How to Copy and Paste on Virtual Machine | VMware & Hyper-V

Do you know how to copy and paste text between your local host and your virtual machine? It needs to be set up in advance. Here I will introduce how to enable copy and paste on VMware Workstation, ESXi, and Hyper-V VMs.


By Crystal / Updated on April 9, 2024

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Can you copy and paste between local and virtual machines?

Many users wonder how to copy and paste on virtual machine, or can they do it between local and VMs directly. The answer is YES. Actually, to improve efficiency, many hypervisor vendors add features that enable copy and paste on virtual machines.

If you find yourself cannot copy text from virtual machine to local machine or vice versa, it may because you haven’t set it properly. It is different from copying file to VMs. In this article, I will introduce how to copy and paste text between local machine and VMware or Hyper-V virtual machines.

*If you want to do it on VirtualBox, you can refer to: copy and paste on VirtualBox.

How to copy and paste on virtual machine

How to copy and paste on VMware Workstation virtual machine

To copy text from virtual machine to local machine or vice versa, you could refer to the following content. If you are using VMware Workstation, try these steps:

1. Launch VMware Workstation, select the target VM (no need to power on it), right-click on its name and select Settings…

VMware Workstation VM settings

2. Navigate to Options tab > Guest Isolation, check Enable copy and paste option and click OK to save.

Enable copy and paste on Workstation

Then you can copy and paste text between the host machine and the virtual machine.

How to transfer files between VMware ESXi and local pc

To transfer files between VMware ESXi and your local computer, you should set up the configuration steps like:

1. Access vSphere Web Client and power off the target VM. Navigate to Summary tab > Edit Settings > VM Options > Advanced and click Edit Configuration.

Edit configuration on vSphere web client

2. Click Add Configuration Params 3 times and it will add 3 new rows. Fill in the Name and Value fields with the following values:


Add configuration params

3. Click OK to save and close the wizard.

This is how to copy and paste on virtual machines of VMware ESXi. After the setup, you can now power on the VM and use your clipboard on it.

How to enable copy and paste in Hyper-V enhanced session mode

This part introduces how to copy and paste on virtual machines of Hyper-V. You can also use Clipboard to copy text from the remote VM to the local computer.

Note: If your Hyper-V host is a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 computer, you can skip this step because Enhanced Session Mode is enabled by default. If the Enhanced Session option is grayed out, and you are unable to turn it on, you need to enable it from the settings panel first.

1. Launch Hyper-V Manager, right-click on the host name and select Hyper-V Settings…

Open Hyper-V host settings

2. Navigate to Enhanced Session Mode Policy from the left Server inventory, and check the Allow enhanced session mode option.

Allow enhanced session mode on Hyper-V

3. Navigate to Enhanced Session Mode from the left User inventory, and check the Use enhanced session mode option. Click OK to save.

Use Enhanced session mode

4. Power on the VM, a VMConnect configuration window will pop up. Click Show Options.

Note: If you noticed that "Show Options" is disappeared when connecting from your Hyper-V host to virtual machine with allowing enhanced session mode, you can try to install the appropriate display driver and restart your Hyper-V host to solve the "Show Issue".

Show options

5. Navigate to Local Resources tab and check the Clipboard option. Click Connect to save.

Check clipboard option on Hyper-V VM

✎ To copy and paste files between physical machines and Hyper-V virtual machines, you can also try Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to copy files.

Boost File Transfer Success Rates with AOMEI Cyber Backup

By copying and pasting data, it is straight forward to transfer data, but there is a high probability that it will fail, especially during P2V or V2V migration. If not managed properly, it can pose a security risk when you copy and paste data between different VMs. This method, while convenient, can inadvertently transfer sensitive information, such as passwords or confidential files, across VM boundaries. If one of the VMs is compromised, it could potentially access the data of other VMs through the copied content. It is therefore necessary to mitigate this risk.

AOMEI Cyber Backup is designed to enhance the security of file transfers by backing up and restoring, thereby increasing the efficiency of copy and paste operations. This process ensures a higher success rate while protecting sensitive data. It is an all-in-one enterprise backup software that can easily backup not only the data of physical machines, but also virtual machines and databases.

  • Auto copy (changed) files from host to VM in real time, or vice versa.
  • Simplify VM backup and recovery process through the central console, minimizing operational disruptions and human errors.
  • Offer flexible backup plans to create a comprehensive and powerful protection plan for virtual machines.
  • Easily create a system image from physical machine and restore it to VM, etc.

Download the 30-day free trial to try it out:

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💡 Easier steps to copy and paste data on virtual machines:

1. Select Task > Backup Task > Create New Task.

* Select VMware Backup or Hyper-V Backup> enter the name > select VMs for backup. You are able to select multiple VMs at once and don't need to install agent on each VM.

Select virtual machines on vCenter

2. Schedule the backup: specify the backup way as full / incremental / differential backup, and select the specific time for automatic backup.

schedule backp

3. Select backup retention policy to delete old files to free up disk space.

Backup Cleanup

4. After the configuration, just click Start Backup to enable the task. You can easily achieve data protection for VM migration.

start backup

5. Click Restore >> Restore to new location to migrate VM to another host easily. It is rather simple and convenient.

restore VM

Frequently asked questions about copying and pasting on virtual machine

Q: Does copy and paste work across different operating systems?

A: Yes, copy and paste generally works across different operating systems as long as the virtualization software supports the feature. It's one of the benefits of using virtualization.

Q: Is there a keyboard shortcut for copy and paste in virtual machines?

A: Yes, the standard keyboard shortcuts are usually Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V (or Command+C/Command+V on Mac) for copy and paste, respectively.

Q: Are there security concerns related to copy and paste in virtual machines?

A: While copy and paste enhance productivity, be cautious when copying sensitive information between your host and virtual machine, especially in shared or networked environments.


How to copy and paste on virtual machine, or between local and virtual machines? You need to set it up properly in advance. In this article, I mainly introduced how to enable copy and paste on virtual machines of VMware or Hyper-V. Hope it could help you.

And if you want to copy files from local to virtual machines. The steps will be more complex. I recommend you use AOMEI Cyber Backup to do so with easy steps and auto management.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.