VirtualBox VM Does Not Work on Windows 11, Why?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

VirtualBox is a go-to option for many when they need to run different operating systems on their computers. But, since Windows 11 came out, some folks are having trouble with it. We’re going to talk about the bumps you might hit while using VirtualBox on Windows 11, including a known issue when Windows 11 and Oracle VirtualBox VM try to get along, and we’ll show you how to smooth things out.

Also see: VirtualBox Windows 11 or 10 Stuck on Boot Logo

Windows 11 VirtualBox Not Working

Historical compatibility issues with VirtualBox and Windows 11

Before we dive into current issues, let’s look back. Right after Windows 11 came out, people noticed that VirtualBox didn’t play nice with Hyper-V on the same computer. Basically, you couldn’t run VirtualBox if you had Hyper-V turned on in Windows 11. This issue was because of how VirtualBox and Windows 11, with Hyper-V installed, didn’t get along. But good news! By March 2022, both Microsoft and Oracle fixed this problem. After VirtualBox 6.1.28 came out, everything started working much better together.

Compatibility issues with VirtualBox and Windows 11

Even though this big problem was fixed, some folks might still run into other smaller issues here and there. Knowing how to figure these out is super helpful.

Linked issue: VirtualBox Windows 11 “This PC doesn’t meet the requirements”

Solution 1: Enable or disable Hyper-V

Hyper-V is like a magic trick Windows has to let you run different operating systems inside it. But sometimes, it can mess with VirtualBox. Turning Hyper-V on or off might fix your problem.

What is Hyper-V?

Hyper-V lets you run several operating systems on one computer. It’s powerful, but it might not get along with other software like VirtualBox.

To see if Hyper-V is on, you can ask Windows PowerShell (not CMD) like this:

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V-All

How to check if Hyper-V is enabled Windows 11 PowerShell CMD

Steps to disable Hyper-V

  1. Hit Windows key + X and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin), Command Prompt (Admin), or Terminal (Admin). This opens a special window where you can tell your computer to do things.
  2. Type this and press Enter:
    dism.exe /Online /Disable-Feature:Microsoft-Hyper-V

    This tells your computer to turn off Hyper-V.How to disable Hyper-V in Windows 11 PowerShell

  3. Restart your computer to make the change happen.

Steps to enable Hyper-V

If you change your mind and want Hyper-V back:

  1. Press Windows key + X and open Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type this command:
    dism.exe /Online /Enable-Feature:Microsoft-Hyper-V

    This turns Hyper-V back on.Enable Hyper-V Windows 11 PowerShell

  3. Restart your computer to apply the change.

Remember, not all versions of Windows have Hyper-V. And using more than one virtualization tool at the same time can cause problems. It’s usually best to stick with just one.

Relevant problem: Sorry, this application cannot run under a Virtual Machine

Solution 2: Enable or disable hardware virtualization in BIOS/UEFI

Most modern computers have a feature called VT-x (for Intel) or AMD-V (for AMD) that helps with running things like VirtualBox. But if this feature is turned off in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI (kind of like the brain of your computer before Windows starts), VirtualBox might not work right. Here’s how to check and change this setting.

Related concern: This host supports Intel VT-x, but Intel VT-x is disabled

Steps to enable or disable hardware virtualization in BIOS/UEFI:

  1. Turn off your computer, then turn it back on. Right away, press the key that gets you into BIOS/UEFI settings (like F2, F10, F12, ESC, or Delete).
  2. Look for a menu called Advanced, CPU Configuration, or something like that.
  3. Find the option for Intel Virtualization Technology, Intel VT-x, AMD-V, or similar. This is the setting we’re talking about.
  4. To turn on hardware virtualization, choose Enabled. If you need to turn it off for some reason, pick Disabled.Turn on Hardware Virtualization BIOS
  5. Save your changes and exit. Your computer will restart with the new setting.

Not every computer can do hardware virtualization, so check if yours can before you go looking for this setting. And some computers have extra security settings related to virtualization, but you probably don’t need to change those.

Solution 3: Check event logs and error codes

VirtualBox keeps a log of what it does and any problems it runs into. By looking at these logs, you can often figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Understanding event logs

Event logs are records of what happens on your computer, including warnings and errors. Windows keeps these logs in a place called Event Viewer, organized so you can find what you’re looking for.

