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I am using a VMware Fusion 6 Windows XP guest to run some legacy Windows software on my Mac. I would like to turn off Internet access for the VM so Windows XP can't pick up any nastyware online. However, I would like to retain the ability to transfer files between the Mac and the VM.

What's the best way to achieve this? Thanks in advance.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can use shared folders VMWare KB Article. This doesn't need a network connection. You can just disable the network adaptor for the VM.
Also you can use a host only network, which will use a virtual network between host and guest, with no connection to your ethernet or internet.
An alternative way is to disable the default gateway in the vm, but that's not secure.

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+1 This almost covers everything. For completeness sake, one can also use a firewall to close off everything except the file-transfer port. – harrymc Feb 10 '14 at 21:13
I wanna know why the disabling of gateway in the VM is not secure. It has always been my usual method, with no problems at all: simple (just one line), fast, there are no disconnections from established remote sessions (tested with VNC and SSH) to and from the VM, easily scriptable/programmable (to start and stop), and no reboots are required. There are even methods (as I wrote in my answer) for any operating system. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Feb 17 '14 at 4:39

If your problem is just internet, and your VM is Windows XP, the solution should be as simple as this:
Fastest way to disable internet (keeping LAN) from command line?
The trick is simple: just removing the gateway. On that thread you have the short solution as a simple line, like:

route delete mask

(assuming as your gateway, that you can find entering "ipconfig").
or a solution more generic, as a (not much more longer) script.

-EDIT: as suggested by someone, it could be made:

route delete

so you don't even need to know what IP your gateway has.

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