How to Import Files Into VMware

By Jason Artman

When you create a virtual machine on your computer using VMware Player, that machine exists in its own protected space on your hard drive and has no access to the files on the hard drive unless you import them. This makes it possible to install software on a virtual machine without fear that it will damage the computer. However, it can also cause confusion to those using VMware for the first time. You can import files into your virtual machine by installing the VMware Tools or by sharing a folder on your hard drive with the virtual machine.

Importing Files Through VMware Tools

Step 1

Start the virtual machine. After the operating system boots fully, confirm that you have a gray "VM" icon in the lower-right corner of the screen of the virtual machine. This signifies that the machine has the VMware Tools application installed. If there is no icon, click the "Virtual Machine" menu at the top of the window and then click "Install VMware Tools" to install the application. After confirming that VMware Tools is installed, continue to the next step.

Step 2

Browse to the location of the file on your computer that you want to import into the virtual machine. Click the file and drag it to the virtual machine window until you see a plus sign appear in the bottom-right corner of the mouse cursor.

Step 3

Release the mouse button. A status bar appears at the bottom of the virtual machine window. When the status bar is filled, the file is successfully imported.

Importing Files Through a Shared Folder

Step 1

Open VMware Player, and right-click the virtual machine for which you would like to create a shared folder. Click "Virtual Machine Settings."

Step 2

Click the "Options" tab, and then click the "Shared Folders" category under the "Settings" column.

Step 3

Select the radio button labeled "Always Enabled."

Step 4

Click the "Add" button at the bottom of the window, and then click "Next" when the Add Shared Folder Wizard appears.

Step 5

Click the "Browse" button. Navigate to the folder containing the files that you would like to import into the virtual machine, and then click "OK." Click "Next," and then click "Finish."

Step 6

Place a check in the box labeled "Map as a network drive in Windows guests," and then click "OK."

Step 7

Start the virtual machine. After the operating system finishes loading, click the "Start" button and then click "Computer" or "My Computer." The shared folder is listed under "Network Drives." Double-click the folder and transfer files to and from the folder as if it were a folder on the virtual machine.