You can switch virtual machines that have Windows XP or later guest operating systems to Unity mode to display applications directly on the host system desktop.

In Unity mode, virtual machine applications appear on the host system desktop, you can use the virtual machine Start or Applications menu from the host system, and the virtual machine console view is hidden. Items for open virtual machine applications appear on the host system taskbar in the same way as open host applications.

On host system and virtual machine applications that are displayed in Unity mode, you can use keyboard shortcuts to copy, cut, and paste images, plain text, formatted text, and email attachments between applications. You can also drag and drop and copy and paste files between the host system and the guest operating system.

If you save a file or attempt to open a file from an application in Unity mode, the file system you see is the file system inside the virtual machine. You cannot open a file from the host operating system or save a file to the host operating system.

For some guest operating systems, application windows in Unity mode can appear only on the monitor that is set as the primary display when you have multiple monitors. If the host and guest operating systems are Windows XP or later, the application windows can appear on additional monitors.

Unity mode is not available in full screen mode on Windows.

Note: You cannot use Unity mode with a remote virtual machine.


  • Verify that the latest version of VMware Tools is installed in the guest operating system.
  • Verify that the guest operating system is Windows XP or later.
  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • If you are entering Unity mode, open applications in the virtual machine to use in Unity mode.


  • To enter Unity mode, select the virtual machine and select View > Unity.
    The console view in the Workstation Pro window is hidden, and open applications appear in application windows on the host system desktop. A check mark appears next to Unity in the View menu.
  • To navigate between multiple Start or Applications menus when multiple virtual machines are in Unity mode, press the arrow keys, Tab, or Shift+Tab to cycle through the virtual machine menus and press Enter and the spacebar to select a virtual machine.
  • To exit Unity mode, select View > Unity and deselect Unity.