Copy And Paste Between VirtualBox Host And Guest Machines

Here’s something many of you probably already know. VirtualBox has a feature that allows you to copy and paste between the host machine and the guest machine or vice versa. If you don’t already know, this brief tutorial is going to show you how to enable it when using VirtualBox virtualization software.

Another thing you probably already know is when you first install VirtualBox guest machine, the guest machine will not automatically integrate with the host. That means taking advantage of the host resources and improved performance. To allow the integration, you must install VirtualBox guest additions.

Installing the guest additions software will also not automatically allow you to copy and paste between machines. To enable that you must allow bidirectional shared clipboard on each machine.

Without the shared clipboard feature enabled, you won’t be able to copy and paste between the host and the guest machines. This feature will come in handy especially if you’ll be enter a lot of text or data into the guest machine from the host.

Instead of manually typing each character or enter data manually, you could simply select the text from the host and paste it into the guest machine and vice versa.

To enable it, open VirtualBox and select the guest machine, then click the settings button or press Ctrl + S on your keyboard.




Next, on the General page, select Advanced tab and make sure bidirectional is selected for Shared Clipboard as well as Drag’n’Drop options.




That’s it! When you log back into the guest machine, you should be able to copy text from the host machine to the guest easily. The Drag’n’Drop option lets you select a whole data file from the host to the guest or vice versa.

Enjoy! And please keep coming back for more tutorials.

Please share if you like it on:


  1. So I aked them what to do because it doesn’t work. They said I should install Guest Additions. WHERE THE HELL ARE THAT GUEST ADDITIONS!?
    Host:Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64 bit
    Guest:Windows Xp Professional 32 bit and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

  2. Hey Guys i found the issue :
    You need to Install
    “Guest Additions” , In order to do that : turn on the virtual machine then go to Devices Tab Then The last option “Insert Guest Additions CD Image” click it and keep pressing next then reboot the machine then it will work :)

  3. You have to make a shared folder to move documents and files.

    Oracle VM virtualbox manager> select your system > settings>shared folders>add a new shared folder definition> folder path> select other> select desktop> start your system> my computer> Network> VBOXSVR> enjoy !

  4. There are other areas that need to be looked at, if it is still not working. The following worked for me
    (Version 4.3.4) Locate your VirtualBox Guest Additions (it was my D drive) and execute the VBoxWindowsAdditions. Go through the prompts, which will result in a reboot.

    After that I had to disable and enable it from DEVICES->Shared clipboard and voila it worked.

  5. you rocks guyyysss..
    thanks so much. it hard to find basic tab in general.
    hehe.. with image from your tutor, i can copy and paste from both.
    my mac to windows in virtual box :D …
    im new in macbook :D
    thanks thanks thanks…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *