VirtualBox is your entry point to this virtual world, whether you're an IT specialist looking to test software in diverse settings, a developer building cross-platform apps, or just a normal user investigating other operating systems. You may experience the VirtualBox you use on Windows running slow and wonder how to fix the situation. Fortunately, we have successful ways you can use to fix a virtualBox slow on Windows.
In today's world, there is rapid evolution in virtualization of a developed fast-paced tech landscape that can run multiple operating systems on a single machine seamlessly. It has become a convenient and necessary virtual environment for tech and non-tech users.VirtualBox is a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly software that enables you to unlock a universe of possibilities within your computer.
Virtualbox software allows you to run multiple operating systems on your computer without rebooting or partitioning your hard drive. You can create and manage virtual machines, each with its operating system and applications, and switch between them easily. To understand the history of Virtualbox, it was developed by Oracle and is provided for free as an open-source program under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3.
By providing a platform to explore diverse operating systems and configurations without impacting the host system, VirtualBox remains a leading choice for virtualization needs across a broad spectrum of users and use cases. Let's dive into this article and see the issues that can arise, affecting the VirtualBox to slow down, and how you can fix it as a user using various methods that will be discussed here.
Features of Virtualbox
A virtual box has numerous features that make it a versatile and powerful tool for virtualization. It caters to a wide range of users, from developers and IT professionals to enthusiasts seeking to explore different operating systems and environments. Here's a breakdown of some of its key features:
- Supported Guest Operating Systems: VirtualBox supports a wide range of guest operating systems, including various versions of Windows, Linux distributions, macOS, FreeBSD, Solaris, and more. This versatility allows users to run different OS environments within VirtualBox.
- Extension Pack Enhancements: The Extension Pack expands VirtualBox's capabilities by providing additional features such as support for disk encryption, NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) for faster storage access, PXE boot for Intel GPUs (Preboot Execution Environment), and VirtualBox RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) for remote access to VMs.
- Software Development Kit (SDK): The SDK empowers developers to programmatically create, manage, and automate VirtualBox functionalities. It allows for integrating VirtualBox features into custom applications or scripts, enabling tailored management and control of virtual machines.
- User Manual: VirtualBox offers a comprehensive user manual that details its functionalities, guiding setting up, configuring, and using its features effectively. It serves as a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced users.
- Pre-built Virtual Machines: For developers and users seeking specific environments, VirtualBox offers pre-built virtual machines equipped with various frameworks and technologies. These pre-configured VMs enable quick setup and operation without manual configuration.
- Snapshot and Clone Functionality: VirtualBox allows users to create snapshots of VMs, capturing their exact state at a specific time. This feature enables easy backup and restoration of VMs to previous states. Additionally, users can clone VMs, making identical copies for different purposes or testing scenarios.
- Flexible Networking Options: VirtualBox provides various networking modes, including NAT (Network Address Translation), bridged networking, internal networking, and host-only networking. This flexibility allows users to configure networking as per their requirements.
- USB Device Support: Users can connect USB devices to their virtual machines, allowing seamless access to peripherals such as flash drives, external hard drives, printers, and more within the VM environment.
Causes Slowness on a Virtualbox
Virtual machine performance can indeed be affected by various factors. Here are a few common potential causes of slowness in VirtualBox that you may be affected by:
- Hardware virtualization settings: Hyper-V or Windows hypervisor enabled on the host system can impact VirtualBox performance due to conflicts in hardware virtualization. It's essential to ensure these settings are compatible or disabled when using VirtualBox.
- Outdated or faulty VirtualBox guest additions: This is another aspect that causes lagging on Virtualbox since outdated or faulty virtualBox additions are crucial for optimizing the guest OS's performance. Ensuring they are up-to-date and functioning correctly can significantly improve VM performance.
- Host computer power plan: Configuring the host system for low performance can impact the resources available for VirtualBox, leading to slower VM performance. Opting for a higher-performance power plan can alleviate this issue.
- Virtual machine resource allocation: Insufficient CPU cores, RAM, or disk space allocated to the VM can cause sluggishness. Adequate resource allocation is vital for smooth VM operation.
- Disk fragmentation: Fragmentation within the virtual disk file can hamper read/write speeds, impacting VM performance. Regularly defragmenting the virtual disk can maintain optimal performance.
- Networking configuration: Misconfigured network settings or slow connections within VirtualBox can delay the guest OS's performance.
- Graphics and 3D acceleration: Enabling 3D acceleration might cause graphics-related problems and slow down the guest OS, especially if the hardware isn’t adequately supported or configured.
Considering these factors collectively explained above can help identify and address various performance issues in VirtualBox, ensuring smoother operation of the host and guest systems.
Speeding up a VirtualBox on Windows involves optimizing various settings and configurations to enhance performance. Here are several ways to improve the speed of your VirtualBox VM to optimize its performance on Windows 10 or 11.
1. Disable Hyper-V & Windows hypervisor.
A hardware virtualization tool called Hyper-V is included in Windows Server 2012 and later versions, as well as the Professional and Enterprise Editions of Windows 11/10/8.1. However, VirtualBox VM operates extremely slowly while the Hyper-V capability is activated, so it needs to be disabled. Take these actions to turn off Windows Hypervisor and Hyper-V:
Step 1: Navigate to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off.
