VMware Windows Operating System Optimization Tool Guide


This guide provides the necessary information for optimizing a Windows virtual desktop or server master image for use in View in Horizon 6 or Horizon 7, or in Horizon Air Cloud-Hosted. The document is a companion to the VMware OSOT Fling (Operating System Optimization Tool version b1057). The document describes optimizations for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012. These recommended optimizations enhance the overall scalability and performance within a View virtual desktop infrastructure or Horizon Air cloud tenant environment.

VMware Operating System Optimization Tool

The free OSOT makes it easy to apply configuration settings to desktops and servers. It includes settings to optimize the following Windows operating systems for both desktops and servers that reside in the data center and in the cloud:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows8
  • Windows8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2008 (including R2)
  • Windows Server 2012 (including R2)


  • The OSOT does not support optimizing Windows Server 2008 or 2012 when those operating systems are used as single-session desktops.
  • The optimization information in this guide does not pertain to Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer
    supports. For more information, see the Windows XP Deployment Guide.


This guide is written for data center administrators and IT personnel who want to optimize Windows operating systems. The guide assists you in working with the OSOT, and provides an ongoing reference as you become a more proficient OSOT user. VMware will periodically update this document to reflect continuing enhancements to the OSOT and future releases of the Windows operating system.

Why Optimize?

Windows was designed for physical hardware, specifically desktops, and for that hardware to be accessed by just one user at a time. Windows uses many resources to present a responsive desktop, but many of its settings are unnecessary or even detrimental when applied to a virtual environment. These actions include, for example, animating windows as the user opens them. Performing this animation takes significant CPU resources, which decreases the number of desktops that you can host per VMware VSphere® server. Consequently, this nonessential function in a virtual machine (VM) environment increases the amount of system hardware that you need. Even if hardware is plentiful, Windows animations do not perform well when accessed remotely, especially when connecting over a slow WAN or Internet connection. As a result, keeping animations enabled (in addition to other features unnecessary for VMs) impairs the end-user experience.

Another example of desktop optimization in a virtual machine environment is to disable Windows Update so that control of the service is isolated to administrators. Administrators can run Windows Update in batch mode for the VMs as opposed to users performing this task.


Download a full VMware Windows Operating System Optimization Tool Guide Technical White Paper.

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