How to share a folder between Mac OS X and Windows 7 and VMWare

Thanks to programs like VMware and Virtual Box, you now have the added luxury of installing and using multiple operating systems virtually on one physical system. This means, that you can install a Hackintosh Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 and above on VMware. However, this tutorial is not about installing a new OS in VmWare but regarding how to share a folder between Windows 7 and Mac OS X on VMware.

Many people run Mac OS X in VMware but unfortunately they are unable to share the folder between their current operating system Windows 7/8 and the Mac OS X.

There have been lots of complaints online by users stating that they are unable to drag and drop a folder between Mac OS X and Windows. Unfortunately, this is the reality. Vmware does not completely support virtulization of Mac OS X and hence there are a few steps you have to undertake in order to share the folder between the guest and the host operating systems.  Usually file-sharing process is done through network sharing. Below is a step-by-step tutorial that you can follow:

1. Download and install the latest version of VMWare in Windows 7.

VMWare Workstation Setup

2. It is important that you enable sharing settings in VMWare first. To do this, go to MAC OS X Virtual Machine that you created, and click Edit virtual machine settings

Mac OS X Virtual Machine

3.  You will now be shown with the Virtual Machine Settings for your MAC. Click Options tab and then Shared Folders. You will notice it Disabled by default. On the right, you will see Folder sharing options, under which you have to select Always enabled. Once done, click Add… to browse for your selected folder that you want to share with the guest OS.

VMWare Folder Sharing Enabled

4.  When you click Add…, you will then be prompted with the wizard that will allow you to browse and select a file/folder to share in VMware.

VMWare Add Shared Folder Wizard

5. Once you click Next, click Browse and browse for the folder

VMWare Shared Folder Add

6.  Set the shared folder attributes once you select the folder to share

VMWare Shared Folder Attributes

7.  Eventually, once done, it will be shown under the Folders section. Click OK

VMWare Virtual Machine Completed

8. Restart your virtual machine and click System Preferences in Mac

Mac System Preferences Dock

9. Now there will be System Preferences window opening up, click Sharing to make changes to the sharing settings in Mac OS X.

Mac System Preferences Sharing

10. Make sure that you have enabled File sharing in the left pane. This will enable folder sharing between guest and host operating system. Click OK

Mac File Sharing Settings

11. In MAC OS X, click Go, then click on Computer.

Mac Go Computer Menu

12. This will bring a pop-up enlisting all of the hard drives connected with the system. It will also include the virtual hard drive connected with the virtual operating system. The / is the shared drive that you see here.

Mac Shared Drive Accessible

13. Access this drive and you will see the shared folder in it.

Mac Shared Drive


Sharing Virtual and host operating system folders is easy using VMWare Workstation. However, the traditional method of drag and drop may not work. Try this method and update us with your comments on how this works for your system.

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