How do I stop my virtual machine size from expanding?

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Symptoms

Resolution

First, we recommend you to check the contents of your Mac disk to see if you can free up some space.

About the Expanding disk feature

By default,  Parallels virtual machines have expanding disk feature enabled by default. The expanding virtual hard disk is designed to expand automatically until it reaches the maximum of current capacity specified in the virtual machine configuration.

To check your disk capacity follow the below steps:

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

  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. Additionally, if something happens with the Mac during the process the target virtual machine may cease to work.


Resizing the disk

  1. Shut down your virtual machine. Open its configuration > Hardware > Hard Disk, expand the Advanced Settings drop-down menu and click Properties:

  2. Set the desired disk size and click Apply:

  3. Click the Continue button and 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 disk space than your virtual disk capacity is, i.e. if your disk is 64Gb size in the configuration, you will need at least 128GB of free space on your Mac for successful conversion.

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