In vSphere 4.x/5.x and VMware Infrastructure 3:
  • Ctrl+Alt+Insert sends the virtual machine a Ctrl+Alt+Delete command.
  • Ctrl+Alt takes focus away from the console.  
ESX does not allow remapping of hot keys. The following workaround sends the desired keystroke combination to a virtual machine without losing focus:
  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar. 
  2. Keep holding Ctrl+Alt but release the space bar.
  3. Press the desired key (for example Esc).

Update History

02/21/2013 - Added ESXi 4.x and 5.x to Products

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  • 53 Ratings