Is it possible to add another monitor to a VM running in VirtualBox without shutting down the VM? I work on a laptop during the day and go between having a second monitor and not having one.

What's the best way to switch between a single and dual monitor config quickly without shutting down?

  • You need to shutdown a vm to add/remove hardware. – Joe Internet Jul 20 '11 at 15:09
  • As a reference point, VMWare allows you to add a second monitor in a hot-swap manner. Tested on VMWare Fusion + Win8.1 host OS. Just plug in the 2nd monitor in full screen mode and full screen spans both monitors now! VirtualBox needs to improve itself... – DeepSpace101 Dec 8 '13 at 0:43
  • Yep, VMware is top notch! – jocull Dec 8 '13 at 0:57

Since you can't just adjust the (virtual) hardware without shutting down, one thing you could try is using Remote Desktop Multi-Monitor configuration. This way you just need to reconnect the RDP connection when you disconnect and let the guest operating system adjust to your new monitor configuration:


  • This means I am effectively doing my work in an RDP connection to a local VM, correct? – jocull Jul 20 '11 at 15:29
  • @jocull - that is correct – Goyuix Jul 21 '11 at 3:15

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