Easy ways to backup your virtual machine

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on TumblrBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

Guest blog by Manoj Kumar Suresh, Parallels Support Team

Easy ways to backup your virtual machine

There are many perks of using a virtual machine over a regular PC. One of my favorites being how easy it is to backup and to restore my virtual machines.

Below I’ll go over several ways to backup your virtual machine data.


The built-in functionality you can use to back up a virtual machine without access to any external drives and with taking minimal hard disk space is to create a snapshot. This isn’t entirely a separate back up, but more like a restore point for your VM. (You can read the benefits and limitations of this feature in detail here)

Time Machine

Time Machine is used to back up your entire Mac. You can tune it to back up your virtual machine too!

  • Go to the virtual machine’s configuration > Back up > and uncheck the option Do not back up using Time Machine

    How to backup virtual machines 1
  • Shutdown the virtual machine by clicking on Actions > Shut down from the Mac menu when the virtual machine is open.

    How to backup virtual machines 2
  • Then launch your Time Machine backup as normal. It will also backup your virtual machine.

    How to backup virtual machines 3

Manual backup

This is the easiest and most reliable way of making a backup of your virtual machine. The downside of this method is that it’s manual. We can back up the entire virtual machine by copying its .pvm file (it contains the whole virtual machine) to a different location on your Mac HD or (preferably) to an external hard drive. You can find virtual machine’s .pvm file by following these steps:

  • Right-click on Parallels Desktop icon in Dock > choose Control Center
  • Right-click on your virtual machine > choose Show in Finder.
    How to backup virtual machines 4

Once you locate your .pvm file, copy and paste it to your preferred backup location

Acronis True Image Backup

As an additional benefit, Parallels provides you with 30 day complimentary subscription to Acronis True Image Backup. We recommend that you make sure that the virtual machine is shut down before performing the backup. To initiate, simply click on Parallels Desktop on Mac menu bar > Backup with Acronis True Image.
How to backup virtual machines 5

I hope this helps you choose your preferred way to backup your virtual machine data.
Don’t forget – follow the Parallels Support Team on Twitter for questions & answers, and product updates!

Try Parallels Desktop for free for 14 days!

Social Media Lead for Parallels WorldWide Support. Passionate about technology and customer experience.