Similar to creating a system image for your Windows 11 or Windows 10 host OS which is pretty helpful in a situation where you have to restore or recover your system to a pre-determined state, in VMware Workstation Player, you can easily take a snapshot — in this post, we walk you through the steps on how to do so.
How to take a Snapshot in VMware Workstation Player
Simply put, a virtual machine snapshot is a state that has been saved. The virtualization program stores the VM’s current state along with all of its data when you take a snapshot. This is very helpful in the following ways:
- For analyzing malware or conducting virtual machine experiments or tests.
- If your VM malfunctions or fails, you can simply restore its snapshot from a previous time.
VMware offers many advanced features that make virtual machine management much easier. The ability to take a Virtual Machine (VM) snapshot is one such feature that is available to users on available on Workstation Pro and not to those using Workstation Player. On Workstation Pro, to take a snapshot, simply open a virtual machine from the VMware Workstation app, then click on VM > Snapshot > Take Snapshot. However, there is an easy workaround to take snapshots which also overcomes the limitations of the snapshot feature in Workstation Pro. So, if you want to take a snapshot in VMware Workstation Player, you can follow the 2-step process as outlined below.
- Backup all VM files
- Add the Backup as a separate new VM in VMware Workstation Player
Let’s see the steps involved in the process in detail.
1] Backup all VM files
The first step to take a snapshot in Vmware Workstation Player requires you to create a folder, then proceed to copy all the VM files on the host machine, and then paste the files copied into the backup folder you created. To perform this task, do the following:
- Shut down your VM.
- Close the VMware Workstation Player.
- Open Task Manager.
- In Task Manager, check for and kill all instances of VMware.
- Next, right-click on the VM and open Settings > Hard Disk to find the path where all its data is stored on the host machine.
- Next, open File Explorer and navigate to the location where the VM files are stored.
- At the location, press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all the items.
- Press Ctrl + C to copy all the selected items to the clipboard.
- Now, if you haven’t already, create a new folder and give it a descriptive name (eg, VM_snapshot).
- Finally, open the new folder and then press Ctrl + V to paste all the copied items.
2] Add the Backup as a separate new VM in VMware Workstation Player
Once you have completed the first step of this process by backing up all VM files which is simply making an identical copy of your VM, you can now continue with the second and final step which requires you to add or load the Backup as a separate new VM in VMware Workstation Player to use it as a snapshot. To perform this task, do the following:
- Open a new instance of VMware Workstation Player.
- Click on Player > File > Open.
- Now, navigate to the location of the VM backup.
- Confirm the settings and add the VM to VMware Workstation Player.
Once done, you should be able to run the backup VM as you would with a regular image, and it should boot up just fine and be in the same state as the original VM.
That’s it on how to take a snapshot in VMware Workstation Player!
How do I export a snapshot from VMware Workstation?
To export a snapshot from VMware Workstation, go to the Snapshots tab, select the snapshot, click Actions and then click Export to File. Browse to locate the folder where you want to create the XVA file, enter the filename, then click Save to begin the export.
How do I backup my VM in VMware Workstation Player?
Although there are multiple methods to backup your VM in VMware Workstation Player in Windows 11/10 PC, the easiest way to get it done is by copying files manually. Apart from that, you can close the VM as well. To clone a VM with the Workstation clone VM wizard, select the VM from Workstation’s inventory and click the Manage option from the drop-down menu. Then, select the Clone option. Select the desired VM in Workstation and click Manage > Clone.