Step 2: Uncheck the following features: Containers, Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Platform, Windows Hypervisor Platform, and Windows Sandbox.
Note: The ‘Containers’ and the ‘Hyper-V’ features exist only in Windows 10 PRO.
Step 3: Restart the computer after running the Command.
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Type the following command and press Enter: bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off
- Reboot your PC. After rebooting, you should start the VirtualBox VM machine, and the problem will be fixed.
2. Remove & reinstall Guest Additions.
Device drivers and system software that enhance the operating System's functionality and performance make up the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Nevertheless, it occasionally has to be reinstalled to resolve performance concerns, particularly following a Windows upgrade on the guest computer. Use these procedures to uninstall and then reinstall Guest Additions:
Step 1: Navigate to the Control Panel and select Programs and Features.
Step 2: Uninstall the VirtualBox Guest additions.
Step 3: After uninstalling the VirtualBox Guest additions, restart your PC.
Step 4: Finally, install Guest Additions again and check if the problem persists.
3. Allocate More CPU and Memory resources.
Low resource allocation to the virtual machine is another reason for slow VirtualBox performance. For instance, Windows 10 requires a minimum of 4GB of RAM to function properly.
How do you allocate more CPU and memory on the VM machine?
Step 1: Open VM settings and select System on the left.
Step 2: At the Motherboard tab, drag the slider to the right and maximize the allocated memory for the VM machine.
Step 3: At the Processor tab, drag the slider to the right and allocate more CPUs for the VM machine. Also, ensure that the processor's Execution Cap to be 100%.
4. Change the Power Plan to High Performance.
Another critical factor contributing to VirtualBox running slowly, especially on laptops, is the power plan selected to conserve energy on your device.
How To Change the Power Plan to High Performance
Step 1: Open the Control Panel and select Power Options.
Step 2: Select High Performance from the list of power plans.
Step 3: Disable 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox: If you are not using 3D graphics in your virtual machine, you can turn off 3D acceleration to improve performance.
How To Disable 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox
- Open VM settings and select Display on the left.
- Uncheck the Enable 3D acceleration checkbox and click “OK”. Now, start the VM machine and see if it's running faster.
5. Change the Graphics Controller in VirtualBox.
If you are still experiencing slow performance, try changing the graphics controller in VirtualBox, and you will see how your virtualBox performance becomes faster.
How To Change the Graphics Controller
Step 1: Open VM settings and select Display on the left.
Step 2: Change the Graphics Controller to VBoxVGA or VMSVGA and click OK. Now, start the VM machine and see if it's running faster.
6. Disable Host I/O Cache in Virtual Box.
If you are still experiencing slow performance, disable Host I/O Cache in Virtual Box.
How To Disable Host I/O Cache?
Step 1: Open VM settings and select Storage on the left.
Step 2: Select the storage controller and click on the Add Hard Disk button.
Step 3: Select “Choose existing disk” and click the Add button.
Step 4: Select the disk and click on the Attributes button.
Step 5: Uncheck the Host I/O Cache checkbox and click OK. Now, start the VM machine and see if it's running faster.
7. Boost the RAM in the video.
Raising the video memory can help the virtual machine's graphics performance, mainly if you use high-resolution screens or 3D acceleration. With the help of a function called 3D acceleration, the virtual machine may leverage the host's GPU to carry out intricate graphics computations like lighting, shading, and texture mapping. Large pixel counts per inch are found in high-resolution displays, including 4K or 8K monitors.
How to Speed up the Virtualbox and increase the RAM in a video:
- To start, you must determine how much VRAM, or dedicated video RAM, is on your graphics card. Unlike system RAM, VRAM is a unique memory that enables your GPU to process high-intensity graphics more quickly.
In Windows 11/10, you can go to Settings > System > Display > Advanced Display to check your VRAM. Click on Display adapter properties after selecting a display. The machine will display the current video RAM next to Dedicated Video Memory under the Adapter Type.
- If the space is insufficient, try adjusting your VRAM using the BIOS or registry settings if it's not enough. It would help if you restart your computer and continuously press the BIOS key during bootup to boost VRAM in the BIOS. You can access the BIOS using the Del key or F2, F5, or F8.
Search the BIOS menu for the “Advanced Features” option. Next, search for items related to Graphics Settings, Video Settings, or VGA Share Memory Size. Save the modifications after increasing the pre-allocated VRAM.
- Once your VRAM is increased, you may install VirtualBox Guest Additions, give your virtual machine extra RAM and CPU, boost its video memory, turn on 3D acceleration, and store your virtual machines on solid-state drives to further speed up your virtual box.
Not all incidents of VirtualBox operating slowly on Windows may be resolved by following this general advice. Should the problem continue, you might have to do more troubleshooting or look for more help. You may also significantly improve VirtualBox's performance on your Windows machine by heeding this advice. Try several configurations to determine which works best for your particular use case.