HOWTO: Start VirtualBox VM on boot – Windows


Here’s a quick and simple solution to getting a VirtualBox VM to start on boot in MS Windows.

Create a new batch script with Notepad. Enter the following code, changing to include the name of your VM.

cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"
VBoxHeadless --startvm name_of_your_vm_here

Save and close your file. Now click and drag it from where you saved it, over the Start Menu and drop it into the “Startup” folder. Now, that script will be executed on startup.

That’s it! Reboot and check that your VM has started running. It will be headless (ie you won’t be a VBox window) which is great for VMs you want in the background. However, you will still have a command prompt open.


3 Responses to “HOWTO: Start VirtualBox VM on boot – Windows”

  1. 1 M7

    It’s starting on startup when user logs in, not on boot. If you want to start it at boot you must add it as startup script in Group Policy, witch didn’t worked for me.

  2. This is great for starting your VM on logon, but not on boot. The VM will not start up until somebody actually logs on to the machine.

  3. 3 Goodmane

    To remove the command prompt window, add “exit” at the end of the batch file on a separate line:

    cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox”
    VBoxHeadless –startvm name_of_your_vm_here

    This will close the window after the VBoxHeadless command completes.

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