How To Import And Export Virtual Machines On Windows Hyper-V Server

Today, I am writing about “How to import and export Virtual Machines in Windows Hyper-V Server”, step by step with screenshots.

As we know, nowadays, there is a trend towards Virtual Servers. Using Virtual Servers, we can save money and administrator tasks. Instead of using a host Server, we can use our Server on the virtual hosted Server,  and the servility & reliability of Hyper-V Server is better than a hosted Server.

As I have discussed how to create and deploy the Server on Hyper- V servers in my blog, here, I am going to describe exporting and importing virtual machines.

Using the import and export feature, we can create a new virtual machine with the same configuration of an existing machine in Hyper-V.

The exported virtual machine files or VHD are saved in the Server and it can be reused as many times as we want to create a new VM.

Hence, let’s start from beginning and will be describing all the details with the screenshots.

  • Login to the Server or system where the Hyper V machines are deployed.

  • Now, search for Hyper V manager on the machine and click on the same to open

  • Once Hyper-V manager is open, now click on the server to connect Hyper-V server with Hyper-V Manger -> Right click on your virtual machine and select the export option.

  • If we have hosted the same in the local Server, it will be showing on the same; as shown below.

  • Now, select any one of the servers, which you want to export and right click on the same. Here, select Export option.

  • Specify where you want to save the files; select your path by clicking on browse option and select the path where you want to save the file.

Please note that you can export a virtual machine even when it is in the “On” or off state but preferred Server should be down to export properly. Also, delete the unwanted snapshot from the same to avoid the issue in importing the same.

  • Once everything is done, click on export and wait until exporting is done. We can see the progress status from the status bar.

  • Once exporting completes export operation, we can see the virtual machine files in the destination folder. This folder will contain the snapshots (if you have a snapshot), Virtual Disks and Virtual machine files.

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

Import Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

Now, we will discuss and see the steps to import the virtual machines in Hyper-V Manager step by step with the screenshots.

We are using a virtual machine, which is being import registers the virtual machine with the Hyper-V host. We can import back into the host or new host and reuse the same Server settings. 

The import virtual machine wizard also helps us to fix the mismatches that can exist when moving from one machine to another. This is commonly difference in physical hardware, such as memory, virtual switches and virtual processors.

The steps are given below to import the same.

  • Copy the VM Files
    We need to copy the exported virtual machine files and folders to your local Server before we start importing a virtual machine. See the above option on how we have exported the machine and saved the file.

  • For example, we are trying to export the Windows Server.

  • Before importing virtual machine, we have copied Windows Server exported machine files from the machine to the Server.

  • Import Virtual Machine Menu Option. Now, click in Hyper-V Manger, select the added Server and right click on the same and we will be getting the option called import virtual machines.

  • Once above option is selected, we will get new Import virtual machine wizard.

  • Click before you begin, followed by Next.

  • On the next page, we will get Locate folder. Here, we need to select virtual machine by selecting browse option and select copied exported Server.

  • 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.

  • Choose Import Type. On clicking next, we will get the option called choose import type.

Here, we need select the import mode, as per your requirement. Please note that transferred files can be used again. To clone the machines, use copy the virtual machine (create a new unique ID)” option.

This has the following three options.

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

  • Select the option given above and click next. On the next page, select the virtual machine storage location path to store the virtual machine files. Here, accept the default values here. If we want to change the location, select the “Store the virtual machine in a different location” checkbox. Currently, we are going with the default feature.

  • Once clicked on next option, we will choose storage folders. Here, select the folder path to store virtual machine hard disk. This will be your storage location.

  • Now, click on "Next" to finish the import. Here, review the machine configuration selection and click on "Finish" to complete the import process.