How to Fix: Not Enough Physical Memory in VMware

Have you encountered not enough physical memory error in VMware? Do you know how much ram to give to virtual machine? This article covers 5 methods to solve VMware not enough physical memory issue.


By Crystal / Updated on May 8, 2024

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Why not enough physical memory in VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation is a Type 2 hypervisor that is used to create and manage virtual machines. Although it provides convenience to users, sometimes there are some issues may occur in VMware Workstation. Some users report that they have encountered VMware not enough physical memory error when they power on VM. The error message was like: Not enough physical memory is available to power this virtual machine with its configured settings.

The most direct cause of the error is probably not allocating proper memory. For example, you have allocated too much memory for the VM, while some other applications and VMs are also using a lot of memory on your computer. In addition to this, there are some other reasons may cause this insufficient physical memory error:

  • Non-Optimal VMware Settings
  • Non-Availability of Administrator Rights
  • Conflicting Windows Update
  • Outdated VMware Version
  • Conflicting Applications
  • Wrong Configuration of VMware

This article will introduces 7 tips to fix not enough memory in VMware Workstation error one by one.

not enough physical memory vmware

How to solve VMware not enough physical memory error (5 fixes)

The error of not having enough physical memory in VMware may be due to your system's RAM memory being too low. So how much ram to give to virtual machine? Besides this, sometimes this error can still occur even if there is enough memory. Please continue to read the following part that describes the efficient fixes.

Fix 1. Allocate proper RAM

Some users are wondering “how much memory should I allocate to virtual machine”. Generally speaking, the rule is “2.5 x Amount of RAM" = amount of virtual memory you need. So if you have 500MB of RAM you need 1.25GB of free hard drive space for VM.

If your virtual machine is asking for too much memory, you could decrease the memory size of this VM and increase physical memory. Open File Explorer and right click This PC to select Properties.

allocate memory

In order to make sure your system has enough RAM to run VMware, you could also shut down unnecessary applications or disable startup programs.

Fix 2. Adjust VMware Memory Settings

According to their preference, some users will tweak the system using VMware Settings. However, during this process, users sometimes set VMware to non-optimal settings which will eventually cause VMware to show the error of not having enough physical memory.

1. Power-off the virtual machine on VMware Workstation.

2. Click on Edit >> Preferences.

3. From the left pane, select MemoryIt’s more recommended to choose the third option.

Fit all virtual machine memory into reserved host RAM: This option should be chosen when you have a large memory.
Allow most virtual machine memory to be swapped: This option should be chosen when you have a slightly larger memory and you want the virtual machine to run more smoothly.
Allow some virtual machine memory to be swapped: This option should be chosen when you do not have much memory.         

adjust vmware memory settings

4. Click OK.

Fix 3. Run as Administrator

VMware needs administrator access to different files/services/resources of the host environment to complete its operation. If you are using VMware without administrative privilege, your VMware may show the error under discussion.

1. Shut down the VMware Workstation.

2. Press Windows key and type VMware Workstation.

3. Right-click on VMware Workstation and select Open File Location.

4. Right-click the VMware Workstation icon and select Properties.

5. Click on the Compatibility and select the checkbox of “Run this program as administrator”.

6. Click OK.

Fix 4. Uninstall Windows update

Windows Update is designed to improve features and patch loopholes. However, one of the major reasons that can cause this error is a recent Windows update that restricts users from starting the virtual machine. Therefore, you can solve this problem by uninstalling it.

1. Press Windows key and select the Settings >> Update & Security.

2. In the left pane, click Windows Update >> View update history.

3. Click Uninstall Updates to uninstall the latest updates from your system.

uninstall Windwos update

Fix 5. Modify the config.ini file

If none of the above methods has worked so far, you can try to add or modify a configuration file to limit VMware Workstation to use a certain percentage of the host's available memory. This will ensure that the virtual machine only uses 75% of the host's memory.

1. Locate the path of config.ini file.

C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Workstation

2. Open the config.ini file, and add the following line to the end of the file.

vmmon.disableHostParameters = “TRUE”

change the config.ini file

3. Save the file and restart your system.

4. Reboot your host computer and virtual machine.

These methods can help you solve the issue of “not enough physical memory is available to power on this virtual machine with its configured settings” in VMware Workstation. At the same time, this error may make users lose access to their data, which poses a huge security threat to your virtual machine, or even lead to irreversible data loss. So it’s necessary to backup VMware virtual machines.

Virtual and physical machine backups in case of memory errors

Here, I will introduce a centralized backup software to protect your important data comprehensive.

AOMEI Centralized Backupper is a specialized backup software, which allows you to create a backup task for multiple Windows computers on the network from a central management console. With it, you can create System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, File Backup and SQL Server Backup for all the clients via simple clicks.

To create Windows client backup, you need to install AOMEI Centralized Backupper on the central management computer first, here's a detailed guide to walk you through the installation and backup process.

First, you can download the 30-day free trial to get started:

Download FreewareVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

After installation, you can launch it and find all the available Windows clients on the Computers tab. Then, click Install client program to install the Agent setup on the computers you want to manage.

install client program

There are 2 ways provided, manually or remotely. If you choose the former, then you still need to Request Control over them. After confirmation, all these client computers will be under your control, and you can get started to create centralized backup task.

request control

Create backup tasks for multiple Windows computers

Not enough physical memory in VMware poses a risk to data security, so you can perform the following steps to backup your important data.

1. Launch the backup software, switch to Tasks >> New Task, all the backup options are listed here. Select System Backup to create a new backup task.

System Backup

2. You will then be taken to the 3-step backup screen.

In Step 1, click + Add Computers and select the correct IP of the virtual or physical machines you want to backup.

Add Computers

In Step 2, select a location as the destination path. You can click Add Storage in the prompt window to add a Share or NAS Device as a storage end.

Choose Destination

Then set up backup settings, schedule backup or backup retention policy.

Settings: Here you can manage backup task, enable encryption for backup, set compression level or intelligent sector etc.

Schedule: It enables you to set up automatic backup on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. In Advanced tab, you can also choose full/incremental/differential backup.

Scheme: When the data to be backed up is large, you can create a retention policy to auto delete old backups.


3. Click Start Backup. Here you can choose Only create the task or Create and execute tasks.

Start Backup

Wait for a while and your backup will be completed. Then, you can restore system in the event of a disaster, such as, system crash, hard disk failure, virus attack, etc.


When you power on your virtual machine in Workstation, you might receive the error message of not having enough physical memory in VMware. This article covers the reasons and provides you 5 methods to fix the insufficient memory issue. To prevent losing access to VM data, you should back up VM files regularly.

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.