How to Shut Down VirtualBox

By David Wayne

VirtualBox enables your business to test applications on several operating systems without rebooting your computer. The Guest Additions extension seamlessly integrates a virtual desktop with your host desktop or, when in full-screen mode, displays only the guest operating system, hiding the Minimize, Restore and Close buttons on the Virtual Machine window border. VirtualBox offers keyboard shortcuts and graphical methods to shut down a running session and exit the program. Ending a guest session by shutting down the VirtualBox host can cause the Virtual Machine to shut down improperly.

Window Border

Click “Close” on the Virtual Machine window border while not in full-screen or Seamless mode. Ensure that you have saved any work because VirtualBox will not automatically save it.

Click “Power Off” in the resulting pop-up window to halt the running virtual session immediately, or click “Send the Shutdown Signal” to end all running processes safely.

Click “Close” on the VirtualBox Manager window border to close VirtualBox. Alternatively, click “File” in the menu bar and select "Quit" in the drop-down menu.

Guest OS

Click the “Start” button within a Windows virtual desktop or, in a virtual Linux desktop, click “Logout.”

Click “Shutdown” in the resulting Windows or Linux menu to send the shutdown signal to the system and power off your virtual machine.

Click “Close” on the VirtualBox Manager window border, or click “File” and select “Quit” to exit VirtualBox.

Guest Additions

Press “Host-F” to exit full-screen mode or “Host-L” to exit Seamless mode. The Host key is the Ctrl key on the right side of the keyboard.

Click “Close” on the Virtual Machine window border to close the Virtual Machine. Alternatively, while in full-screen or Seamless mode, point the cursor at the bottom of the screen to reveal the Virtual Machine menu, and click the “X” to shut down the virtual session.

Close the VirtualBox Manager window to exit VirtualBox.


If Windows installs updates when you shut down, wait a few minutes for the installation to finish before closing VirtualBox. Windows could become corrupted if you shut down in the middle of an update.