You can use the Auto Start feature available in VMware Workstation Pro to automatically power on the local virtual machines when the Windows host machine boots up.

VMware Workstation Pro installs a new Windows service named VMware Autostart Service for the Auto Start feature. You must configure this service to start automatically if you want to use the feature.

You can choose the virtual machines for Auto Start from the Workstation UI.


  • Ensure that you have installed VMware Workstation Pro 17.0 or later.


  1. To configure VMware Autostart Service to Automatic start type, perform the following steps:
    1. Click Start > Run.
    2. Type services.msc, and then press Enter.
    3. From the service list, right click VMware Autostart Service, and then click Properties.
    4. On the General tab of the VMware Autostart Service Properties dialog box, select the Startup type as Automatic, and then click OK.
      Note: You can configure the user account with which you want to run the VMware Autostart Service. To change the login information, on the Log On tab of the VMware Autostart Service Properties dialog box, select This account, and specify the required credentials. By default, the service is configured to run with LocalSystem account, so changing the account information is recommended.

      The user you specify must have the following rights:

      • Write access to the vmAutoStart.xml file located in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmAutoStart.xml.
      • Ownership to the VMX files specified in the vmAutoStart.xml file.
  2. Launch VMware Workstation Pro.
  3. On the VMware Workstation Pro user interface, right-click My Computer, and then select Configure Auto Start VMs.
  4. On the Configure VM Power Actions dialog box, select the Auto Start check boxes and modify the Start Order fields for the virtual machines you want to autostart.
    The virtual machines are started in the sequence as per the Start Order.
    Note: Same value of the Start Order for more than one VM still starts the VMs sequentially but the power-on sequence for those VMs is undefined.
  5. Click OK.
    Note: You cannot configure Auto Start for an encrypted VM.