Consolidating snapshots in VMware Workstation
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Consolidating snapshots in VMware Workstation


Article ID: 340664


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


1. When starting a virtual machine, you see one of these warnings:
  • VMware has paused this virtual machine because the disk on which the virtual machine is stored is almost full. To continue, free up at least [X] GB of disk space.
  • This virtual machine has more than 100 snapshots in a single branch of its snapshot tree. If you take more snapshots of this virtual machine in this branch, the guest operating system may not boot again. You should either delete some snapshots or make a full clone of the virtual machine. 

2. When deleting snapshots, you see the warning:
  • Unable to clean up deleted files. There is not enough space on the file system for the selected operation.

3. You cannot see all of your snapshots in the Snapshots Manager.

4. VMware Workstation says that your virtual disk has snapshots, but you cannot see any.


VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Windows)
VMware Workstation Pro 15.x (Windows)


Caution: This article assumes familiarity with how snapshots work.

The most likely reason for running out of disk space (if you have not recently saved any large files to your computer) is that one or more snapshots have grown too large. If this occurs, you have three options:

  1. Make more space.
  2. Automatically consolidate snapshots
  3. Manually consolidate your snapshots

Option 1: Automatically consolidate snapshots

1. Shut down the virtual machine
2. Go to the option 'VM' > Snapshot Manager
3. Select each snapshot and delete them from left-to-right

This consolidates all of your snapshots into your main disk. If you do not have enough disk space to do this, use option 2.

Option 2: Manually consolidate snapshots

If you cannot see any or all of your snapshots in the Snapshot Manager, and you do not have sufficient disk space for Fusion to consolidate them, you must consolidate your snapshots manually.

To consolidate data from the snapshot(s) and from the main virtual disk, use the command-line utility vmware-vdiskmanager to create a new virtual disk.

1. Shut down the virtual machine. 
2. Quit VMware Workstation. 
3. Open Windows Explorer and locate the virtual machine.
4. Open Command Prompt as an Administrator.
5. Copy and paste this text into Command Prompt:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware-vdiskmanager.exe" -r 

6. Give a space.
7. From your virtual machine folder, drag the current virtual disk file into the Command Prompt window.
8. Give a space
9. Copy and paste this text into Command Prompt: 

-t 0

10. Give a space
11. Type the new location for the virtual disk, followed by a forward slash ( /), and enter a new file name (for example : NewDisk.vmdk).



12. The command will look similar to this:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\username\VMware Workstation\vmware-vdiskmanager.exe" -r "D:\Virtual Machines\Windows 7\Windows 7.vmdk" -t 0 "C:\Users\username\Desktop\NewDisk.vmdk"

13. Press Enter

14. A message that says Converting... followed by a percentage appears. The length of the process varies depending on the size of the virtual machine.

You may then create a new virtual machine based on this 'NewDisk.vmdk" file

Pointing the virtual machine to the new file

After the snapshots have been consolidated, you need to use the new virtual disk. The easiest way to do this is to make a new virtual machine that uses the new virtual disk you have just created (which has all of the information from your old virtual disk and all of the snapshots). To make a new virtual machine that uses the new virtual disk, refer to Creating a Workstation virtual machine using existing VMDK virtual disks (2010196)

Running a final check

After powering on the new virtual machine, compare it with the old virtual machine and ensure that nothing is missing. If you see any files or folders missing, you may have neglected to re-enable Shared Folders or Mirrored Folders.