Native methods to mount USB on VMware virtual machines
If purchasing a proper software tool is not an option, you can try setting up USB redirection to VMware with standard features.
But before you start, please be aware of these restrictions:
❌ This method won’t work for any peripheral that’s not plugged into the host’s USB port (though it can be used for redirecting some PCI devices).
❌ The USB arbitrator service must be enabled (manually).
❌ Chances are high it won’t work for a USB 3.0 XHCi controller, or any USB peripheral other than a storage device or USB memory stick.
❌ The maximum number of devices that can be connected at the same time is two.
❌ You can’t use it to redirect a USB hub, only a storage device connected there.
So, finally, here’s your answer to a question ‘How do I access USB on VMware with native methods?’:
- Go to the USB Controller panel in the Virtual Machine Settings Editor and enable the auto connect feature so that peripheral devices you’re going to plug into your host computer would be connected to the guest system.
- If there is no free USB port of the virtual machine, choose which device will be disconnected in the invoked dialog box. If you opt to ignore the new device, it will be connected to the host machine.
- Go to the VM > Removable Devices panel to set the type of USB peripherals you want to be automatically connected to.
- Hover your mouse over the menu, then click on the device to which you want to connect. If the port already has some other device attached to it, picking a new device will release the first peripheral and connect the newly selected one.
To unmount the device, select a port to which it is connected and choose None in its menu.
If after all that you still can’t access the USB device from your VM’s guest system, you may also need to power the VM off, then unplug the device and re-attaching it back again.
The Workstation should retain the connection to the host machine’s USB port, but if not, go to the VM > Removable Devices > (Device Name) and select Connect from the menu.