File sharing

How to create shared folder for virtual machine on VirtualBox

VirtualBox lets you set up a folder to share files with the virtual machine, and here's how on Windows 10.

VirtualBox shared folder

After creating a virtual machine on VirtualBox, you will sometimes need to share files between the host and guest operating systems to install applications or work with documents.

Although you can configure the virtualization solution to drag and drop files, you can also set up a folder on the host device to share files with the virtual machine. In addition, you can also use this approach when, for example, the feature to mount an ISO file or storage peripherals doesn’t work with the virtual machine.

Whatever the reason it might be, VirtualBox on Windows 10 offers two ways to share files, including using a shared folder or mapping a folder as a network drive in the guest operating system.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to share a folder with a virtual machine using VirtualBox on Windows 10.

Create a shared folder on VirtualBox

To use VirtualBox to share a folder with a virtual machine, use these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox.

  2. Right-click the virtual machine and select the Settings option.

    Virtual machine context menu
    Virtual machine context menu
  3. Click on Shared Folders.

  4. Click the Add new shared folder button from the top-right corner.

  5. In the “Folder path” field, confirm the path for the local folder you want to share with the device. Alternatively, you can click the down-arrow button and select the Other option to browse and select the folder.

    Shared folder settings
    Shared folder settings
  6. In the “Folder Name” field, confirm a name to identify the shared folder.

  7. (Optional) Check the Read-only option to prevent saving files into the folder from the virtual machine.

  8. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the folder will appear in the network section of the guest machine.

Create a mapped drive on VirtualBox

To map a shared folder to a virtual machine, use these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox.

  2. Right-click the virtual machine and select the Settings option.

    Virtual machine context menu
    Virtual machine context menu
  3. Click on Shared Folders.

  4. Click the Add new shared folder button from the top-right corner.

  5. In the “Folder path” field, confirm the path for the local folder you want to share with the device. Alternatively, you can click the down-arrow button and select the Other option to browse and select the folder.

  6. In the “Folder Name” field, confirm a name to identify the shared folder.

  7. (Optional) Check the Read-only option to prevent saving files into the folder from the virtual machine.

  8. In the “Mount point” field, specify the drive letter to map the folder as a drive on the virtual machine – for example, G:.

    Create map drive settings
    Create map drive settings
  9. Check the Auto-mount option to mount the shared folder with the drive letter from the previous step.

  10. Check the Make Permanent option to keep the shared folder mounted even after restarting the virtual machine.

  11. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the folder will mount as a drive on the virtual machine. In the case of Windows 10, you will be able to access it under the “Network locations” section in the File Explorer’s “This PC” page.

Access VirtualBox shared folder or mapped drive on Windows 10

Depending on how you configure the feature, you would be able to access the folder from the Network or This PC sections.

Network

If you created a shared point, you could access the files using these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on Network.

  3. Double-click the VBOXSVR device.

    VBOXSVR
    VBOXSVR
  4. Double-click the shared folder to access the files.

Once you complete the steps, you would be able to interact with the files and folders.

This PC

If you mounted the folder as a drive, you could access the files using these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on This PC.

  3. Under the “Network locations” section, double-click the drive letter you assigned to the mount point to access the files.

    Windows 10 vm mapped drive
    Windows 10 vm mapped drive

After you complete the steps, the files and folders will be accessible.

Delete shared folder or mapped drive on VirtualBox

To delete a shared folder or mapped drive from VirtualBox, use these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox.

  2. Right-click the virtual machine and select the Settings option.

  3. Click on Shared Folders.

  4. Select the shared folder or mapped drive and click the Remove selected shared folder button from the top-right.

    Delete shared folder option
    Delete shared folder option

Once you complete the steps, the folder will no longer be accessible from the virtual machine.