➥ How does one change the screen resolution of their macOS Fusion guest?

On my Mac mini (2018) running macOS mojave 10.14.5, I am running VMware Fusion 11.1 with a BenQ 4K monitor on DisplayPort. Inside that is a macOS Mojave 10.14.6 guest OS.

I want that macOS guest to have its display resolution (size) grow when I stretch the VM window. I am used to this behavior as a feature in Parallels Desktop (competitor to Fusion).

When I stretch the VM window, the contents are stretched and pixelated but the logical size of the guest display does not change.

When I go to System Preferences > Displays > Display > Resolution > Scaled, I see no other options but 1024 x 768.

Screenshot of VM with macOS System Preferences > Display

My Fusion preferences are set to the default, Resize the virtual machine and the window. The documentation says that should change the resolution of guest VM.

Screenshot of Fusion preferences > Display

There are older Questions on this topic such as this one. But they seem outdated or unclear.

1 Answer 1


Reinstall VMware Tools

As was often the case with the competitor Parallels you mentioned, when the screen resolution fails to adjust you may need to re-install their software that embeds within the guest OS to enhance integration with the host OS.

enter image description here

From the main VMware Fusion app menu bar, choose Virtual Machine > Reinstall VMware Tools.

screenshot of dialog box confirming installation of VMware Tools

This mounts an installer app within the Finder of your guest OS.

enter image description here

Run Install VMware Tools.app. After it completes, your guest macOS restarts. Then you should be able to redefine your virtual display resolution. Simply grab the corner of the VM window on the host Mac, and grow/shrink the VM window. The size within the guest macOS auto-resizes.

You cannot use the System Preferences > Display within the VM to re-size. Instead, use this stretch-the-VM-window maneuver.

  • I could not believe this was my problem, since I just did a fresh install of VMware, macOS Catalina, and VMware Tools in the guest. But nope, apparently you have to install VMware tools twice and resizing the VM window starts working. Well done, everyone. Thank you for the answer!
    – Dale
    Jan 25, 2021 at 21:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .