How to download and install VMware Workstation Pro for free on Windows (2024)

You can now use the VMware Hypervisor app for free on Windows, and here's how to download and install the app on your computer.

VMware Workstation Pro free
VMware Workstation Pro free / Image: Mauro Huculak

VMware, the renowned virtualization platform, has now made the Workstation Pro app available as a free product, meaning anyone can download, install, and use the Hypervisor app on Windows 11, 10, Linux, and macOS for personal purposes.

If you ever wanted to create a virtual machine to run preview builds of Windows 11 or another operating system like Linux alongside your main setup without resourcing to a dual-boot configuration, you were limited to the VMware Workstation Player offering. This offering was restricted to running only one virtual machine at a time and didn’t offer many features compared to the Pro version. On the other hand, you could also have Oracle’s VirtualBox, but again, it’s not as powerful as the VMware Workstation Pro offering.

The news now is that VMware has announced that it’s making its Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro available for free for personal use for Windows, Linux, and macOS users.

According to the company, commercial licensing will continue to be available, but it will be up to users to decide if a commercial subscription is required. Obtaining the bits to install VMware Workstation Pro will require registering at the Broadcom website and then downloading and installing the Hypervisor app on your computer.

In this guide, I will walk you through the steps to download and install the VMware Hypervisor on Windows 11 or 10.

Download VMware Workstation Pro for free

To register and download the VMware Hypervisor on your computer, use these steps:

  1. Open the Broadcom Register page.

    Quick note: If you’re a registered member, click “Support Portal” from the top-right corner and click the “Go To Portal” button.
  2. Confirm your email and complete the human verification process.

    Broadcom registration for VMware

  3. Click the Next button.

  4. Confirm the verification code.

  5. Click the “Verify & Continue” button.

  6. Complete the required information.

    Broadcom registration form

  7. Click the Create Account button.

  8. Click the “I’ll do it later” button.

  9. Open the Software menu, choose VMware Cloud Foundation, and click on My Downloads.

    VMware Cloud Foundation  menu

  10. Click on VMware Workstation Pro from the right side.

  11. Click the “VMware Workstation Pro 17.0 for Personal Use (Windows)” option.

  12. Click the latest version available, for example, 17.5.2.

    VMware Workstation Pro version list

  13. Check the “I agree” option to make the installer downloadable.

  14. Click the Download button.

    VMware Workstation Pro personal download

  15. Click the Yes button.

  16. Click the Submit button to complete the trade compliance verification.

  17. Click the Download button again (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps and the protocol, the VMware installer will download it to your computer.

Install VMware Workstation Pro on Windows

To install VMware Workstation Pro on Windows 11 or 10, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Open the installer location.

  3. Double-click the VMware Workstation full executable file.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Check the I accept option.

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Check the “Enhanced Keyboard driver” option.

    Enhanced Keyboard driver

  8. Check the “Add VMware Workstation console tools into the system PATH” option.

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. (Optional) Check the “Check for product updates on startup” option.

    Check for product updates on startup

  11. (Optional) Clear the “Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program” option.

  12. Click the Next button.

  13. Check the Desktop option.

  14. Check the “Sart Menu Programs Folder” option.

    VMware install shortcuts

  15. Click the Next button.

  16. Click the Install button.

    VMware Workstation Pro install

  17. Click the Finish button.

    VMware Workstation Pro finish installation

    Quick note: Since the app is now free, you don’t have to enter a product key.
  18. Click the Yes button to restart the computer.

  19. Choose the “Use VMware Workstation 17 for Personal Use” option.

    Use VMware Workstation 17 for Personal Use

  20. Click the Continue button.

  21. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, the computer will restart to finish the installation, and then you can start creating virtual machines for Windows 11, 10, Linux, and other operating systems.

As part of the hardware and software requirements, to install Workstation Pro, the computer has to have Windows 10 or 11, a compatible multi-core 64-bit (x86) processor of 1.3GHz or higher, 4GB of RAM (higher better), and 1.2GB of storage space.

Also, it’s a good idea to create and store virtual machines on secondary drives and not in the primary system drive to prevent performance impact.

It’s recommended to disable Hyper-V on Windows 11 (or 10) as it may cause problems and conflicts with VMware Workstation Pro. Furthermore, ideally, you only want to have only one Hypervisor installed on your computer.

Finally, make sure to have hardware virtualization turned on in the BIOS/UEFI before the installation.

If you previously had the Player version of VMware, you only have to uninstall the app and install the Pro version.

What virtualization Hypervisor are you using? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].