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 memory and the virtual machine power settings. When you capture the virtual machine 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 revert operation.

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

Note: If you take a snapshot of a Dynamic Disk (a Microsoft-specific disk type), the snapshot technology preserves the quiesce state of the file system, but does not preserve the quiesce state of the application.


  • 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. In the vSphere Client, navigate to a virtual machine and click the Snapshots tab.
  2. Click Take Snapshot.
    The Take snapshot dialog box opens.
  3. Enter a name for the snapshot.
  4. (Optional) Enter a description for the snapshot.
  5. (Optional) To capture the memory of the virtual machine, select the Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory check box.
  6. (Optional) To pause running processes on the guest operating system so that file system contents are in a known consistent state when you take a snapshot, select the Quiesce guest file system (requires VMware Tools) check box.
    You can quiesce the virtual machine files only when the virtual machine is powered on and the Snapshot the virtual machine's memory check box is deselected.

    For more information about the virtual machine behavior when you quiesce a virtual machine, see the KB article

  7. Click Create.