VMware Fusion is a line of Desktop Hypervisor products designed for modern application developers, IT professionals and everyone that wants to run virtual machines, OCI containers and Kubernetes clusters on a Mac. Each Edition, Fusion Pro and Fusion Player, let users run Windows and other operating systems right from macOS, without rebooting. Fusion is simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.
VMware Fusion 12 Pro is considered a ‘major release’ and as such requires a new license to operate. Customers who currently own licenses for Fusion 10 Pro or Fusion 11 Pro are entitled to discounted upgrade pricing. Customers on older versions of Fusion (8.x and earlier) must purchase a new license to use Fusion 12 Pro
VMware Fusion 12 is considered a ‘major release’ and as such requires a new license to operate. Fusion 12 Player licenses are available in 2 varieties: Personal or Commercial. Commercial (paid) customers who currently own licenses for Fusion 10 or greater are entitled to discounted upgrade pricing. Commercial customers on older versions of Fusion (8.x and earlier) must purchase a new license. Personal use customers may register for a new free license from this link regardless of the currently owned license.
VMware Fusion lets you run macOS, Windows, Linux and other x86-based operating systems as virtual machines. Nearly all programs that run on these operating systems will run with VMware Fusion. Programs can range from common productivity suites, like Microsoft Office, to graphics-intensive programs such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks which require DirectX 11, as well as custom applications. Fusion Player and Fusion Pro can both also run containers and Kubernetes clusters with the built-in CLI ‘vctl.’
Yes, VMware Fusion 12 has 3D hardware-accelerated graphics support.
For Windows VMs Fusion now supports DirectX 11 (with Shader Model 5.0) and earlier.
For Windows and Linux guests Fusion provides OpenGL 4.1 capabilities.
Fusion uses Apple Metal graphics technology to render 3D hardware-accelerated graphics to virtual machines on compatible Mac systems.
Boot Camp is not required to run Windows on a Mac with VMware Fusion. However, if you already have Windows installed as a Boot Camp partition, VMware Fusion can easily create a Windows virtual machine based on your Boot Camp Windows installation. This will allow you to run Windows programs side-by-side with your Mac applications without having to reboot your Mac.
Yes. VMware Fusion 12 can import Parallels Desktop for Mac (up to version 15) based virtual machines. Simply launch VMware Fusion, go to the File menu, select ‘Import’, select your virtual machine setting’s file, and click ‘Import’.
When not running virtual machines, VMware Fusion 12 has no impact on your Mac’s overall performance. The impact on performance while running virtual machines, containers and Kubernetes clusters will mainly depend on the type of applications bring run, how many virtual machines/containers are running at the same time, how much RAM is available on your Mac, the speed of your CPU (GHz) and the speed of your storage. SSD-based Macs are recommended for optimal performance
Yes. VMware Fusion supports USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and now 3.1 devices.
Yes, VMware Fusion 12 supports Retina and 6K display Macs for a crisp and detailed experience of your Windows programs. Fusion 12 ensures you get a seamless experience when running Windows across Retina, 4K, 5K, 6K and non-Retina displays.
Yes, VMware Fusion 12 supports up to 10 displays in both full screen and Unity views.
Thunderbolt ports cannot be directly forwarded to Windows VM’s the same way that USB works. However, you can still access your Thunderbolt hard drives in VMware Fusion by mapping the hard drive to a VMware Shared Folder. Go to the Virtual Machine menu, select ‘Shared Folders’ and select ‘Add Shared Folder’. Select your Thunderbolt hard drive and click ‘Open’ to assign your Thunderbolt disk to the shared folder. To access your Thunderbolt hard drive in Windows, go to ‘VMware Shared Folders’ shortcut on the desktop and select your Thunderbolt hard disk.
You can assign up to 32 Virtual CPUs to a Fusion 12 virtual machine (requires at least 16 physical cores), so the virtual machine can harness the full power of a Mac using the latest Intel processors. It’s recommended that sufficient resources are not allocated to virtual machines to ensure smooth host operation. For example, on a Mac with 6 cores, it would be unadvisable to assign more than 4 cores to a virtual machine. Application requirements vary, so experiment with your settings to find a balance.
Yes, VMware Fusion includes a simple Migration Assistant for Windows that allows you to quickly and easily move your entire PC to your Mac as a virtual machine. Install a simple application on your PC, connect it to your Mac, and VMware Fusion will detect your PC and take care of the rest. Install a simple application on your PC, connect it to your Mac, and VMware Fusion will detect your PC and take care of the rest.
