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Getting rid of "VMware Shared Folders" under OS X

The Scenario

You have a fresh machine. But when you log in, you see a link on your desktop to VMware Shared Folders. You drag it to your Trash. Next time you log in, you see it again: VMware Shared Folders. Again, you move it to the Trash. The third time it happens, you wonder, “What the heck is going on? How can I permanently delete VMware Shared Folders?”

The Cause

The most likely cause is that your machine was cloned from an image that was created under a VMware Fusion instance that had VMware Tools installed.

The Easy Fix

The easy fix is to Uninstall VMware Tools.  It can be found in /Library/Application Support/VMware Tools.

The Hard Fix

Log in to your workstation and run these commands; they should fix the problem:

for PLIST in
  /Library/LaunchAgents/com.vmware.launchd.vmware-tools-userd.plist  /Library/LaunchDaemons/
  [ -f $PLIST ] &&
  sudo defaults write $PLIST RunAtLoad -bool false &&
  sudo plutil -convert xml1 $PLIST &&
  sudo chmod 444 $PLIST
rm ~/Desktop/VMWare Shared Folders

The VMware Shared Folders should be gone for good.

The Specs

This has been tested under OS X 10.8.3 and VMware Fusion 5.0.3

Other Clues

Another indication that you’re running a machine that was imaged from a virtual machine with VMware tools installed is that you receive the following message when you run lsof:

lsof: WARNING: can't stat() vmhgfs file system /Volumes/VMware Shared Folders

A Bolder Way

If you know that you’ll never want to re-enable VMware tools, deleting the configuration files may be easier (caveat utor: I have not tried this myself):

sudo rm /Library/LaunchAgents/com.vmware.launchd.vmware-tools-userd.plist /Library/LaunchDaemons/
rm ~/Desktop/VMWare Shared Folders


  • Slokkie

    Uninstall VMWare tools can be done with the uninstaller which can be found in /Library/Application Support/VMWare tools

    • Brian Cunnie

      Thanks! I’ll put that at the top of my post.

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