How-To Geek

Share Files Between a Windows 8 Virtual Machine and a Windows 7 Host Machine in VMware Workstation

When running the latest version of Windows 8 in a virtual machine in VMware Workstation, the shared folders feature doesn’t work because you can’t install VMware Tools. So, how are you supposed to transfer files between your VM and your Windows 7 host?

There is a way around this problem. You can share a folder on your Windows 7 host machine and then map that folder as a network drive in your Windows 8 virtual machine. We’ve shown you how to transfer files between a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 7 PC. This method uses that procedure, but there are also some settings you need to work with in VMware Workstation to ensure that you can both access your Windows 7 host machine and the internet through the VMware network connection.

Start your Windows 8 virtual machine in VMware Workstation. When you’ve logged into Windows 8, select Settings from the VM menu.

NOTE: You’ll have to press Ctrl + Alt to get the mouse to access items outside of the virtual machine.


The Virtual Machine Settings dialog box displays. On the Hardware tab, select Network Adapter. Make sure the NAT option is selected in the Network connection box. Click OK to accept your changes and close the dialog box.


Select Virtual Network Editor from the Edit menu.


If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.


Select the NAT type of network connection in the list of connections at the top of the Virtual Network Editor dialog box. Make sure the Connect a host virtual adapter to this network check box is selected. The name of your host virtual adapter displays below the check box item. The Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VMs check box should also be selected.

NOTE: This is the name of the connection displayed when you run the “ipconfig” command on your Windows 7 host machine to check the IP address, as we’ve previously described.


To connect the Windows 8 virtual machine and Windows 7 host machine, you must now share a folder on your Windows 7 host machine and then map to that folder in the Windows 8 virtual machine. For instructions on how to do this, see our article about transferring files between a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 7 PC.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 03/9/12

Comments (9)

  1. Nik Simpson

    Why not just join the Windows 8 VM to your Homegroup, it works just fine.

  2. jasray

    Such an oddity–VMware Player provides VMware Tools. Funny the paid workstation version doesn’t.

  3. hacker

    Hey u cud also mount the virtual drive using the disk management tool….

  4. Sam

    @Nik – How to join the VM in Homegroup ?

  5. Pradeep

    VM ware workstation 8 lets you install VMware tools. When the option for installing VMware tools comes in the taskbar (below the VMware machine) click on it, it will tell you that if download dialog does not appear then run D:\..etc. Just ignore it. Click My computer from Windows Explorer and you will find VMware tool loaded in your CD rom drive. Double click on it and it will install VMware tool. After installation you full screen will automatically be set to correct monitor resolution and now you can just drag and drop files from Windows 7 to VM ware Windows 8. Well.. I am doing it.

  6. rick

    windows 8 works just like any other version of windows in vmware

  7. Johnny

    If anyone in here knows how to get Windows 8 preview up and running under WMWare 6.5 i would like to know how? Every time i set my windows 8 preview dvd into the the drive after 2-4 min it shows a blue screen with an unhappy face. – Thanks!

  8. Qrazydutch

    Note to webmaster…run your debug console on this webpage…mine showed 16 errors…causes page to load slower…
    @all other comments….thanks for your time putting this on this forum, I learn a lot from y’ all and it saves me a lot of fowl time for my angry birds hour!!!!

  9. kenedy123

    Thanks for giving the more information about the Share Files Between a Windows 8 Virtual Machine and a Windows 7 Host Machine in VMware Workstation.

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