Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in a Windows 7 VM

VirtualBox Virtual Machines give users the ability to run operating systems virtually. This gives us the advantage of being able to run a different operating system than the one installed on the host computer.  As a result, some incompatibilities may arise; this is where Guest Additions come in. Guest Additions, make everything run smoothly. They provide better integration with the host operating system, adding features like mouse pointer integration, ability to share folders between the host and the virtual machine, better video support, time synchronization, shared clipboard, etc. In this tutorial I will show you how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on a Windows 7 Virtual Machine.

What is needed for this project?

VirtualBox running on your host operating system.
Windows 7 running in VirtualBox as a virtual machine.
Connection to the internet.

Intructions

Start your Windows 7 virtual machine. Once Windows finishes booting, go to the menu on top of your virtual machine’s screen and click on “Devices“, then click on “Install Guest Additions” ( I will not go through all screens of the installation process, since some of them are self explanatory).

This will bring up the Guest Additions installation program. Click “Next” in the welcome screen to continue.

When you get to the “Choose Components” screen, the Guest Additions installation wizard will prompt you to choose whether you want to install “Direct3D Support“. Check this only if you are going to use the virtual machine for gaming. If you are not, leave it unchecked, otherwise Direct3D will create additional CPU overhead.

In the last screen on the wizard, click finish to restart your computer.

And you are done!

Final thoughts

If you are having trouble sharing files or copying and pasting text between the host and the virtual machine, your solution will most likely be to install Guest Additions. Guest Additions exist for virtually all operating systems that can run on VirtualBox. However, the installation process is similar but not the same for operating systems other than Windows. I will try to cover all of these installation processes in future articles.

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