Have you ever been working inside a Virtual Machine inside of VMware using the vSphere Client and needed to copy/paste out of the VM and found you could not?

Starting with vSphere 4.1, this feature is disabled by default for security reasons. However it can easily be enabled by a few quick settings.

Of course you could use RDP as an alternative, but if RDP is unavailable, and you must use the vSphere Client, there is a way to enable the clipboard for the VMs

You can complete this for a specific VM or all the VMS


For individual VMS:

Log into vCenter using your vSphere client

Locate the Virtual Machine you wish to enable this feature on and power off

Right click Virtual Machine and select edit settings

Go to the Options TAB – Advanced – General – And select Configuration Parameters


Click ADD Row



Add the following Name and values


Isolation.tools.copy.disable                         false

Isolation.tools.paste.disable                       false



Note:  These options override any settings made in the VM Tools control panel of the OS.

Click Ok to close configuration parameters page

Click Ok to close Virtual Machine settings

Power on Virtual Machine


For all VMS on a ESX/ESXi Server:

To enable this option for all the virtual machines on the ESX/ESXi host

Log into the ESX/ESXi host as a root user and open the /etc/vmware/config file using a text editor

Add these entries to the file



Save and close the file

NOTE: The copy and Paste options are only enabled when the virtual machine restarts or shutdown\power-on for the changes to take effect.

NOTE: If you upgrade your infrastructure, these settings do NOT persist and will be lost.

After Upgrade you will have to reset these values if you wish to use this feature




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