Easy Methods to Access VMDK Files from Windows

Megha Chouhan
Megha Chouhan linkedin | Updated On - May 03, 2023 |

Read time: 4 minutes

Sometimes malware attacks, accidental file deletions, and errors in installation start creating problems with VMDK, where users are not able to access the data stored on the virtual disk used by VM. So today I’m here with the methods to Access VMDK virtual disk from Windows.

What are VMDK files?

VMDK is a file format used by VMware to store the content of virtual hard disk drives. It contains all the information about a virtual machine. VMDK is used for virtualization and cloud computing. The virtual machine can be used as a testing machine which means you can use the virtual machine as an independent machine that can be used for the test run of certain software on a different system. VMware Virtual disks are located on the same directory, where virtual machine files are stored in .vmdk file format.

Some common methods to access VMDK virtual disk from windows are as follows –

Solution 1- Using VMware

VMware develops virtualization software that creates an abstraction layer over computer hardware which allows the hardware elements of a single computer processor, memory, storage, and more to get multiple virtual computers, commonly called virtual machines (VMs).

  1. Firstly open your VMware Workstation.
  2. Click on File and Select Map Virtual Disks.Click on File & Select Map Virtual Disks
  3. Click on Browse. Here you can browse towards the location of your VMDK virtual disk file and verify the volume size.
  4. Note- Always open the file in read-only mode to avoid unnecessary data loss or drive corruption.

  5. Select the Drive Letter and click on the OK button.

Now you can see the VMDK will be mounted on your Windows Machine with the drive letter specified. And you can easily access the VMDK virtual disk from your Windows Explorer.


  1. Directly browse the location VMDK files.
  2. Right-click on the VMDK file.
  3. Select Map Virtual Disk and Select the VMDK to access.Select the VMDK to access.
Solution 2 – Using 7-Zip

7-Zip is easily available for Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. It becomes so easy to extract any type of archive file through it.

  1. Right-click on the VMDK flat file.
  2. Select Open Archive.Select Open Archive
  3. Now copy the VMDK contents to a folder of your choosing.
  4. It only works for VMDKs previously attached to either Windows or Linux.

Solution 3- Using Linux Reader

Linux Reader is a free tool used to access several file systems configured on Linux machines. It is capable of accessing VMDKs.

  1. Firstly install a Linux reader if you haven’t done it already.
  2. Select the Mount Image option from the menu.
  3. Now select Containers.
  4. Click on VMware virtual disks and press the Next button.
  5. Now navigate to the folder containing the VMDK files
  6. Select the file and click OK.
  7. Now check the boxes next to the VMDKs you want to be mounted and click on Mount.
  8. Now you can access the drive’s content by clicking on a mounted volume. These can be saved
  9. Save it by right-clicking on the file selection and clicking on the save button.
  10. OR

    Press CTRL-A to select all the content and click on the Save icon to export everything to a folder of your choice.

Solution 4- Use a professional VMDK Recovery Tool

There are many VMDK recovery tools that can help you access VMDK files, even if they are in an inaccessible state. There are many issues that make VMDK files inaccessible. But there aren’t many manual methods that we can try to recover data from inaccessible VMDK files. So trying professional tools such as the Kernel VMDK Recovery tool is the best option which very easily repair corrupt and damaged VMDK file. This tool works so well on all Windows OS versions and supports VMDK files from all sources. Using this tool, one can save the data at the desired location on their system after the recovery. It also recovers all file types/subfile types like sparse and flat. This brilliant tool comes with a snapshot feature that eliminates the need for rerunning the recovery process. One USP about this tool is that one can customize recovery settings as per your need.


I hope my readers will find this blog helpful. This blog has covered the different methods for accessing VMDK virtual disk from windows. But sometimes we all know that VMDK files can become inaccessible due to various reasons. In such a situation tools like Kernel, VMDK Recovery tool work brilliantly in mount and unmount VHD/VHDX files. It supports the recovery of all types of VMDK files, including those of VMware Workstation and Virtual is easy to use

Kernel for VMDK Recovery