How to Move VirtualBox’s Guest Hard Drives to Another (Physical) Location

If you ever wanted to move your (very large) file that contains a Virtualbox’s guest hard drive (file extension is .vdi) to another location and did so just like that Virtualbox wouldn’t find it the next time you wanted to boot into your guest system. The only thing Virtualbox needs to be pointed to is the new location of that file.

The standart location of VDI files is (for Linux) ~/.VirtualBox/VDI/ (see global settings, where you could also change this if that’s all you want). Remember the old file name and close Virtualbox, just in case it would overwrite settings when closed after the following changes. Now let’s move one file to, say, /media/USBDrive/virtualbox/. Now do:

  1. Use your favorite editor to open ~/.VirtualBox/Virtualbox.xml
  2. Find the line that says something like:
    <VirtualDiskImage filePath="VDI/old file name.vdi"/>
  3. Change it to point to your new location. So it should read something like:
    <VirtualDiskImage filePath="/media/USBDrive/new file name.vdi"/>
  4. Done.