The AutoProtect feature preserves the state of a virtual machine by taking snapshots at regular intervals that you specify. This process is in addition to manual snapshots, which you can take at any time.

When AutoProtect snapshots are enabled for a virtual machine, Workstation Pro shows an estimate of the minimum amount of disk space taken by AutoProtect snapshots on the Virtual Machine Settings window. This minimum is affected by the memory settings for the virtual machine. The more virtual machine memory a virtual machine has, the more disk space is available for AutoProtect snapshots.

The AutoProtect feature has certain restrictions.

  • Because AutoProtect takes snapshots only while a virtual machine is powered on, AutoProtect snapshots cannot be cloned. 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.


  1. Select the virtual machine and select VM > Settings.
  2. On the Options tab, select AutoProtect and select Enable AutoProtect.
  3. Select the interval between snapshots.
    Option Description
    Half-Hourly Snapshots are taken every half hour.
    Hourly Snapshots are taken every hour.
    Daily Snapshots are taken daily.
    The interval is measured only when the virtual machine is powered on. For example, if you set AutoProtect to take snapshots hourly and then 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 the virtual machine was powered off.

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

  4. Select the maximum number of AutoProtect snapshots to retain.
    After the maximum number of AutoProtect snapshots is reached, Workstation Pro deletes the oldest AutoProtect snapshot each time a new AutoProtect snapshot is taken. This setting does not affect the number of manual snapshots that you can take and keep.
  5. Select OK to save your changes.