VirtualBox Drag-and-Drop

Sorry, drag-and-drop not in latest update

Oracle VirtualBox is a virtual machine utility that allows another operating systems to run in a window on Windows and other host machines. VirtualBox 4.3.12 was released on May 16, 2014. This is a maintenance release.


For a long time drag-and-drop was not available between the host machine and guest machines. Neither could copy and paste be used. imageSadly, that is still the case. You can find the setting under DevicesDrag’n’Drop. You can set Host To Guest, Guest To Host, or Bidirectional. The setting sticks, but such functions simple are not available.

Neither is copy and paste. The clipboard sharing can be set in the MachineSettings, under General on the Advanced tab. It is just as pretty an illusion as the drag-and-drop setting. image

So how do you move data between host and guest systems? imageThe optional use of a shared folder works very nicely. You can set up such a folder anywhere on the host system. I put mine in the same folder as my virtual machines. This makes is a bit of a chore to locate and open. My work-around is to open the folder and then right-click on Favorites in the nav pane of Windows Explorer, File Explorer to Windows 8 fans, and click Add current location to Favorites. This makes it easy to get to. In fact I do the same thing in the guest system. Then drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste operations take just one extra step.

Window Resizing

imageI should add that window resizing is still not implemented properly. VirtualBox provides a few screen resolution settings. If that is not sufficient, there is a mode called Scale mode. In that mode you can drag the window to a new size. Unfortunately it stays proportional to the original size. The menu bar and Taskbar disappear. The window is not really resized, just stretched out, making the readability very poor.


© 2014 Ludwig Keck

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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2 Responses to VirtualBox Drag-and-Drop

  1. Wanted to say two things. First, thanks for following my blog. 🙂

    Second, this article explains one of the very pains I hated about VirtualBox as I had to constantly transfer data from the VM to the local machine and vice versa. I haven’t had to use it lately and I tend to be thankful for that. VM’s do have their place, but when I’m able to, I always prefer to run local.

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