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Clipboard Copy and Paste does not work in vSphere Client 4.1 and later (1026437)

Symptoms

  • Cannot copy and paste from the virtual machine remote console to the system in which the vSphere Client is installed.
  • The Copy and Paste options are disabled.

Cause

This issue occurs because by default, the Copy and Paste options are disabled due to security concerns in vSphere Client 4.1 and later.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, you must enable the Copy and Paste options using the vSphere Client. Alternatively, you can use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to connect to the Windows virtual machines.

To enable Copy and Paste option for a specific virtual machine:

Note: This procedure will enable Copy and Paste within a file but not Copy the file itself.

Note: VMware Tools must be installed for the Copy and Paste option to work. For more information, see Installing VMware Tools in a Windows virtual machine (1018377).
  1. Log in to a vCenter Server system using the vSphere Client and power off the virtual machine.
  2. Select the virtual machine and click the Summary tab.
  3. Click Edit Settings.
  4. Navigate to Options > Advanced > General and click Configuration Parameters.
  5. Click Add Row.
  6. Type these values in the Name and Value columns:

    Name Value
    isolation.tools.copy.disable FALSE
    isolation.tools.paste.disable FALSE


    Note: These options override any settings made in the VMware Tools control panel of the guest operating system.

  7. Click OK to close the Configuration Parameters dialog, and click OK again to close the Virtual Machine Properties dialog.
  8. Power on the virtual machine.

Note: If you perform vMotion of a virtual machine to a host where the isolation.tools.*="FALSE" is already set, the Copy and Paste options are automatically activated for that virtual machine.

To enable Copy and Paste option for all the virtual machines in the ESXi/ESX host:

  1. Log in to the ESX/ESXi host as a root user.
  2. Take a backup of the /etc/vmware/config file.
  3. Open the /etc/vmware/config file using a text editor.
  4. Add these entries to the file:

    vmx.fullpath = "/bin/vmx"
    isolation.tools.copy.disable="FALSE"
    isolation.tools.paste.disable="FALSE"


  5. Save and close the file.

    The Copy and Paste options are only enabled when the virtual machines restart or resume the next time or shutdown and power-on the virtual machine for changes to take effect.  This must be done on the virtual machine side, not the guest operating system side.

Note: These options do not persist after the host upgrade. If you upgrade to a newer version after enabling these options, the changes are lost and you may have to re-enable them.

For more information, see the Limiting Exposure of Sensitive Data Copied to the Clipboard section in the ESX Configuration Guide.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.

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