Export & Import Virtual Machine in HYPER-V

Before almost a month i wrote an article for how can move virtual machine from one HYPR-V Host to another. I describe one of the way that can use to move virtual machine in another Host. Today i explain how can Export a Virtual Machine to import in another HYPER-V Host or use it as backup, archive, take it in your Lab.

The process is the same for Windows 8.1 , Windows Server 2008,Windows Server 2012. The difference in Windows Server 2012 is that you can Export the Virtual Machine while is running without need to shutdown . 

The article describe Export/Import Virtual Machine in Windows Server 2012 HYPER-V. Let's Start

Export Virtual Machine

  • Open Hyper-v Manager
  • Find the Virtual Machine that you want to export.
  • In Windows Server 2008 or Windows 8.1 must be shutdown the Virtual Machine. In Windows Server 2012 you can proceed without shutdown the Virtual Machine.
  • Right Click and select Export

  • Click Browse and select where will be save the Virtual Machine.
  • Click Export to start Exporting the Virtual Machine.

  • Check the Progress to identify when will be finish


When use the Export Feature in HYPER-V then will be create the following subfolders in the folder which has select

Snapshots = If there are checkpoints, it will contain an .xml configuration file for each checkpoint using the checkpoint GUID as the file name.

Virtual Hard Disks = This contains a copy of the .vhdx or vhd file and any .avhdx files for existing checkpoints.

Virtual Machines = If the virtual machine is not running, this folder will only contain the .xml virtual machine configuration file. If the VM is in a saved state, there will be a sub-folder that uses the VM GUID as its name, containing a .bin and a .vsv virtual machine saved state file.

Import Virtual Machine in Another Hyper-V Host

  • Open HYPER-V Manager
  • Go in the right side and select Import Virtual Machine.

  • In the First Screen click Next.

  • Locate the Folder which has the Virtual Machine.Clieck next.

  • Here it's already selected the Virtual Machine that you want to import. Click Next.

  • Now you have 3 options. Let's explain it.
    Register the Virtual Machine in-place (use the existing unique-ID)
    If you have transfer the virtual machine files in appropriate path that use the new HYPER-V Host then use this option.
    Restore the Virtual Machine  (use the existing unique-ID)
    If you have virtual machines files in a network location or storage device and you want HYPER-V Host to move the files for you in the appropriate folder and register the virtual machine you can use this option.
    Copy the virtual machine (create new unique-ID)
    If you want to keep the virtual machine files as template and use it again then you must use this option.
  • I have the virtual machine files in an external disk and i don't want to reuse the files. I will select the 2nd Option Restore. This is your choice and you can use any of the option base on your requests. Clicck Next

  • Don't check the option if you want to store the virtual machine files in the default paths. Unles check it and change it base on the paths that you have the Virtual Machines.

  • Select the path for the virtual disk. If use the default paths just click Next unless change it base on the paths that you use to store the virtual disk of the virtual machines in the HYPER-V Host.

  • One of the basic things that you must know is that when importing virtual machines must use the same Virtual Switch Name with the old HYPER-V Host. Unless you will get an error like a following. Then you can click in Connection to select the Virtual Switch of the destination HYPER-V Host and click Next.

  • It's a summary of all the configurations for the importing. Click Finish to start the Import and wait until Restore the Virtual Machine

  • When Export Virtual machine while Running then in Import it is in Saved State.


Another one way to use when you want to move a Virtual Machine in another HYPER-V Host. It's very easy with few steps you can move it without downtime in Production Enviroment.

What is your experience with this method? Use our Comments to tell your experience or your opinion for the related topic.

Have a nice weekend!!



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