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.

For Windows 2000 and later, VMware Tools installs a virtual machine upgrade helper tool. This tool restores the network configuration if you upgrade the virtual machine compatibility from ESX/ESXi 3.5 to ESX/ESXi 4.0 and later or from Workstation 5.5 to Workstation 6.0 and later.


  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • Verify that the guest operating system is running.
  • 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 is detected as a physical CD by 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.
  • The AppDefense component is not installed by default. You must perform a custom installation and include that component.


  1. On the host, from the Workstation Pro menu bar, select VM > Install VMware Tools.
    If an earlier version of VMware Tools is installed, the menu item is Update VMware Tools.
  2. 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.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.
  4. If the New Hardware wizard appears, follow the prompts and accept the defaults.
    Note: If you are installing a beta or RC version of VMware Tools and you see a warning that a package or driver is not signed, click Install Anyway to complete the installation.
  5. When prompted, reboot the virtual machine.


What to do next

If a new virtual hardware version is available for the virtual machine, upgrade the virtual hardware.