You can remove USB devices from a virtual machine if the devices are no longer needed. When you disconnect a USB device from a virtual machine, the device is released from the virtual machine and is given back to the client computer, which starts using it.


To minimize the risk of data loss, follow the instructions to safely unmount or eject hardware for your operating system. Safely removing hardware allows accumulated data to be transmitted to a file. Windows operating systems typically include a "Remove Hardware" icon located in the System Tray. Linux operating systems use the umount command.

Note: You might need to use the sync command instead of or in addition to the umount command, for example after you run a dd command on Linux or other UNIX operating systems.


  1. Unmount or eject the USB device from the guest operating system.
  2. Select the virtual machine in the vSphere Client inventory.
  3. Click USB Connections on the virtual machine toolbar.
  4. Select the device to remove from the drop-down menu.
    For example, select USB Device 1 > Disconnect from device name.
    The menu shows the device status as Disconnecting.


The device reconnects to the client computer and is available to add to another virtual machine. In some cases, Windows Explorer detects the device and opens a dialog box on the client computer. You can close this dialog box.