Windows 11 compliant TPM support added to the free version of VMware Workstation 16.2.0

vmware windows 11 tpm

A couple of days ago, VMware received an update to 16.2.0 build-18760230 that broke the dark mode, VMware has acknowledged this and plans to release a fix soon, but the interesting thing about this build is that it includes an undocumented change for the TPM requirement, essentially adding a software level TPM, rather than an emulated hardware one.

If you have been using a Windows 11 virtual machine in VMware Workstation Pro with TPM enabled, you will be used to having to set and enter a password for each encrypted VM, but with this update you can now remove the encryption and add in the software level TPM flag instead. Fortunately, the flag also works in the free VMware Workstation Player.

The following assumes you have not encrypted the VM further with BitLocker within Windows, if you have you may need to decrypt the drive first before performing the steps below.

If you already added TPM to Windows 10 or 11:

  • Ensure you are updated to version 16.2.0 (Pro - Player ~600mb)
  • Open Edit virtual machine settings
  • In the Hardware tab Remove the TPM
  • In the Options tab click on Access Control, then Remove Encryption
vmware screenshots

This will take some time depending on how large your VM is, when it completes, you can back out of the Virtual Machine settings.

Adding software level TPM to Workstation Pro and Workstation Player

  • Ensure you are updated to version 16.2.0 (Pro - Player ~600mb)
  • Ensure VMware (manager) is not running
  • Go to the directory where the VM is stored (for example D:\VM\Windows 11 Dev)
  • Open the file with the .vmx extension with Notepad
  • Add the line managedvm.autoAddVTPM = "software"
  • Save the file by closing it
  • Double click on it to open it in VMware Workstation Pro or Player
  • Start your VM
vmware screenshots

You can confirm that TPM is present by running the command tpm.msc by right clicking on the Start icon and entering it in the Run command.

vmware screenshots

As you can see above, I am running the latest Windows 11 Dev build 22478 with a compatible TPM present in the free VMware Workstation Player. In addition you will also find that a TPM module is once again present in the virtual machine settings, do not delete it!

Michael Roy, who works on the VMware Fusion and Workstation teams, shared the undocumented feature via Twitter and also noted that people will see a significant performance gain, and best of all, you will be free of having to enter a password each time.

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