Home » Fix for slow VirtualBox VM performance

Fix for slow VirtualBox VM performance

by Vlad Drumea
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This is a really short post covering the cause and fix for slow/poor VirtualBox VM performance on Windows hosts.

So in one of my previous posts I’ve enabled a Windows feature knowing that it tends to cause VirtualBox VMs to be extremely sluggish and even freeze and crash when enabled.

Symptoms

In my experience, the main symptoms are VirtualBox VMs being sluggish, freezing and even crashing.

What’s the cause of slow VirtualBox VM performance?

The Windows feature that causes this issue is “Virtual Machine Platform” and is required for WSL and WSL2.

If you plan on using WSL and VirtualBox VMs, you can, just not at the same time, since WSL absolutely requires Virtual Machine Platform to be enabled, while VirtualBox requires the exact opposite.

The fix

GUI

If you prefer to use the GUI to do this, just search the Start menu for “Turn Windows features on or off” and press Enter when it’s highlighted.
Alternatively, you can find this menu in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features, it will be on the left hand side of the window.

The Turn Windows features on or off menu with "Virtual Machine Platform" unchecked highlighted. fix slow virtualbox vm performance

Command line

If you’d rather do it from CMD or PowerShell, just open either of them as admin and run the following:

Terminal window PS C:\Users\Vlad> dism.exe /online /disable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /norestart Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version: 10.0.22621.2792 Image Version: 10.0.22631.3737 Disabling feature(s) [==========================100.0%==========================] The operation completed successfully. fix slow virtualbox vm performance

When you actually need it enabled

You can just check it in the GUI or run the following command in PS or CMD opened as admin:

Conclusion

I find it a bit funny how a feature named “Virtual Machine Platform” ends up causing slow VirtualBox VM performance, but it is what it is 🙂

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