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Copying a virtual machine in VMware Fusion (1001524)

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This article contains the procedure for copying a virtual machine in VMware Fusion.

Copying the virtual machine is the most thorough way of backing it up. For more information on backing up your virtual machine and its programs and data, see Best practices for virtual machine backup (programs and data) in VMware Fusion (1013628)

You can also copy the virtual machine as a way of duplicating it (if you want to image it or clone it, to make one or more new virtual machines based on the first); be sure that this does not violate any licensing agreements with the manufacturers of the operating system or any applications installed in the virtual machine.


Note: Ensure to disable shared folders before copying the Virtual machine as it may cause issues with shared folder on the destination host machine as the settings does not apply there.

To copy the virtual machine:

  1. Power off your virtual machine.

    • Making a copy of a virtual machine while it is running or suspended can create a copy that may not boot.
    • Ensure to temporarily disable shared folders before copying the virtual machine. Once the copying is complete we can enable shared folder on the original virtual machine.
  2. Find the virtual machine bundle. For more information, see Locating the virtual machine bundle in VMware Fusion (1007599).

  3. Drag the virtual machine bundle to the location where you want the copied bundle to be. If you are copying it to the same folder or somewhere else on your hard drive, hold down the option key -- this tells Mac OS to copy the file rather than moving it. If you are moving the bundle to another drive or a network share, Mac OS copies the file automatically. The cursor is superimposed with a green circle and a plus sign, indicating that a copy will be made.

    Note: This does not affect your current virtual machine.

If you power on the copied virtual machine, Fusion asks if you have moved the virtual machine or copied it. Select that you Moved It (unless you need to run the copied virtual machine at the same time as the original). This indicates that it is the same virtual machine, just starting from a new location, and keeps all of the settings the same.

Note: When you select the Copied It option, a new UUID and MAC address are generated, which can cause Windows to require re-activation and may cause network issues

Note: For information on renaming the copied virtual machine, see  Renaming a virtual machine in VMware Fusion (1015695).

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:



Update History

08/30/10 - Re-wrote article in step format; clarified why a VM might be copied. 01/13/2012 - Added video. 08/23/2012 - Added Fusion 5.x to Products 09/07/2013 - Added Fusion 6.x to Products 08/25/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x

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