Yes. VMware Fusion requires the installation of an operating system in order to function. The operating system is not included with the purchase of VMware Fusion. You can either migrate an existing copy of Windows from your old PC or install a new one. In order to run a Windows virtual machine, you must have a licensed copy of that Windows operating system or purchase a new Windows license.
VMware Fusion includes a simple Migration Assistant for Windows that allows you to quickly and easily bring your entire PC to your Mac as a virtual machine. Whether you can legally use a copy of Windows from an existing physical machine, typically delivered as an 'OEM' license, depends on the license terms surrounding that installation of Windows. Please consult the license agreement that came with the version of Windows included with your PC, or the PC manufacturer, for more details.
Many OEM Windows installations are tied to specific hardware and will likely not work with VMware Fusion. Whether you can legally use a copy of Windows from an existing physical machine depends on the licensing surrounding that copy of Windows. Please consult the license agreement that came with the version of Windows included with your PC for more details.
Yes, you can run as many virtual machines concurrently with VMware Fusion 12 Pro and Player as your system’s CPU, RAM and disk storage will support. In fact, VMware Fusion leverages patented memory-sharing techniques to drastically reduce the memory required to run multiple virtual machines at the same time.
You can create an unlimited number of virtual machines from a single VMware Fusion license. You will need to provide the required operating system software and license for each installation of a virtual machine.
Yes, VMware Fusion allows you to create and run 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines.
Yes, VMware virtual machines are fully compatible across the product line. Virtual machines created with Workstation, as well as vSphere and other environments that employ the ESXi hypervisor can run on VMware Fusion.
All Intel-based Macs launched in 2012* or later are supported, as well as:
*With exception, the following Macs are not supported:
Fusion 12 supports Macs with macOS 11.0 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina. Fusion 12 does not function on macOS 10.14 and earlier.
Metal Host Graphics Rendering Engine
The Metal rendering engine requires an Apple Mac computer which supports Metal. See Apple's documentation regarding Metal supported Macs: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205073
What are the supported guest operating systems for VMware Fusion 12?
VMware Fusion 12 supports more than 200 operating systems from MS-DOS through Windows 10, various flavors of Linux, and certain versions of Mac OS X / macOS.
Here is a list of popular supported guest operating systems:
How do I check which Version or Edition of VMware Fusion I am running?
From the VMware Fusion menu, select About VMware Fusion, and the version and build number will be displayed in the "about" box.
Customers who purchased VMware Fusion or Fusion 12 Pro beginning June 15th, 2020 are covered by the Technology Guarantee Program for VMware Fusion, and are eligible for a complimentary electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Player or Pro depending on the upgrading license, when they become generally available:
Customers who purchased VMware Fusion 11 Pro before June 15th, 2020 without an SnS contract are not eligible for a complimentary upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Pro and would need to purchase an upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro to fully enjoy the benefits of the latest version of the product.
Currently Licensed Product
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Fusion 8.x Pro
Fusion 10.x Pro
Fusion 11.x Pro
Customers with an active Support and Subscription (SnS) contract with an end date on or after General Availability are eligible for a free upgrade. You can download VMware Fusion 12 software from the Fusion Download page.
Customers with older VMware Fusion versions (1.x through 8.x) will need to purchase a new license.
Yes, you may purchase an academic upgrade from the VMware Academic Store. To qualify for this discount, you must currently own an academic Fusion license and be a student, parent, faculty or staff member at a qualifying academic institution.
Yes. The price of VMware Fusion Player and Fusion Pro includes an update service that entitles you to product updates and patches, which are new releases of Fusion within a given product version (e.g. x.1, x.1.1, and so forth). VMware Fusion will automatically download updates or you may download updates by visiting the Fusion Download Page.
NOTE: The price of VMware Fusion Player or Fusion Pro entitles a customer to free updates, but not free upgrades. Upgrade (‘Major’) releases contain functional enhancements or significant extensions and must be purchased separately unless you have an active support and subscription (SnS) contract.
VMware Fusion Player and Fusion Pro are perpetually licensed, with options for Support and Subscription add-ons to provide additional security for upgrades and troubleshooting.
VMware Fusion Pro offers paid licenses for individual and commercial uses, and are available for purchase from our online store or from our authorized
resellers and partners
VMware Fusion Player Commercial Licenses are available for purchase from our online store or from our authorized resellers and partners.
