How to Fix the “Not Enough Physical Memory Is Available” VMware Error in Windows

Solving this error in VMware can be as easy as adding more memory, but there are more causes of this problem other than insufficient specs.

VMware Workstation is one of the best virtualization software packages for Windows. However, some users see an error message when they try to start virtual machines in VMware Workstation. That error message says, “not enough physical memory is available to power on this virtual machine,” and virtual machines won’t start up.

This VMware issue can arise when there’s more than enough RAM available on a PC. However, there are numerous possible causes for the “not enough physical memory” error. This is how you can fix the “not enough physical memory” WMware error in Windows 10 and 11.

1. Configure VMware to Run as an Administrator

Not running VMware as an administrator places restrictions on its system permissions and access to resources. So, run the software with elevated rights to ensure a lack of permissions isn’t causing any issues.

You can check out how to run any program as an administrator on Windows for more help, or you can set VMware to always run as an administrator like this:

  1. If there’s a VMware shortcut on your desktop, right-click it and select Open file location. Manually open VMware’s installation directory in File Explorer if you can’t right-click a shortcut for the software.
  2. Then click the VMware EXE file with the right mouse button to select its Properties context menu option.
  3. Select Compatibility to view that tab’s settings.
  4. Click the checkbox for the Run this program as administrator option to select it.
    The Compatibility tab

  5. Select Apply to save the new administrator option for VMware.
  6. Then select OK to close WMware’s properties window.

2. Edit the Config File

Lots of users have been able to fix the “not enough physical memory” by editing VMWare’s config.ini file. Those users disabled a Host parameter within the software’s configuration file. To disable that Host parameter, open and edit VMware’s config.ini file as follows:

  1. Press Win + E to access File Explorer.
  2. Open this VMware directory in Explorer:C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Workstation
  3. Right-click the config.ini file and select Open with.
    The Open with option

  4. Select Notepad to view the configuration file in that text editor.
  5. Then input vmmon.disableHostParameters = “TRUE” at the bottom of the configuration file as in the image below.
    WMware's config.ini file

  6. Click File on Notepad’s menubar.
  7. Select the menu’s Save option.
    The Save option in Notepad

3. Expand the Virtual Memory for the Virtual Machine

The “not enough physical memory” error can occur because not enough virtual memory has been allocated to the virtual machine. You can expand a virtual machine’s memory allocation in VMWare like this:

  1. Open your VMware software.
  2. Right-click the virtual machine for which you need to fix the error and select Settings.
  3. Increase the virtual machine’s memory allocation with the bar slider. That amount should always be higher than your PC’s available RAM.
    The memory bar

  4. Click OK to apply.

4. Update VMware

The “not enough physical memory” error will more likely arise on outdated WMware versions. So, ensure you’re utilizing the latest version of the software. This is how you can update VMware:

  1. Bring up the VMware window.
  2. Click the Help menu.
  3. Select Software Updates to view that window.
    The Software Updates option in VMware

  4. Then click the Check for Updates button.
    The Check for updates button

  5. Press the Get More Information button for an available update.
  6. Log into an account profile on the website that opens.
  7. Select the Download Now option on the website for the latest VMware Workstation version.
  8. Then you’ll need to select an Accept option for the EULA agreement.
  9. Click another Download Now option.
  10. Then click File Explorer’s taskbar shortcut.
  11. Go to the downloads folder that includes the WMware setup wizard.
  12. Double-click the downloaded VMware installer to open it. Go through the setup wizard to install the latest VMware version.

5. Delete a Recent Windows Update

The “not enough physical memory” error can be caused by a Windows update that conflicts with VMware. So, uninstalling a recent update could fix that issue for some users. Check out our guide about uninstalling Windows updates for further details on how to apply this potential solution.

The Installed Updates Control Panel applet

6. Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot will disable non-essential apps and services from the Windows startup. Clean booting can potentially resolve the “not enough physical memory” in two ways. Applying this troubleshooting method will ensure there aren’t any third-party programs conflicting with VMware and free up RAM for the software.

The Services tab in MSConfig

To disable all third-party startup programs and services, check out the guidelines in our guide on how to clean boot in Windows. This will perform a clean boot whenever you restart Windows.

Try utilizing your VMware virtual machine after clean booting. If this works,

7. Set Up a New Virtual Machine

If the issue persists despite applying the resolutions above, consider setting up a new virtual machine to replace the one that needs fixing. Download the latest ISO for the virtual machine’s platform. Then you can set up the virtual machine again, as outlined on the VMware support page.

Jump Into Your WMware Virtual Machine Again

Those Windows fixes for the “Not enough physical memory” error have worked for many VMware Workstation users. So, there’s a decent enough chance one will kick-start your VMWare virtual machine too. However, users who still need more possible fixes for this issue can submit a support request via the VMware Customer Connect page.

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