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Close a virtual machine

Updated: June 25, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

To close a virtual machine, from the virtual machine window, you can either click the X button in the upper right corner, or click Close on the Action menu. When you close a virtual machine, you will either be prompted to choose the type of action to use to close the virtual machine, or the action will occur automatically, based on how the virtual machine is configured. You can change this configuration by following the steps in this topic.

A virtual machine can be hibernated, shut down, or turned off. The following are descriptions of each action:

  • Hibernate. This is similar to putting a laptop into hibernation. When you hibernate a virtual machine, this action releases all physical resources that the virtual machine is using, such as memory and CPU, and saves the state of all running applications and operations. When you open a hibernated virtual machine, it does not go through the boot sequence, and the virtual machine and all applications and operations are restored to their previous state. The virtual machine is available for use faster than if it was turned off or shut down.

  • Shut down. This option shuts down the guest operating system safely and then releases all physical resources that the virtual machine is using, such as memory and CPU. It is available when the guest operating system supports this action and the Integration Components package is installed. You can configure a virtual machine to shut down automatically by following the steps below. Or, you can leave a virtual machine configured to the default hibernate setting and shut the virtual machine down manually. For instructions, see Shut down a virtual machine manually.

  • Turn off. This option can cause data loss because it is the same as switching off the power button or pulling out the power cord on a physical computer. Use this option only if you cannot use one of the other two options.

  • Turn off and discard changes. This option is available only when the Undo Disks feature is enabled for the virtual machine. This option discards the changes that are stored in the undo disk. For more information about this feature, including how to save the changes instead of discard them, see Use Undo Disks.

You can configure Windows Virtual PC so that you are prompted to choose an option each time you close the virtual machine, or so that the option you specify is always performed automatically.

To configure the close option

  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the Virtual Machines folder, right-click the name of the virtual machine, and then click Settings.

    • From the virtual machine window, click the Tools menu, and then click Settings.

  2. In the left pane of the Settings window, click Close.

  3. In the right pane, either select an option under Automatically close with the following option, or select Prompt for action to be able to choose the action each time the virtual machine is closed.

  4. Click OK to save the change.

See Also

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