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Resizing a virtual disk in VMware Fusion (1020778)

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This article guides you through the process of increasing the size of a virtual disk for a virtual machine. This procedure is necessary if you need to store more data on your virtual machine than it can currently hold.

  • It is not possible to decrease the size of a virtual disk, if an operating system is installed on it.
  • The Boot Camp partition does not have a virtual disk -- it runs off the partition of the physical disk. To increase the size of the Boot Camp partition virtual machine's disk, you need to import the Boot Camp partition into a virtual machine first. For details, see Importing a Boot Camp partition in VMware Fusion (1015088).
If your sparse virtual disk is larger than the size used by the guest operating system, see Defragmenting, shrinking, and cleaning up Fusion virtual machine disks (1001934).

If your virtual machine bundle is larger than the size allocated to the virtual machine, see Fixing a VMware Fusion virtual machine that has grown larger than the allocated size(1025628).


This article consists of two parts. After following the steps to increase the size of your virtual disk, the size of the disk partition does not increase inside the guest operating system. You must follow steps related to your specific operating system to increase the size of the disk partition(s) there.

Caution: VMware strongly recommends that you back up your virtual machine before increasing the size of virtual disks. For more information, see Best Practices for virtual machine backup (programs and data) in VMware Fusion (1013628).

Prerequisites: Before increasing the size of the virtual disk:

Increasing the size of the virtual disk

To increase the size of the virtual disk:

  1. Open Fusion.
  2. Select the virtual machine in the Virtual Machine Library.
  3. Go to Virtual Machine > Settings....
  4. Click Hard Disk(s).
  5. Use the slider to adjust the size of the virtual disk.
  6. Click Apply.
Note: Ensure that you have enough free space available on the physical disk to perform the operation. The free disk required is equal to the current .vmdk size. For example: If the vmdk is 20GB in size and you want to increase it to 30GB (a 10GB increase), you will require 20GB + 10GB free space on the physical disk.

Increasing the size of the disk partition in your operating system

Note: In Fusion 4.x and above versions, a Windows XP or newer virtual machine automatically re-sizes on first boot after increasing the disk size in the virtual machine settings.

In Fusion 3.x or older, to increase the size of the disk partition in Windows XP, use one of the third-party utilities listed in Increasing the size of a disk partition(1004071).

In Fusion 3.x or older, to increase the size of the disk partition in Windows Vista or 7:

  1. Log in as an Administrator.
  2. Go to the Start> Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Security.
  4. Click Administrative Tools.
  5. Double-click Computer Management.
  6. In the left pane, under Storage (expand it, if necessary), click Disk Management.
  7. Right-click the volume you want to expand, and choose Extend Volume.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Finish.

To increase the size of the disk partition in Linux:

  • For a graphical interface, boot your virtual machine from your install media (CD or .iso), and run the disk partitioner.

    Note: The name of the disk partitioner varies by distribution and version.

  • For a command-line interface, use the fdisk command. For more information, see Common Linux-based operating system operations (1022050), or run man fdisk.

To increase the size of the disk partition in Mac OS X:

  1. Open Disk Utility from [Macintosh HD]/Applications/Utilities. For more information, see Disk Utility 12.x: About Disk Utility
  2. Use the Disk utility to increase the size of the partition.

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of September 9, 2013. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

If this process fails, see Resizing a Fusion virtual disk fails(1025921).



See Also

Update History

06/08/2010 - Added note re: decreasing size. 08/04/2010 - Added Mac OS information. 08/23/2012 - Added VMware Fusion 5.x to Product Versions. 09/09/2013 - Added VMware Fusion 6.x to Product Versions. 08/25/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x

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