Virtual Machines (VirtualBox & VMware Workstation mainly) are extremely useful when it comes to installing another operating system like macOS, Linux, or even Windows. In the meantime, maybe you’re setting up a VM that you don’t need anymore, or cloning an OS VM and having to delete it, or maybe you’re only trying to free up disk space by deleting virtual machines from VirtualBox. So, in this guide, you are going to learn how to completely delete a virtual machine from Oracle VirtualBox VM in Windows 10/11.
Furthermore, virtual Machines or VMs have become a vital tool in the world of software. They allow us to run multiple operating systems and hardware configurations on one computer, allowing users in various environments to build, test, and demonstrate software systems.
Oracle Virtualbox is one of the most common hypervisors around (software tools that build and manage virtual machines). You can download it free of charge. One of the disadvantages of Virtualbox is that it requires a little more technical experience and know-how than any other hypervisor.
Why do I Need to Delete a VM?
Software from a virtual machine gives you the ability to build several VMs. With various operating systems and hardware configurations, you can build multiple environments. To test different software versions in the same environment, you can even build identical VMs.
Here are the main reasons:
- Free up Disk Space
It is possible that the number one reason for deleting VMs is to free up disk space. The image of the VM and the files that go along with it, on your hard drive can take up several gigabytes. Delete them if you are running low on disk space and have any virtual machines that you are not using!
- Not Using Anymore
If you are experimenting in a software development cycle using virtual machines, it is always prudent to delete your test VMs until development is complete. Normally, you do not want a test machine that has already been used; from previous tests, it might have modifications left.
- Corrupted Virtual Machines
There is a fair risk you can corrupt it if you use a VM for testing. You may get a virus, you may break the registry or anything else that makes problems may happen. It’s easier to remove the VM in certain situations and start over with a new one. This redundancy is one of the key advantages of research and production using virtual machines.
So, without further ado, here’s how to delete a virtual machine on Oracle VirtualBox VM in Windows, Mac, and Linux.
How to Delete a Virtual Machine in Windows 10/11
Many people tend to uninstall the VirtualBox VM to remove the virtual machine, which is wrong. By uninstalling the VM, it just removes the VirtualBox software and the drivers. However, it leaves your virtual machine and its settings files alone.
Simply do the following to fully delete every VirtualBox virtual machine on Mac, Windows, or Linux:
Step 1. Open the VirtualBox VM and the list of the created VMs will be presented on the left-hand side of the Window.
Step 2. Now, right-click on any of the virtual machines that you would like to delete and then select Remove.
Note: Select the virtual machine and OS you want to delete (quit the VM if it’s currently active first)
Step 3. Here, you will be presented with 3 options: Delete all files, Remove only, and Cancel.
If you select Remove only, Virtualbox will only remove the VM from the application. It will remain on your hard drive and can be imported back into Virtualbox at any time.
To completely delete the operating system and virtual machine from VirtualBox, select Delete all files.
Repeat with other virtual machines to delete them as needed.
Remember that, if you choose to Remove only, the virtual machine will actually be removed from the VirtualBox VM Manager, but none of the individual files or related VMs, OS, VDI, or anything else will be deleted. Therefore, if you just want to delete the VM and related files, pick Delete all files.
Deleting a virtual machine from VirtualBox will free up any storage space that that VM and its related OS have taken up, including VDI, VMDK, VHD, or HDD files associated with it. This is often several gigabytes in size since virtual machines can be very massive,
That’s it. This is how you can delete a virtual machine on Oracle VirtualBox VM on Windows 10/11. The steps are easy to make sure to quit the virtual machine first and then delete it.