If you are installing VMware Tools in a number of Windows virtual machines, you can automate its installation.

The strategy you use to automate the installation of VMware Tools depends on the VMware product you are using.

  • If you are using VMware Player or Workstation, you can use the VMware Tools setup.exe at a command prompt in the guest operating system.
  • If you are using vCenter Server, you can use the Virtual Machines tab for a host or cluster and select the virtual machines on which to install or upgrade VMware Tools.

Regardless of which strategy you use, you can specify options for the components you want to include or exclude.


  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • Log in to the guest operating system as an administrator.
  • If you plan to use setup.exe at the command line to run the VMware Tools installation, edit the virtual machine settings to connect the virtual CD/DVD drive to the VMware Tools ISO image. In VMware Workstation and Player, the windows.iso file is on the host in the directory where you installed Workstation or Player.
  • If you want to use MSI arguments to specify options regarding the silent installation, go to the Windows Installer page on the MSDN Web site to familiarize yourself with the syntax. You can use these arguments with the setup.exe command or place them in the vCenter Server dialog box for automatic installations and upgrades.
  • If you want to prevent some VMware Tools components from being installed, familiarize yourself with the VMware Tools component names so that you can specify which components to exclude. See Names of VMware Tools Components Used in Silent Installations.
  • If you are installing VMware Tools from a beta or release candidate of a VMware product, suppress prompts about unsigned drivers. See Suppress Prompts About Unsigned Drivers on Pre-Windows Vista Operating Systems and Add VMware as a Trusted Publisher to Suppress Driver Prompts.


  • If you use VMware Workstation or Player, use the setup.exe command.
    1. Open a command prompt in the guest operating system and change directories to the virtual CD/DVD drive.
    2. Enter the setup.exe command with any MSI arguments.
      setup.exe /S /v "/qn msi_args"

      To exclude some of the VMware Tools components, use the ADDLOCAL and REMOVE options.

      setup.exe /S /v "/qn msi_args ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=component"
      For example, the following command performs a silent installation and suppresses rebooting when installation is complete. This command also installs all components except the shared folders component.
      setup.exe /S /v "/qn REBOOT=R ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=Hgfs"

      The next example shows the same command, but with logging added.

      setup.exe /S /v "/qn /l*v ""%TEMP%\vmmsi.log"" REBOOT=R ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=Hgfs"
  • If you use vCenter Server, use the Virtual Machines tab to select multiple virtual machines.
    1. In the Inventory > Hosts and Clusters view, select the host, cluster, or datacenter and click the Virtual Machines tab.
    2. Control-click or Shift-click to select the virtual machines.
    3. Right-click and select Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.
    4. Complete the dialog box.
      To specify any MSI arguments or to specify which VMware Tools components to exclude, add the same arguments and options that you would for the setup.exe program in the Advanced text box.