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How do I stop my virtual machine size from expanding?

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop

Symptoms

  • I have a very little of free disk space on my Mac, and I want to prevent my virtual machine from occupying the rest of it, but it keeps expanding.

Resolution

First, we recommend you to check the contents of your Mac disk to see it you can free up some of it: Mac Disk Space Management.


About the Expanding disk feature

The virtual hard disk is designed to expand automatically until it reaches the maximum of current capacity. To check your disk capacity follow the below steps:

  1. Open virtual machine's configuration window > Hardware > Hard Disk 1. Just below the Source field you will find disk format and size:

  2. Compare disk capacity with the actual disk size. Visit KB118158 to find out how much disk space your virtual machine takes on Mac.

  3. Finally, If you realize that there is not enough disk space on your Mac for the virtual disk to expand, we recommend you to resize the disk.

NOTE: We strongly recommend you to backup your virtual machine before applying any changes to its virtual disk. In rare case, when there are errors in Windows file system, resizing the disk may cause file system corruption.


Resizing the disk

  1. Shut down your virtual machine. Open its configuration window > Hardware > Hard Disk 1 and click Edit...
  2. Set desired disk size and click Apply:

  3. Wait for the resize to complete.

What if I want to disable Expanding disk feature?

By disabling this feature your disk will be converted from Expanding to Plain format. The main difference between plain and expanding disks is that plain disk momentarily takes all of its total size on the real hard drive, while expanding disk increases in size on the real hard drive only when the actual amount of space used by the virtual machine increases.

More than that, to disable Expanding disk feature you will need twice more of a disk space than your virtual disk capacity is, i.e. if your disk is 64Gb size in the config, you will need 128GB of a free space on your Mac for successful conversion.




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