How to Share Folder from Windows in VMWare Fusion to Mac

Jun 5, 2024 - 2 Comments

Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac

If you are running Windows 11 in VMWare Fusion on a Mac, you might want to setup a shared folder to easily transfer data from the Mac to the Windows virtual machine. There are a few ways to accomplish this, from using VMWare Tools, to using a networking approach, and we’ll cover the latter here.

Before beginning, you might be wondering “why not just use the easy VMWare Sharing option?” which is a perfectly valid question. Well, interestingly enough, the official instructions on the vmware site don’t work for many users, myself included, because there is no “Sharing” settings option in VMWare. The most common reason for this being the case is because you have not yet installed VMWare Tools in the Windows virtual machine, but sometimes that doesn’t work to reveal the ‘Sharing’ settings either. Whatever the reason, there are alternative methods to setup a shared folder between the virtual machine Windows environment and the host Mac, and we’ll show you another way that works just as well by using the network capabilities of both operating systems.

How to Share a Folder from Windows in VMWare Fusion to the Host Mac via Network Sharing

This method offers an alternative approach to sharing a folder between VMWare Fusion running a Windows VM and the host Mac:

  1. From the VMWare Virtual Machine Library screen, right-click on the Windows VM and choose “Settings”, then go to “Network Adapter”
  2. Change network adapter settings to "Bridged" networking autodetect

  3. Change the setting for Bridged Networking to Autodetect
  4. Start the Windows 11 VM as usual and let it boot
  5. From the Windows 11 VM desktop, right-click on the desktop and choose “New” and then “Folder”
  6. Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac 1

  7. Now right-click on the “Folder” you just created, and choose “Properties”
  8. Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac 2

  9. Choose the “Sharing” tab in Properties, and then click on “Advanced”
  10. Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac 3

  11. Choose “Permissions”
  12. Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac 4

  13. Add the user account and give full permissions
  14. Create a Shared Folder in Windows for VMWare to share to Mac 5

  15. Finally, access Windows Network settings and make note of the IP address of the virtual machine shown here, you’ll be using this from MacOS to connect to
  16. Find the Windows IP address

  17. Now on the host MacOS side of things, from the Finder pull down the “Go” menu and select “Connect to Server”, then enter the VMWare Windows VM server IP address in the address field, like so:
  18. smb://

  19. Click “Connect” and authenticate with the Windows VM login and password
  20. Connecting to the Windows Shared folder in VMWare from the Mac

  21. Now you can drag and drop anything you’d like to share between the Windows VM and the host Mac, allowing for easy file transfers and sharing of data between the VM and host
  22. Copy files from the Mac to Windows VM with network sharing

As you can see, this trick works by using the networking tools of both Windows and MacOS, and the networking capabilities of VMWare.

For many users, this is a workaround or alternative approach, when the easy VMWare Tools method of enabling sharing between VM and host is not available, or is not working for whatever reason.

There you have it, you’re not easily sharing documents, files, pictures, and data between the Mac and Windows VM in VMWare, all by using familiar networking methodology.

Did this method work for you, or did you find another solution?

From poking around, I did find an approach in this YouTube video which didn’t work quite as described, but I found a way to make work on my particular VMWare Fusion setup with Windows 11 and MacOS Sonoma. Importantly, there was no requirement to use VMWare Tools, which matters both if you don’t want to install that, but also if you did install it and find the Sharing functionality is not available anyway. That video has been embedded below since it may be useful to some users.



Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Eduardo says:

    Does this trick works with Linux VMWare VMs too?

  2. Fear says:

    What a workaround, glad it works but shouldn’t the Sharing feature just work?

    I also installed VMware Tools into my Windows VM and did not find any Sharing settings in my virtual machine after installing it, so am I missing an extra step or is that an issue with VMWare or VMWare Tools?

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site