How to Import and Export Virtual Machine in Windows Hyper-V Server

by Satheesh Kumar on March 20, 2014

Use import and export feature, when you want to create a new virtual machine with the same configuration of an existing machine in Hyper-V.

The exported virtual machine files are saved in the server, and can be reused as many time as you want to create new VM.

Machine generates new SID while importing from the machine files. This future will help us to clone N number of virtual machine without any conflicts in same network.

I. Export Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

1. Export Menu Option

Connect to your Hyper-V server from Hyper-V Manger -> Right click on your virtual machine and select the export option.

In this example, we’ll export Windows 8 virtual machine from server1 (Hyper-v server).

Export Hyper-V VM Menu

2. Specify Export Folder Path

Specify the folder path to export virtual machine. After selecting folder path, export operation will start.

Please note that you can export a virtual machine even when it is in “On” (tun on) state.

Export Hyper-V VM Select Location

3. Exported VM Files

After completing export operation you can see the virtual machine files in destination folder. This folder will contain Snapshots, Virtual Disks and Virtual machine files.

To import the VM, you need to copy all these three folders to the other server.

Exported Hyper-V VM Folders

II. Import Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

1. Copy the VM Files

Copy the exported Virtual machine files and folders to your local server before you start import a virtual machine.

In this example, we will import a Windows 8 Virtual machine from Server 1 to Backup-Server.

Before importing virtual machine, I have Copied Windows 8 exported machine files from Server 1 to Backup-Server.

2. Import Virtual Machine Menu Option

Connect Hyper-V server from Hyper-V Manger, Right click on Hyper-V server and select Import Virtual Machine Option. Click next on the import virtual Machine page.

Import Hyper-V VM Menu

3. Select VM File Folder

Select the virtual machine folder path (This is the folder that contains the exported machine files).

Import Hyper-V VM Locate Folder

4. Select the VM to Import

After selecting the path, it will show the machine name in import virtual Machine page. Select machine and click next.

Import Hyper-V VM Select VM

5. Choose Import Type

Select the Import mode as per your requirement. Please note that exported files can be reused to clone machines only using “Copy The virtual machine (create a new unique ID)” option.

This has the following three options:

  1. Register the virtual machine in-place
  2. Restore the virtual machine
  3. Copy the virtual machine (In our example, we are going to select this option)

Import Hyper-V VM Import Types

6. Choose Destination Location

Select the Virtual Machine storage location path to store virtual machine files. Accept the default values here. If you want to change the location, select the “Store the virtual machine in a different location” checkbox.

Import Hyper-V VM Destination Folder

7. Choose Hard Disk Location

Select the folder path to store Virtual machine Hard disk. This is your storage location.

Import Hyper-V VM Hard Disk Location

8. Finish the Import

Review your machine configuration selection, and click on Finish to complete the import process.

Import Hyper-V VM Summary


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Cherry March 21, 2014 at 3:25 am

Can I register a vote in favour of posts which explain how to use command-line tools.

Posts which just illustrate how to do things by clicking on a bunch of buttons don’t appeal at all.

They remind me of those silly “Visual Guide to …” books.

2 Bob March 21, 2014 at 7:29 am

Thanks. I learned something new today…

3 Daniel November 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Good post. Could I use this to export an existing VM to say Clone-1 , Go back to the orginal VM and format with a new allocation size. Then import or restore from Clone_1 .

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