Snapshots capture the entire state of the virtual machine at the time you take the snapshot. You can take a snapshot when a virtual machine is powered on, powered off, or suspended. If you are suspending a virtual machine, wait until the suspend operation finishes before you take a snapshot.

When you create a memory snapshot, the snapshot captures the state of the virtual machine's memory and the virtual machine power settings. When you capture the virtual machine's memory state, the snapshot operation takes longer to complete. You might also see a momentary lapse in response over the network.

When you quiesce a virtual machine, VMware Tools quiesces the file system in the virtual machine. The quiesce operation pauses or alters the state of running processes on the virtual machine, especially processes that might modify information stored on the disk during a restore operation.

Note: You cannot revert to a snapshot with dynamic disks, so quiesced snapshots are not used when you restore dynamic disks. Snapshot technology has no visibility into Dynamic Disks. Dynamic Disks are commonly known as Microsoft specific file systems.


  • If you are taking a memory snapshot of a virtual machine that has multiple disks in different disk modes, verify that the virtual machine is powered off. For example, if you have a special purpose configuration that requires you to use an independent disk, you must power off the virtual machine before taking a snapshot.
  • To capture the memory state of the virtual machine, verify that the virtual machine is powered on.
  • To quiesce the virtual machine files, verify that the virtual machine is powered on and that VMware Tools is installed.
  • Required privilege: Virtual machine.Snapshot management. Create snapshot on the virtual machine.


  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Snapshot > Take Snapshot.
  2. Type a name for the snapshot.
  3. Type a description for the snapshot.
    Adding a date and time or a description, for example, "Snapshot before applying XYZ patch," can help you determine which snapshot to restore or delete.
  4. (Optional) When the virtual machine is powered on, select the Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory check box to capture the memory of the virtual machine.
  5. (Optional) When the virtual machine is powered on, select the Quiesce guest file system (Needs VMware Tools installed) check box to pause running processes on the guest operating system so that file system contents are in a known consistent state when you take the snapshot.
  6. Click OK.


After you take the snapshot, you can view its status in the Recent Tasks field at the bottom of the vSphere Client.