My VMWare disc image has a flag allowing a maximum of 100GB. It currently holds 50GB of data and 50GB of empty space. The image currently takes 75GB of the parent, and those extra gigs difference are not coming back even when info is deleted inside the virtual machine.

How can I trim my vmdk drive back to the minimum space required?


2 Answers 2


Click on Manage for the VM and then select to cleanup disks. The VMWware will not free disk space right away which is why there is a 25 gig difference.

  • VMWare will not free space disk ever, once it's taken it won't shrink. The shrink tool didn't fix it either. Nov 23, 2014 at 2:21
  • VMPlayer free, in any case. Nov 23, 2014 at 2:22

The steps are as follows:

  1. From the guest VM, download Disk2vhd

  2. Execute it and make a VHD image. Make sure that the make .vhdx option is disabled

  3. Go back to the host system, download and install WinImage

  4. In WinImage select Disk » Convert Virtual Hard Disk image

  5. Select source and check the Create a dynamically sized disc image specially for Windows virtual machines. Select destination

  6. Create the Virtual Machine again or just replace the old .vmdk file

  7. (Optional) On the guest system, look for the disk management tool and reduce the available partition size as much as possible so it'll never be filled

Further reading:

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