How to Create a Virtual Printer in VMware

By Ruri Ranbe

VMware Player and VMware Workstation rely on physical hardware to create virtual devices on a guest operating system, or virtual machine. Businesses can set up a virtual printer in either application to access the local printer or printers connected to the host computer. Player creates a generic printer that applies to all printing devices, while Workstation requires administrators to create the appropriate port -- parallel, serial or USB -- to which the printer connects.

VMware Player

Select the virtual machine from the left pane. Click "Player," point to "Power" and then click "Power Off."

Click "Edit Virtual Machine Settings" and then click "Add" to run the Add Hardware Wizard.

Select "Printer" and then click "Finish" to add the virtual device to the VM. Click "OK."

VMware Workstation

Select the virtual machine, select "VM" from the menu bar and then click "Settings" to open Virtual Machine Settings.

Click "Add" on the Hardware tab to launch the New Hardware Wizard. Choose "Parallel Port," "Serial Port" or "USB Controller," depending on which connection the printer uses.

Select "Use a Physical Parallel Port" or "Use a Physical Serial Port" for legacy devices. Select "USB Compatibility" and "Automatically Connect New USB Devices" for a USB printer.

Click "Finish" followed by "OK" to add the virtual port to the machine.


To use a Bluetooth printer in Workstation, follow the instructions to add a USB controller and then choose "Share Bluetooth Devices with the Virtual Machine" before completing the wizard.

To create an output file for the virtual printer in Workstation instead, select "Use Output File" in the New Hardware Wizard and then browse to a location to create the file.