To license VMware Fusion, simply enter a purchased license key during product installation in the license key field. Alternatively, you can enter your serial / license key from the "VMware Fusion" drop down menu in the product. Choose "License" in the drop down menu, enter the serial / license key and choose "OK".
Complimentary email support is activated as soon as your paid VMware Fusion license key is registered.
Fusion Player Personal Use licenses are free and can be obtained by registering at vmware.com.
If you are using Fusion 12 Player on an unmanaged Mac that you personally own, provided you are not performing functions that drive commercial activity, you may use a Personal Use license.
Personal Use Examples:
Students learning about virtual machines, computers, etc. (not academic institutions)
Home Users playing Windows games on Mac
Building / testing Open Source applications
Running VMs and Containers to deliver home-based services (i.e. home media server, firewall, etc.)
Commercial Use examples:
Working from Home
Building / testing commercial applications
Running a corporate desktop virtual machine
Delivering paid-for services from virtual machines, containers or Kubernetes clusters running on Fusion
If you purchased the product from the VMware Online store, your license key is automatically registered. If you purchased VMware Fusion from a reseller, you need to manually register your license key in My VMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.
If you purchased VMware Fusion directly from VMware, you can find your serial / license key by looking it up in the My VMware portal.
Log into the My VMware portal using your VMware.com account credentials
Select the Manage License Keys option from the top menu.
If you have already entered your serial / license key upon software installation, you can see your key from the VMware Fusion drop down menu in the product.
Choose License in the drop-down menu. The serial / license key will be displayed in the software licensing dialogue.
The VMware Fusion Activation Code is a 25-character alpha-numeric code.
VMware Fusion for personal use:
You may install and use VMware Fusion Player for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running macOS ("Mac Computer") that you own or control.
You may install and use your VMware Fusion Pro license for personal, non-commercial use on up to 3 devices that you own or control.
VMware Fusion Pro or Player for commercial use:
If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may install and use the Software on a number of Apple-branded products running macOS ("Mac Computer") that you own or control equal to the number of licenses purchased. Installing and using the Software on multiple Mac Computers with a single license is prohibited even if the computers are not running the Software concurrently.
You can review the End User License Agreement(s) from this
Problems with registration can be caused by several factors. First, double- check your serial / license key for typographical errors. All characters that look like a "0" are a numeric "zero" and not the letter "O".
Verify that the code you are trying to register is a VMware Fusion serial number. It should be a 25-character alpha-numeric code (example: AALYG-20HVE-WHQ13-67MUP-XVMF3).
If you continue to have difficulty, please file a licensing support request from the Get Support page.
Yes. Students and professors can purchase VMware Fusion Pro at our standard academic pricing by ordering directly from the VMware Academic Store.
You can download VMware Fusion software from the Fusion Download page. A single download contains both editions of Fusion, the license key determines which version of Fusion is unlocked.
After the evaluation period has expired, you will be prompted to enter a license key. If you have purchased the product you will have received a new license key. Enter the purchased license key when prompted to unlock the full "unlimited" version of the software. To take advantage of complimentary email support for up 30 days, your license key must be registered. If you purchased the product from the VMware Online store, your license key is automatically registered. If you purchased from a reseller, you may need to manually register your license key in MyVMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.
No. You simply need to update your license key in VMware Fusion. You can do this from the "VMware Fusion" menu, click on "License" and enter your new license key.
VMware Fusion will prompt you for updates automatically. To manually check for updates, click on the "VMware Fusion" drop-down menu in VMware Fusion and choose "Check for Updates."
Yes, both can be installed at the same time. Please, check system requirements for both products before installing.
You can obtain a free trial of VMware Fusion Pro at
Complimentary support starts when your paid VMware Fusion Player or Fusion Pro license is registered. Registration takes place automatically if you purchase your product from the VMware Online store. If you purchased from a reseller, you may need to register your license in My VMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.
Complimentary support for VMware Fusion Player and VMware Fusion Pro is valid for 30 days from product registration.
Yes, you can purchase support incidents and open a support request for any product version that is still officially supported by VMware.
Evaluation users can get help through the VMware Fusion Community. Evaluation users are not eligible for complimentary email support.
Personal Use license users can get help through the VMware Fusion Community. Personal Use licensed users are not eligible for complimentary email support.
VMware provides several self-help and community supported resources including:
Fusion Documentation – product documentation and manuals
Knowledge Base – troubleshooting information
Community Forum – users can share their information and experiences with others (registration required)
User Groups (VMUGs) – live, local gatherings of VMware users
Customers are also eligible for complimentary installation support for up to 30 days following product registration.