How to Create Shortcut For Virtual Machine in VirtualBox – Windows 10- New and Old Methods

Sometimes when you have several virtual machines on the Oracle VirtualBox, it’s better to create a shortcut for your favorite and frequent virtual machine in Windows OS Desktop. In fact, each virtual machine in VirtualBox can be opened without opening main VirtualBox GUI. Here we can see how to create the shortcut for VirtualBox virtual machine on your desktop, so virtual machine can be started easily without opening main VirtualBox console.

Creating a shortcut on the desktop can save time in starting and using the virtual machine. Also, it can reduce the system resources by skipping the main VirtualBox management controller.  Creating the shortcut of the Virtual machine became easy in the latest versions of VirtualBox. Here we have the new and old methods, in case you have the older version or not seeing the first method for some reasons, follow the 2nd manual method.

Method 1 – Simple

Open the console, right click on the VM then click “Create Shortcut on Desktop” as below. It is simple and straightforward on Windows 10, 8.1 and other Windows OS hosts as long as you have the latest version.

Create VM Shortcut

Above step will simply create the shortcut of VM on the desktop. Opening (double-click) the shortcut from desktop will power on the VM automatically.

By right-clicking the icon, you can see the settings/options of the icon shortcut which is used in the 2nd method as ‘manual method’. We used to create the shortcut in this way before Oracle adds support in GUI.

Vm Shortcut

Method 2 – Manual (Applicable for all OS, including Linux, Mac)

1)      Make sure that VM name doesn’t have any space.

Create Shortcut For Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

2)      To get the correct name of virtual machines available on your computer, go to installation location on sun VirtualBox in host computer.

Type: VBoxManage list vms

Create Shortcut For Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

3)      Now create a normal windows shortcut for VBoxManage.exe in Program Files directory. (Right click on Desktop, New shortcut and browse for VBoxManage.exe file), give a name for shortcut.

desktop Shortcut Virtual Machine VirtualBox

4)      Right click on shortcut you created and go to shortcut tab. After the VBoxManage.exe, type startvm <Virtual machine name>. Below example shows I’m trying to create shortcut for Windows7 virtual machine.

desktop Shortcut Virtual Machine VirtualBox

That’s it. Since we are calling Command prompt program thought this shortcut. You can change the icon of sun VirtualBox virtual machine shortcut created.

desktop Shortcut Virtual Machine VirtualBox

Follow the same steps to create shortcut for each virtual machines in sun VirtualBox. Hope one of the above methods is useful in creating VM shortcut easily and access them from Windows 10, 8.1 or 7 desktop quickly.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

3 thoughts on “How to Create Shortcut For Virtual Machine in VirtualBox – Windows 10- New and Old Methods”

  1. You can use virtual machine names with spaces as well, as long as you wrap the names in quotes so “drive:\path\VBoxManage.exe” startvm “name with spaces”

  2. On Mac Snow Leopard I am find that the following works:

    At the system prompt:

    /Applications/ startvm VirtualMachineName

    so you can make an apple script or shell script that executes this command.

    I created a simple Applescript that contains simply:

    do shell script “/Applications/ startvm XP”

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