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How to Delete a Virtual Machine on VMware and VirtualBox in Windows 10


Need to delete a virtual machine from VMware Workstation or Oracle VirtualBox in Windows 10? You need to remove a virtual machine while operating with a virtual machine on the VMware Workstation and VirtualBox. There’s no need to keep it when you’re done using an operating system, or you’re just tired of it, or more specifically, you want to free up some space as a virtual machine takes up a lot of space. Like if you’ve installed macOS Catalina on VMware & VirtualBox for some reason, but want to delete it now, you can do it in a few steps.

Meanwhile, virtual Machines (VirtualBox & VMware Workstation mainly) are extremely useful when it comes to installing another operating system like macOS, Linux, or even Windows. In the meantime, maybe you’re setting up a VM that you don’t need anymore, or cloning an OS VM and having to delete it, or maybe you’re only trying to free up disk space by deleting virtual machines.

Furthermore, virtual Machines or VMs have become a vital tool in the world of software. They allow us to run multiple operating systems and hardware configurations on one computer, allowing users in various environments to build, test, and demonstrate software systems.

Why do I Need to Delete a VM?

Software from a virtual machine gives you the ability to build several VMs. With various operating systems and hardware configurations, you can build multiple environments. To test different software versions in the same environment, you can even build identical VMs.

Here are the main reasons:

  • Free up Disk Space

It is possible that the number one reason for deleting VMs is to free up disk space. The image of the VM and the files that go along with it, on your hard drive can take up several gigabytes. Delete them if you are running low on disk space and have any virtual machines that you are not using!

  • Not Using Anymore

If you are experimenting in a software development cycle using virtual machines, it is always prudent to delete your test VMs until development is complete. Normally, you do not want a test machine that has already been used; from previous tests, it might have modifications left.

  • Corrupted Virtual Machines

There is a fair risk you can corrupt it if you use a VM for testing. You may get a virus, you may break the registry or anything else that makes problems may happen. It’s easier to remove the VM in certain situations and start over with a new one. This redundancy is one of the key advantages of research and production using virtual machines

Delete a Virtual Machine on VMware 15 & 16

However, for whatever reason you want to delete a virtual machine, you can do it but removing it entirely is something you might not know about. It seems very quick and convenient to uninstall a VM. Like many people, you may have tried to uninstall a VM, but what you might have done is remove it from the VMware or VirtualBox library that doesn’t delete any of the VM files from the disk. It can only be removed from the VM software library, and the files may still be on the disk.

Note: By deleting a virtual machine, all the data stored on it would be fully erased.

  • Open VMware Workstation and navigate to the list of virtual machines stored on your hard drive.
  • Click the name of the machine you want to remove.

  • After selecting the Virtual Machine name, click the VM tab, click Manage, and then select Delete from Disk.
Delete from Disk
  • Confirm the deletion process by clicking Yes in the pop-up that appears.
  • Now, you have successfully deleted your Virtual Machine on VMware Workstation in Windows 10.

How to Delete a Virtual Machine on VMware and VirtualBox in Windows 10

Once it’s deleted, you won’t see any files of the virtual machine including its disk files like VMOSVDI, VMDK, or anything else associated with the virtual machine. Doing that will free up much space on your disk that as a result, you will get more space, more performance.


How to Delete a Virtual Machine From VirtualBox in Windows 10

Oracle Virtualbox is one of the most common hypervisors around (software tools that build and manage virtual machines). You can download it free of charge. One of the disadvantages of Virtualbox is that it requires a little more technical experience and know-how than any other hypervisors.

Many people tend to uninstall the VirtualBox VM to remove the virtual machine, which is totally wrong. By uninstalling the VM, IT JUST REMOVES THE VirtualBox software and the drivers. However, it leaves your virtual machine and its settings files alone.

Simply do the following to fully delete every VirtualBox virtual machine on Mac, Windows, or Linux:

  • Open the VirtualBox VM and the list of the created VMs will be presented on the left-hand side of the Window.
  • Now, right-click on any of the virtual machines that you would like to delete and then select Remove.
How to Delete a Virtual Machine on VMware and VirtualBox in Windows 10
  • Here, you will be presented with 3 options: Delete all filesRemove only and Cancel.
How to Delete a Virtual Machine on VMware and VirtualBox in Windows 10
Delete all files

If you select Remove only, Virtualbox will only remove the VM from the application. It will remain on your hard drive and can be imported back into Virtualbox at any time.

To completely delete the operating system and virtual machine from VirtualBox, select Delete all files.

Repeat with other virtual machines to delete them as needed.

Remember that, if you choose to Remove only, the virtual machine will actually be removed from the VirtualBox VM Manager, but none of the individual files or related VMs, OS, VDI, or anything else will be deleted. Therefore, if you just want to delete the VM and related files, pick Delete all files.

Deleting a virtual machine from VirtualBox will free up any storage space that that VM and its related OS have taken up, including VDI, VMDK, VHD, or HDD files associated with it. This is often several gigabytes in size since virtual machines can be very large.

That’s it. This feature was all about how to delete a virtual machine on VMware and VirtualBox. In today’s guide, we guided you on the most efficient ways of deleting a virtual machine on VMware and VirtualBox, and also how to clear up space on your hard-drive. Please feel free to let us know if this article was helpful by using the comment section found below this article.

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