How to restart VMware Workstation without rebooting Windows 11

If VMware isn't working correctly after crashing, this is what you need to do if you use Windows 11.

VMware on Windows 11
VMware on Windows 11

On Windows 11, you can use VMware Workstation to create and manage virtual machines to run different operating systems, but if the virtualization app stops responding for some reason, you will notice that restarting it will prompt you for elevation, and the app will not work correctly.

Usually, if VMware crashes or stops responding, the best way to start fresh again is to restart your computer. However, if that’s not an option at that particular time, then there is a way to close and start the application again without rebooting Windows 11.

This guide will teach you the steps to close and relaunch VMware Workstation correctly when it is not responding on Windows 11.

Restart VMware Workstation on Windows 11

To restart VMware Workstation when it is not responding without rebooting Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Search for Task Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Click on the Performance tab.

  4. Type “vmware” in the search box to filter and show only the application processes.

  5. Select each process and click the “End task” button in the top-right corner.

    Task Manager terminate VMware

  6. Click on Services.

  7. Type “vmware” in the search box to filter and show only the application processes.

  8. Select each of the available VMware services (“VMAuthdService,” “VmwareAutostartService,” “VMnetDHCP,” “VMware NAT Service,” and “VMUSBArbService”) and click the Start button in the top-right corner.

    VMware restart services on Windows 11

    Quick note: If the service is already running, click the “Restart” button.

Once you complete the steps, you can now relaunch VMware Workstation without the elevation prompt, and you should now be able to start your virtual machines.

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].