The AutoProtect feature preserves the state of a virtual machine by taking snapshots at regular intervals. You can also take manual snapshots at any time.

The AutoProtect feature has certain restrictions.

  • Because AutoProtect takes snapshots only while a virtual machine is powered on, you cannot clone AutoProtect snapshots. You can clone a virtual machine only if it is powered off.

  • AutoProtect snapshots are not taken in Workstation Player, even if AutoProtect is enabled for the virtual machine in Workstation Pro.

  • You cannot configure the AutoProtect feature for a shared or remote virtual machine.

To configure AutoProtect options for a selected virtual machine, select VM > Settings, click the Options tab, and select AutoProtect.

Table 1. AutoProtect Options



Enable AutoProtect

When you enable the AutoProtect feature, an estimate of the minimum of amount of disk space used appears in the Virtual Machine Settings window. The Memory setting for the virtual machine affects this minimum. The more virtual memory that a virtual machine has, the more disk space is available for AutoProtect snapshots.

AutoProtect interval

Select the interval of time between AutoProtect snapshots.


Snapshots are taken every half hour.


Snapshots are taken every hour.


Snapshots are taken daily.

The interval between AutoProtect snapshots is measured only when the virtual machine is powered on. For example, if you set AutoProtect to take snapshots hourly and power off the virtual machine five minutes later, the next AutoProtect snapshot takes place 55 minutes after you power on the virtual machine again, regardless of the length of time that the virtual machine was powered off.

Workstation Pro saves only one snapshot per tier, even if a snapshot matches more than one tier.

Maximum AutoProtect snapshots

Select the maximum number of snapshots to be retained. After the maximum number of AutoProtect snapshots is reached, Workstation Pro deletes the oldest AutoProtect snapshot each time a new AutoProtect snapshot is taken. Based on the settings that you enter, Workstation Pro retains a selection of AutoProtect snapshots over a range of time.