I'd like to display Virtual Machines (VMWare Workstation on Windows 7 host) as their own windows instead of as tabs in the VMWare Workstation menu, similar to how VMs are handled with VMWare Fustion on the Mac.

This question is similar to this one, but I do not want to run the VMs in unity mode.

8 Answers 8


Just drag the tab out of the VMWare window and take it to the other monitor. If that's what you mean. It will create a new solitary window with the other running OS in it. Have done that on Ubuntu, and it should work the same for Windows 7.

NOTE: the dragging action only works if the VMware window is not in full screen mode.

  • 1
    @klutch2 - Thanks for your reply! I can't drag the tab outside of the VMWare window, but I'm only using one monitor. Do you think it only works if you have a second monitor?
    – evan
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:54
  • @evan - You should be able to just drag it out of the VMWare window, you will then obviously have separate windows, not tabbed. If you did have two monitors, then yes it would work to drag to a different monitor.
    – paradd0x
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:55
  • 3
    @evan - I think just running a separate instance of VMWare, I don't recall if Windows allows you to do that. But it could help if you need to run multiple VM's.
    – paradd0x
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:59
  • 3
    I don't see that you can drag tabs out of the main window. Very disappointing really.
    – Warren P
    May 12, 2011 at 4:08
  • 2
    The answer should be edited.
    – Btuman
    Oct 1, 2013 at 19:32

Execute another window from VMware main menu: File -> New Window

enter image description here

A link to VMware community discussion on the same issue

  • 4
    Always try to explain/introduce the contents of link you are providing
    – Shekhar
    Jan 7, 2013 at 20:23
  • 2
    This is the right answer, at least for Windows. Aug 15, 2014 at 23:36

I figured out a way where every VM shortcut starts in a new window.

Create a new shortcut to your vmware.exe and modify the target line under shortcut properties.
Append -n which tells vmware to open a new window instead of a new tab. At last add the path to the VM you wish to open.

<path_to_vmware.exe> + <commandline_switch> + <path_to_VM>
"C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe" -n "D:\VMs\Win7x86.vmx"

Read here for more VMware Command Options

-n Opens a new Workstation window.

-t Opens a virtual machine in a new tab in the existing Workstation window.

-x Powers on the virtual machine when Workstation starts. 
   This option is equivalent to clicking Power On in the Workstation toolbar.

-X Powers on the virtual machine and switches the Workstation window to 
   full screen mode.

-q Closes the virtual machine tab when the virtual machine powers off.  
   If no other virtual machine is open, it also exits Workstation. This option is  
   useful when the guest operating system can power off the virtual machine.

-s Sets the specified variable to the specified value. You can specify at the command 
   line any variable names and values that are valid in the configuration file.

-v Displays the product name, version, and build number.

Use Remote Desktop (MSTSC in Win 7) and display each as a window.

goto> Start > search box type MSTSC. Enter your guest IP address into the address:enter image description here

You may have to enable remote client access on your guest. Here is a good article from 4sysops.com

  • 7
    I think its funny that the accepted answer is factually completely wrong. There is a working workaround in the comments but that's it. WHereas this answer actually works, although it's not ideal, and had zero upvotes after nearly 10 months. +1 after all that time.
    – Warren P
    Dec 18, 2011 at 14:03

Dragging tabs does not work for me in WS 10, neither over the desktop, nor into a new window. Opening a new window already starts a second copy of vmware.exe, so there is no difference to doing that manually.

What does work is this:

  1. Open a new window
  2. Close the tab in the first window (select anything but "Power Off", obviously)
  3. Open the VM from the Library in the new window.
  1. Close the current running VM and select "Run in background"
  2. Open new VMware workstation (File > New Window)
  3. Select the previous VM (from number 1) The VM will then showing on the different windows (not tab)


  • Works in VMW12. Please vote for this answer, so others do not need to scroll till the end of page.
    – Sanctus
    Nov 21, 2017 at 18:05

Using VMware 10 I was able to have this happen by going to File->New Window, which should be the second option in the file drop-down menu, which should be in the upper-left hand corner. Then, you simply activate the system through the new window that opens up. But beware! If your original instance of VMware still has ownership, then your second instance won't be able to take permission. Hope this helps! Wish I could tell you authoritatively how to change ownership. What worked for me was removing (right click the VM in the side-bar) from the original VM instance, then simply resuming it in the new one. I'm worried about how that might come to bite me in the future, but we'll see.


There are two ways to achieve that.

  • You can use VMware Player, which is usually installed along with VMware Workstation, to open guests in separate windows by launching the VMware Player shortcut multiple times.

  • Or you can select File -> New Window to open separate VMware Workstation windows.

enter image description here

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