How To Isolate Virtual Machine From The Host

Virtual machines (VMs) allow running multiple operating systems simultaneously, keeping them separate from each other. However, the VM and the host share many hardware and software resources, leading to extensive interaction between the two. While complete isolation is impossible, you can minimize interaction by restricting data flow via host settings.

Key Strategies for Isolating a Virtual Machine

  1. Restrict Data Flow Between Host and VM
  2. Configure Network Settings for Isolation
  3. Utilize Hypervisor-Specific Isolation Features
  4. Enhance Security Practices

1. Restricting Data Flow


  1. Open VMware and select the target virtual machine.
  2. Go to Settings > Configuration.
  3. Disable Drag and Drop and Copy and Paste options to prevent file and text transfer between the host and VM.


  1. Open the VirtualBox window of the running VM.
  2. Select Devices > Drag and Drop.
  3. Choose Disabled to prevent file transfer between the host and VM.

2. Network Settings for Isolation

  • NAT (Network Address Translation): Places a NAT firewall between the host and guest, providing security while sharing the host’s internet connection.
  • Bridged: Directly connects the guest machine to the host’s network adapter.
  • Internal Network: Builds an internal network of VMs isolated from the host and other devices.
  • Host-Only: Connects only the VM to the host machine and other VMs in an internal network.

For full isolation, consider using a separate physical Network Interface Card (NIC) for the VM and disconnect the host’s network adapter from the VM.

3. Hypervisor-Specific Isolation Features


  • Follow the steps mentioned earlier to disable drag and drop, and copy and paste.


  • Use the Not Attached option to disconnect the VM from the host network completely.

4. Security Practices

  • Use a Secure Hypervisor: Choose reliable virtualization software with robust security features.
  • Keep Everything Updated: Regularly update virtualization software and antivirus programs.
  • Practice Cybersecurity Best Practices: Avoid risky actions and open files from unknown sources in an isolated VM.

Benefits of Isolation

  1. Enhanced Security: Reduces the risk of malware spreading between the host and VM.
  2. Minimized Mistakes: Prevents accidental data transfer and deletion.
  3. Resource Management: Ensures better performance by preventing resource hogging.


While you can’t achieve complete isolation between a VM and its host, following these steps can significantly enhance security and minimize interaction. Choose the right virtualization software, configure settings properly, and maintain best security practices to protect your systems.

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