You can set up Fusion so that certain applications open files regardless of whether the files reside on your Mac or in the virtual machine.

The Default Applications setting also adds applications from your virtual machine to your Mac Applications menu and Spotlight.


  • Verify that VMware Tools is installed.
  • If your virtual machine is suspended, power it on.


  • Select Window > Virtual Machine Library.
  • Select a virtual machine in the Virtual Machine Library window and click Settings.
  • Under System Settings in the Settings window, click Default Applications.
  • Select the defaults for application sharing between your Mac and the virtual machine.
    You can enable more than one of these options at the same time.
    Option Description
    Open your Mac files and web links by using Windows applications You can use applications in your virtual machine to open files that reside on your Mac. For example, you can open a Microsoft Word document stored on your Mac in a Microsoft Office application in your virtual machine.
    Open your Windows files and web links using Mac applications You can use your Mac applications to open files in your virtual machines.
    Run Windows applications from your Mac's Applications folder Find applications that you installed in Windows in your Mac's Applications folder or using Spotlight. This option requires VMware Tools. The virtual machine must be running to enable this option. This option is not available on shared virtual machines.
  • (Optional) Click Configure to assign the applications used to manage mail, Web pages, and so on. See Set Default Applications Preferences.
  • (Optional) Click Restore Applications to restore the applications listed in your Mac Application folder to only those that Windows does not include by default.
    If you deleted any of the Windows applications not included by default from the Mac Application folder, the deleted applications are restored.
    If you added any applications that are included by default to your Mac's application folder, those applications are deleted from the Mac Application folder.
  • (Optional) Click Clean Up Applications to delete any Windows applications in the Mac Application folder that are not being used by any of your virtual machines.