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. To take a snapshot of a suspended virtual machine, wait until the suspend operation finishes before you take a snapshot.

About this task

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, snapshots that capture the memory state of a virtual machine take 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 stores on the disk during a restore operation.

Application-consistent quiescing is not supported for virtual machines with IDE or SATA disks.


Do not use VMware snapshots to backup dynamic disks on Windows. If you take a snapshot of a dynamic disks on Windows you cannot revert to the snapshot. Snapshot technology does not have visibility in dynamic disks and cannot preserve the quiesced state of the disk files.


  • 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.

  • Verify that you have the Virtual machine > Snapshot management > Create snapshot privilege on the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine from the list, select Snapshots, and select Take snapshot from the pop-up menu.
  3. Enter a name for the snapshot.
  4. (Optional) Type a description for the snapshot.
  5. (Optional) Select the Snapshot the virtual machine's memory check box to capture the memory of the virtual machine.
  6. (Optional) Deselect Snapshot the virtual machine's memory and select 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.

    Quiesce the virtual machine files only when the virtual machine is powered on and you do not want to capture the virtual machine's memory.

  7. Click OK.