Troubleshooting issues with Unity in Fusion
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Troubleshooting issues with Unity in Fusion


Article ID: 305938


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


This article provides the general steps to follow when unity is not working as expected. The troubleshooting steps are appropriate for all cases, and the articles in the Additional Information section of this article provide resolutions for specific cases.

  • Unity does not work
  • Applications don't appear in Unity
  • Applications are over-shadowed, or only partially visible, or have a black or white box over all or part of the window
  • Display Topology update request could not be completed in guest


VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Fusion Pro 12.x
VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x
VMware Fusion 4.x
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion 12.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Fusion 11.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion Pro 11.x
VMware Fusion 3.x
VMware Fusion 2.x
VMware Fusion 5.x


Each step below provides instructions and a link to a document, for performing the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and to identify the proper resolution. They are also ordered in the most appropriate sequence to minimize data loss. After completing each step, try restarting your virtual machine and entering Unity again. Work through each troubleshooting step in order, and do not skip a step.

Note: In VMware Fusion 4.x and above, the unity view mode is disabled for Ubuntu 12.04 or higher version. Ubuntu's Unity (both 2D and 3D DE's) has a different management style when compared to other Linux distributions and Windows operating systems. Therefore, Ubuntu is not supported by Fusion Unity mode. Unity is also disabled for Linux guests using Compiz and Enlightenment window managers.
To troubleshoot issues with Unity:
  1. Rule out potential conflicts with multiple monitors. If you have multiple monitors connected to your Mac, disconnect all but the primary monitor.

    Note: If the step does not resolve the issue, but a later step does, try using multiple monitors again.
  2. Rule out potential conflicts with Spaces. If you have multiple Spaces set up for Mac OS, disable them. For more information, see Work in multiple spaces on Mac

    Note: If the step does not resolve the issue, but a later step does, try enabling Spaces again.

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of April 14, 2022. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.
  3. Reinstall VMware Tools. For details, see Overview of VMware Tools for VMware Fusion (1022048).
  4. Ensure the VMware User-Agent is running. Alternatively, in Fusion 4, ensure vmtoolsd.exe is running. For more information, see Unity, copy/paste, and drag-and-drop do not work after restarting a virtual machine with auto-login enabled (1014988).

    Note: Do not restart your virtual machine during or after this step. Instead, simply exit and re-enter Unity mode to see if the issue is resolved.
  5. Look for non-Microsoft, non-VMware display drivers or software installed in the virtual machine, and remove them.
  6. Disable all non-Apple startup utilities and programs by performing a Safe Boot. For more information, see Using Safe Boot (1004017).
If the issue continues to exist after trying the steps in this article:

Additional Information

If you encounter a specific issue or error with Unity, see:


Fusion でのユニティに関する問題をトラブルシューティングする
在 Fusion 中对 Unity 问题进行故障排除