I have a host machine running OS X 10.9.3 and VirtualBox 4.3.12 VM running Windows 7. I want to copy and paste between the host machine and the VM. By default copy-pastes don't seem to be transferable between machines. How can I do this?

There were some similar questions but using Linux/VMWare but the solutions have been specific to the VM in use.

1 Answer 1


It's not by default. If you have installed Guest Additions, then you can do this:

  1. Start the VM

  2. Go to Machine > Settings in the file menu.

  3. Go to the General tab, then Advanced.

  4. Set the Shared Clipboard setting to Disabled, Guest to Host, Host to Guest or Bidirectional.

  • 4
    @fearless_fool It worked for me when I wrote this answer. I think what I did was the instructions directly after Installation at virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#additions-windows, where it says On Mac OS X hosts, you can find this file in the application bundle of VirtualBox. (Right click on the VirtualBox icon in Finder and choose Show Package Contents. There it is located in the Contents/MacOS folder.) i.sstatic.net/Obz5K.png Commented May 14, 2016 at 8:45
  • 1
    Bingo! And there it is. Thank you for the enlightenment. Commented May 14, 2016 at 8:52
  • 7
    It was a simple menu command for me: When running the VM, select Devices->Insert Guest Additions CD Image. This popped up a prompt in my VM to install them.
    – Stan James
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 21:53
  • 2
    I wish virtual machine would somehow warn you to install the guest additions, I had no idea..
    – Pellet
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 5:08
  • 1
    Is there anything else II have to do? I have GE installed and everything up to date yet when I try to copy things into Ubuntu from OSX I am getting nothing. Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 7:09

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