How to Take Snapshot in VMware Workstation

In this article, we will examine the steps of creating, restoring, and deleting a snapshot for a virtual machine installed with the VMware Workstation 16 Pro virtualization program running on the Windows 10 operating system.

How to Take Snapshot in VMware Workstation

How to Create and Configure Snapshot for Any Virtual Machine in VMware Workstation 16 Pro

One of the great features of the Workstation virtualization program is the Snapshot feature. Thanks to this feature, you can quickly fix the errors that may occur later with an instant status for the operating system installed on the virtual machine.

You can compare the method of taking VMware Snapshot to the System Restore tool in the Windows operating system. You can also use the System Restore tool for the Windows operating system running on the virtual machine, but instant status control is faster through the VMware software.

In a virtual machine where a restore point created, all subsequent operations (for example, Office program installation) can be easily reverted. As a result, we can say that the Snapshot feature is the “System Restore” tool of the VM Workstation virtualization program.

The latest version of the VMware Workstation virtualization program is 16 Pro. If you have not installed VMware software on your computer before, you can check out this article.

After briefly talking about Snapshot, follow the steps below in order to create a snapshot for a virtual computer running on Workstation / Player versions.

   Step 1

After creating a new virtual machine with the VMware program, you installed a clean Windows 10 and installed the necessary virtual machine tools (VM Tools).

It is recommended to make a clean backup by taking a snapshot of your Windows 10 virtual machine. Because, if errors occur in the system installed on the virtual computer, you can easily return to the first clean installation instead of installing the operating system again.

Now, to create Snapshot for the VM, click the blue icon as in the image below or click on the VM / Snapshot / Snapshot Manager option.

Opening the Snapshot Manager

   Step 2

After opening the Snapshot Manager, click on the Take Snapshot button as in the image below.

Take Snapshot

   Step 3

When you start to get the snapshot of the virtual computer, your most recent settings will be saved in the installation location of the VM, and VMEM and VMSN files will be created. In the screen below, type a name and description for the instant status of your VM.

It will be useful to type the necessary explanations here for situations that you cannot remember in the future. After filling in the relevant fields, click on the Take Snapshot button.

Typing Name and Description for Instant State Record of Virtual Machine

   Step 4

Wait while creating a clean backup of your VM on VMware.

Saving Status

   Step 5

After creating the snapshot, you can see the two files created in the installation location.

  1. VMEM: This file is created when a snapshot is created or when the virtual machine is suspended.
  2. VMSN: This file is created for the virtual machine’s memory state.

VMEM and VMSN Files in the Location of the Virtual Machine

   Step 6

Now, download the Notepad++ program to your computer as an example to better understand the snapshot logic.

Download Notepad App

   Step 7

When installing the Notepad++ application, create a shortcut on the desktop. The purpose of creating a shortcut is to check if the corresponding file is still on the desktop after restoration.

Notepad Setup

   Step 8

After installing the Notepad++ program, right-click on the start menu and then click on Apps & Features from the opened options and check the number of applications installed in the system as shown in the image below.

Applications and Features

   Step 9

You have taken a snapshot of the virtual machine by following the steps above. Later, you made many changes to the system or encountered system errors. If you want to go back to the initial clean install, you can restore the snapshot of the machine again.

Now, open the Snapshot Manager again and select the backup you created this time and click the Go To button.

Instant State Restore

   Step 10

As soon as you click the Go To button, you will see the “By restoring this snapshot, the current state will be lost. Do you want to restore X?” warning. In this step, click the Yes button to start the virtual machine restore process.

Confirming the Restore Process

   Step 11

Wait while the virtual PC is being restored to the state you were in before.

Restoring VM State

   Step 12

When you return to the snapshot you created on the virtual computer after the restore process, open Apps & Features again and check the number of installed applications.

You can see that the Notepad++ application is no longer installed and the previous state has been reverted to.

Apps & Features

How to Delete Snapshot on VMware

Multiple instances you create can take up a lot of space on your host’s disk, so you may need to delete unimportant backups.

Instant backups that you delete through Snapshot Manager will also be deleted from your host’s disk and this process cannot be undone.

   Step 1

Open Snapshot Manager again on your installed virtual machine and select the state you want to delete and click the Delete button on the right.

Deleting Snapshot

   Step 2

The relevant files will be deleted and cleaned from your host’s system.

Deleting Files

   Step 3

Open the instant state manager screen and check whether the situation you have previously received exists or not.

Close Snapshot Manager

   Step 4

We mentioned above that the relevant files will also be deleted from your host’s disk. To verify the deletion, go to the location where your VM is installed and check whether the VMEM and VMSN files are deleted.

Verifying that Files in Installation Location Have Been Deleted


Backup Process in Old Versions

Snapshot usage is exactly the same in versions 12, 14, or 15 of Workstation Pro software. You can browse the list below for a quick backup solution in older versions.

Workstation Pro
YouTube Video
12 Pro
14/15 Pro
16 Pro


   Final Word

In this article, we have examined step by step how to create a snapshot and delete it, which is a fast backup method for Windows, Linux, or macOS virtual systems created on VM Workstation. Thanks for following us!

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