You can manually install VMware Tools on a windows virtual machine. The Guest operating systems that support VMware Tools are Windows 2000 and earlier, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and later versions.


  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • Verify that the guest operating system is running.
  • For vSphere virtual machines, determine whether you have the latest version of VMware Tools. In the vSphere Client inventory, select the virtual machine and click the Summary tab.
  • For Workstation Player, Fusion, and Workstation Pro virtual machines, if you connected the virtual machine’s virtual CD/DVD drive to an ISO image file when you installed the operating system, change the setting so that the virtual CD/DVD drive is configured to autodetect a physical drive.

    The autodetect setting enables the virtual machine's first virtual CD/DVD drive to detect and connect to the VMware Tools ISO file for a VMware Tools installation. This ISO file looks like a physical CD to your guest operating system. Use the virtual machine settings editor to set the CD/DVD drive to autodetect a physical drive.

  • Log in as an administrator unless you are using an older Windows operating system. Any user can install VMware Tools in a Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME guest operating system. For operating systems later than these, you must log in as an administrator.
  • If you use vSphere and plan to install the Guest Introspection Thin Agent driver, see the system requirements listed in the vShield Quick Start Guide. The vShield component is not installed by default. You must perform a custom installation and include that component.


  1. Select the menu command to mount the VMware Tools virtual disk on the guest operating system.
    VMware Product Action
    vSphere Client Right-click the virtual machine and select Guest OS > Install VMware Tools... or Guest OS > Upgrade VMware Tools...
    Fusion Virtual Machine > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools
    Workstation Pro VM > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools
    Workstation Player Player > Manage > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools
  2. If you are using vCenter Server and are performing an upgrade or reinstallation, in the Install/Upgrade VMware Tools dialog box, select Interactive Tools Installation or Interactive Tools Upgrade and click OK.
    The process starts by mounting the VMware Tools virtual disc on the guest operating system.
  3. If you are installing VMware Tools for the first time, click OK on the Install VMware Tools information page.
    If autorun is enabled for the CD-ROM drive on the guest operating system, the VMware Tools installation wizard starts.
    To launch the wizard manually if autorun is not enabled, click Start > Run and enter D:\setup.exe, where D: is your first virtual CD-ROM drive. Use D:\setup64.exe for 64-bit Windows guest operating system.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts.
    If you use vSphere, to install nondefault components, such as the Guest Introspection Thin Agent driver, select the Custom setup.
    Note: If NSX Guest Introspection (GI) drivers are installed and you are using ‘Custom’ installation option in the Tools installer for upgrade, ensure that all installed GI drivers are upgraded during upgrade.
  5. When prompted, reboot the virtual machine.


If you are using vCenter Server, the VMware Tools label on the Summary tab changes to OK.

What to do next

If you upgraded VMware Tools as part of a vSphere upgrade, next determine whether to upgrade the virtual machines in your environment. To review and compare the hardware available for different compatibility levels, see the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.