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Solved: VBoxManage is not recognized

Trying to VBoxManage in order to manage your virtual machines, but already stuck at the first step? Here’s how to fix it.

‘VBoxManage’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

If you type VBoxManage in the command prompt, you expect a list of commands to pop up. However, when the command is not added to the PATH, it just won’t work. The PATH is the list of directories of which Windows can run executables from. VBoxManage.exe is the one you are trying to launch, but Windows has not identified the directory of this program.

The solutions is simple. Browse to the directory of your VirtualBox installation, and copy the pathname. For me this is ‘C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox’. Adding this directory to the PATH variable is the easiest by simply running the set command in your command prompt, as follows:

set PATH=%PATH%;"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"

If you now type set again in the command prompt, it will print out all the directories to which the variable has access.

Take notice, if you want to add this command permanently, please take the following steps:

  1. Open Start
  2. Click (or type) Control Panel
  3. Click the System icon.
  4. Click Advanced system settings and then Environment Variables
  5. Search for the line under System variables that corresponds to the “Path” variable and select it
  6. Click Edit
  7. Go to the very end of the text listed in the Variable value text field
  8. Add the location of the bin folder of the installation to the end.
  9. Remember, the directories listed in the path variable should be separated by semicolons.
  10. Click OK when you are done (multiple times).

Congratulations, you can now use the VBoxManage command in your Windows command prompt.

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Technologies get updated, syntax changes and honestly… I make mistakes too. If something is incorrect, incomplete or doesn’t work, let me know in the comments below and help thousands of visitors.

4 thoughts on “Solved: VBoxManage is not recognized”

  1. Hi,
    I did all above instructions but I got these errors on my windows 10:
    VBoxManage.exe: error: Could not get the storage format of the medium ‘C:\Users\saso\VirtualBox VMs\diskC:\Users\saso\VirtualBox VMs\vGATE v9.0\vGATE_v9.0-disk001.vdi’ (VERR_INVALID_NAME)

    VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80bb0005), component MediumWrap, interface IMedium, callee IUnknown

    VBoxManage.exe: error: Context: “OpenMedium(Bstr(pszFilenameOrUuid).raw(), enmDevType, enmAccessMode, fForceNewUuidOnOpen, pMedium.asOutParam())” at line 191 of file VBoxManageDisk.cpp

  2. Your article “Solved: VBoxManage is not recognized” was very clear and solved my problem to be able to use VBoxManage. Thank you!

  3. ‘”C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”‘ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.
    pls find the solution

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