VMware Workstation: Cannot scan local directory error

Imagine that you are trying to copy file or folder from your host machine into VMware Workstation VM and receive following error:


Any idea what VMware Workstation trying to tell you? 🙂

Well being acquainted with this software and its occasional quirks my “knee jerk” reaction was to restart VMware Tools service and run repair for VMware Tools as I was more than sure that I have all the necessary permissions. After this didn’t help I looked for other possible reasons and it turned out to be plain old issue with file path being to long for handling… So WMware Workstation is unable to express itself properly and tell you that it is path length issue (probably it could be generic message from OS, I’m not sure). Anyway if you see this error message just modify folder names or move your file or folder couple of levels up the folder three – it will fix your issue.

I tested this with both VMware Workstation 10 & 11 running on Windows 8.1 as a host and with Windows Server 2012 as a guest – so even the latest version has this imprecise/misleading wording in error message.


  • HK says:

    Thanks a lot! This hint solved by copy issue!

  • Christian says:

    Muchas Gracias, ha sido de gran ayuda!Saludos.

  • christian Jhoel says:

    😀 nice

  • Md Mainuddin says:

    Same happened to me. I discovered that a file was open in MS Office (Powerpoint), closing that file resolved the issue. Make sure that no Office files are open from the source files/folders.

  • Dave says:

    Thank you!

    I just copied the folder to the root directory, then I could drag it to the VM.

  • Maverick Doe says:

    I want to thank you for saving me countless hours banging my head against the wall for something so trivial. I copied the project to the root folder, and it got further. This time I got a more meaningful error that a filename in the project was too long. To get past this error, I had to zip the project first, then copy it over, then unzip it inside the VM.

  • marc says:

    Thx!! helped me a lot

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