Quick Tip: VMware Workstation 12 and Take Ownership message


One thing I’ve noticed when upgrading to VMware Workstation 12 is that I saw a marked increase in the messages such as “The VM appears to be in use” and prompting you to “take Ownership” of the vm which always fails.


Now this is a new thing as I very rarely saw it on previous versions however it appears that VMware have changed the release vm process within workstation 12.

My situation was that my VMware Workstation is on a headless whitebox which I use to record all my video’s and lab stuff out and when I’d finished with my vm’s I would shut them down manually and then also the white box.

Now it seems that the LCK files for virtual machines are only deleted when you correctly exit Workstation by clicking the Red X or any other normaly method which I generally do not do. I just let windows handle the exit when the shutdown command executes.

In order to resolve the issue you will need to browse to the vm files location as exampled below (in my case its e:\vvss601\vvss601.vmx.lck for this vm). Then delete the file within the folder.


You should then be able to click away and click back to the virtual machine within workstation and be able to start it normally. I’m hoping that this is a bug and will go away with an update but in the mean time its an easy fix if somewhat annoying.

I’m using VMware Workstation 12 Pro but I’m also assuming that the issue will be prevelant on the standard version too.
Author: Dale Scriven.

1 thought on “Quick Tip: VMware Workstation 12 and Take Ownership message

  1. I’ve had the same problem in previous versions of Workstation as well. Most annoying is when many VMs leave orphaned lck files behind causing a lot of looking around for them and deleting them one by one.

    If this is the case I suggest shutting down any running VMs and running this powershell command on your VM folder parent directory.

    Get-ChildItem “VM_FOLDER_PATH” -Recurse -Include *.lck | Remove-Item -Recurse

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