How to install Guest Additions for Windows 10 on VirtualBox

After installing Windows 10 on a VirtualBox VM, you must install the Guest Additions package for better usability and performance, and in this guide, you will learn how.

VirtualBox Guest Additions
VirtualBox Guest Additions

UPDATED 8/21/2023: On VirtualBox, the “Guest Additions” package contains the drivers that allow the Windows 10 virtual machine to operate correctly in a virtualization environment. The VirtualBox Guest Additions is provided as a virtual image to optimize the guest machine with the mouse pointer and keyboard integration so you can navigate the environment and release the peripherals seamlessly.

The package also installs the virtual video drivers to improve the system performance and advanced graphics capabilities, such as hardware acceleration, multi-monitor support, and seamless transition between windows to run apps as if they were installed on the host device. Furthermore, you also get time synchronization, the ability to share the clipboard content and automated logging.

In other words, without the drivers, the virtual machine would perform slow, and many advanced features (such as the ability to change the screen resolution, control transparency, mouse support, etc.) won’t be available or work correctly.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to install the VirtualBox drivers on Windows 10.

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Windows 10

To install the Guest Additions on a Windows 10 virtual machine, use these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox on Windows 10.

  2. Right-click the virtual machine, select the Start submenu, and choose the Normal Start option.

  3. Sign in to your Windows 10 account.

  4. Click the Devices menu and select the “Insert Guest Additions CD image” option.

    Insert Guest Additions CD image

  5. Open File Explorer in the virtual machine (Windows key + E).

  6. Click on This PC from the left side.

  7. Under the “Devices and drives” section, double-click to open the “VirtualBox Guest Additions” disc.

  8. Double-click the VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe file to launch the installer.

    VBox Windows Additions

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Click the Next button again.

    Virtual drivers install location

  11. Click the Install button.

    VirtualBox install Windows 10 drivers

  12. Select the Reboot now option.

  13. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the virtual drivers will install, and after the restart, Windows 10 will be able to run normally in a virtual environment.

When a new version of VirtualBox becomes available with more recent drivers, you can use the same instructions to update the Guest Additions on Windows 10. The setup will replace the virtual drivers with the versions as you run the installer.

If you cannot mount the image into that machine, the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso is located in the VirtualBox installation folder (in this path: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox), which you can use to add the package manually.

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 15 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 21 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].