virtual machine

Where to find virtual machines file

Where to find virtual machines file

In the previous article I have explained what is a virtual machine and the files used by a VM to store configuration and for other operations, however, in this article, I will show you Where to find virtual machines file

A virtual machine’s files are in either a VMware vSphere VMFS datastore or an NFS datastore. You use the VMWare vSphere Client to display a virtual machine’s files if you know the datastore on which the virtual machine is located.

To find out what datastores your virtual machine is using, select your virtual machine in the inventory and view its summary tab. The list of data stores used by the virtual machine is shown in the Resources panel.



Right-click a datastore and select Browse Datastore from the menu. The contents of the datastore are displayed. Double-click a virtual machine’s folder to display its files.

The Datastore Browser shows the virtual disk as consisting of only one file, the “.vmdk” file. In reality, a virtual disk consists of two files:

  • The .vmdk file, which describes the virtual disk’s characteristics.
  • A -flat.vmdk file, which contains the virtual disk’s data.
Data store Browser
Datastore Browser


You can also use the host’s configuration tab to display a virtual machine’s files. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Select a VMware ESXi host in the inventory and click the Configuration tab.
  • Click the Storage link.
  • Right-click the datastore that contains the virtual machine’s files and select Browse Datastore.
  • Click the folder matching the name of the virtual machine.