VMware Workstation cannot enter Unity mode

If when you are trying to open the Unity mode in VMware Workstation, you see this message, then this post will help you troubleshoot the issue:

The virtual machine cannot enter Unity mode because:

  • The guest operating system does not have VMware Tools installed or

  • The guest operating system’s resolution cannot be changed.

VMware Workstation failed to enter Unity mode

The Unity mode of VMware helps you open an app of the virtual machine in your actual Windows installation. Let’s assume that you have developed an app and are testing it in the virtual machine – and suddenly you need to test something on the actual machine’s interface. At such moments, instead of moving the executable file from virtual machine to the host machine and install it, you can use Unity mode to perform the same but faster.

However, a user can fail to enter Unity mode because of several reasons. Some of the most common causes are lack of VMware Tools and fixed resolution. These suggestions may help you bypass this error within moments.

VMware Workstation cannot enter Unity mode

1] Install VMware Tools

VMware Tools is the most critical component when you are entering Unity mode. Without this, you may not be able to use this functionality of VMware Workstation. As this utility is responsible for graphics performance, you need to install VMware Tools first – if you haven’t done already. For that, you can log into the guest OS, press Win + R, type this-


And hit the Enter button.

If you have already installed it earlier, but still you still see this error message, you have to wait for a couple of seconds before clicking the button. Once the virtual machine is turned on, you need to wait until the VMware Tools get started. Although there is no specific time for waiting, you can spend at least 15 seconds after logging into your machine.

2] Set Autofit guest

By default, if you resize the resolution of a virtual machine, the OS’s resolution gets changed automatically. However, some options might block it automatically. If you have recently made some changes in the settings panel, here is what you need to verify.

Open the VMware app > Edit > Preferences and go to Display menu and make sure the Autofit guest option is selected under Full screen. If not, do select it and save your change.

Use dual monitor with VMware virtual machine

Now, restart your virtual machine, wait for a couple of seconds, and click the button to enter Unity mode.

Hope it solves your issue!

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Sudip is a student who loves to engage with the latest technology & gadgets. Apart from writing about all things technology, he is a Photoshop junkie and a football enthusiast.