Steps to access VirtualBox logs in Event Viewer

  1. Press Windows key + R, type eventvwr.msc, and hit Enter.
  2. In Event Viewer, look under Windows Logs and Application for VirtualBox stuff.
  3. Use the Find tool to search for VirtualBox events.How to filter VirtualBox logs and errors in Event Viewer
  4. Look for errors (red signs) or warnings (yellow signs) to understand the problem.VirtualBox does not work on Windows 11

Interpreting error codes

If VirtualBox shows an error code, write it down. You can look it up in VirtualBox’s help documents or online to find out what it means and how to fix it. Sometimes, other people have had the same problem, and you can find their solutions in forums like Reddit.

Event Viewer has a lot of information, so use filters to help find what you’re looking for. Make sure you’re using the latest version of VirtualBox because some problems might already be fixed in newer versions.

Related resource: How to Show Missing VirtualBox Menu Bar in Windows 11/10

Solution 4: Adjusting VM Settings in VirtualBox

Getting your virtual machine (VM) settings right in VirtualBox is key to making things run smoothly. If settings aren’t right, you might see slow performance, crashes, or the VM might not start at all. Here’s how to tweak your VM settings:

Allocate appropriate RAM and CPU

The amount of RAM and CPU you give to your VM makes a big difference. Not enough can make it slow or not start.

  1. Open VirtualBox and pick the VM you’re working on.
  2. Go to Settings > System.
  3. Use the slider to set how much RAM you want to give the VM. Don’t use more than half of your computer’s total RAM to keep things running well.Allocate more RAM to VirtualBox VM Windows 11 10
  4. Then, set how many CPU cores to use. Like with RAM, don’t give it more than half your cores.Adjust VirtualBox Processor Settings for Windows 11 or 10 VM

Enable 3D Acceleration

Turning on 3D acceleration can make graphics run better, especially for apps or systems that need it.

  1. Go to Settings > Display.
  2. Check Enable 3D Acceleration.Enable 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox

Adjust video memory

More video memory can help with graphics-heavy apps. Use the slider to set it as high as it goes for best results.

Other general recommendations

  • Make sure the VM’s virtual hard drive has enough space. Not enough space can cause problems.
  • Think about whether you need shared folders or drag-and-drop between your computer and the VM.
  • Check the network adapter settings are right for your network. Wrong settings can mess up internet access.
  • Change settings one by one and test to see how each change affects the VM.
  • If a setting is greyed out, make sure the VM is turned off before you try to change it.

Solution 5: Reinstall VirtualBox

Sometimes, starting over is the best way to fix problems. If VirtualBox is acting up, reinstalling it might help. Here’s how to do that:

Uninstalling VirtualBox

  1. Backup Important Data: Save your VMs somewhere safe before uninstalling.
  2. In Windows 11, go to Start menu > Settings > Apps.
  3. Find Oracle VM VirtualBox and click Uninstall.Uninstall Oracle VM VirtualBox

Reinstalling VirtualBox

  1. Get the latest VirtualBox from its website.Reinstall VirtualBox
  2. Install it, following the steps it shows you.
  3. Open VirtualBox and bring back your VMs by going to File > Import Appliance.

After reinstalling, you might need to redo some VM settings. Make sure you’re using a VirtualBox version that works well with Windows 11.

Solution 6: Update VirtualBox and Windows 11

Keeping everything up to date means you get the latest fixes and features. Here’s how to update VirtualBox and Windows 11:

Updating VirtualBox

  1. In VirtualBox, go to File > Check for Updates. If there’s a new version, it’ll tell you.Check VirtualBox for Updates
  2. Or, you can go to the VirtualBox website to get the latest version yourself.

Updating Windows 11

  1. Hit the Start button and open Settings.
  2. Go to Windows Update > Check for updates.Check for Windows Update
  3. If there are updates, install them. Restarting after updating is a good idea.

Always back up your important stuff before updating. While it’s rare, updates can sometimes mess things up.

Solution 7: Try an alternative virtual machine solution

If you’re still having trouble with VirtualBox on Windows 11, maybe give something else a try, like VMware.

VMware Workstation Player

VMware Workstation Player is free for personal use and lets you run different operating systems on your Windows or Linux PC. It’s known for working really well.

VMWare Workstation Windows 11

  1. Get VMware Workstation Player from VMware’s website.
  2. Install it by following the steps.
  3. Open VMware Workstation Player and make a new VM.
  4. Set it up with the OS you want.

Before you switch from VirtualBox to VMware, save your VMs. VMware uses different files than VirtualBox, so you might need a special tool to move your VM over. Other options include Parallels Desktop (for Macs) and Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

Learn more: How to Open VMDK File in Windows 11

Final words

Using VirtualBox on Windows 11 can be tricky, but most problems can be fixed with the right steps. Keep everything updated and make sure your computer can handle what you’re trying to do. If you get stuck, there’s always VMware, Hyper-V, or asking around on forums like Reddit for help.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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