Running Windows 8 on VirtualBox with Additional Wide Screen Resolution


<update date=”March 2, 2012″>

A few comments left below indicating that this workaround works for Windows 8 Consumer Preview as well. I’ve just tried to load W8CP on Virtualbox and confirmed that the Guest additions are still not supported.  So this adds additional help to make the Windows 8 Consumer Preview look and work better in your VirtualBox.


Now that you can run Windows 8 Developer Preview on VirtualBox but since it’s not officially supported by VirtualBox yet you don’t have the “Guest additions” that add certain features to the virtual machine, one of which is the screen resolution. You only get to set up with 4:3 ration resolutions like 1024×768. While I believe it shouldn’t be a problem later on, you have a workaround to make Windows 8 work better with your own screen. Thanks to Mister Goodcat for this useful tip.

Let’s say I want to add an additional resolution 1366×768 to fit my widescreen to virtual machine “Windows 8 Preview” I just set up.

1. Run the command from Dos prompt window. Note that the name of the virtual machine is case sensitive.

C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage setextradata “Windows 8 Preview” CustomVideoMode1 1366x768x32

2. Then power on the virtual machine. Go to the Screen Resolution, and voola.


And that looks much better.




  1. Hmm I tried the above commands thus:
    VBoxManage.exe setextradata “Win8” CustomVideoMode1 1280x720x32

    It still doesn’t seem to help as after booting win 8 consumer preview in virtualbox, I can’t see the 1280×720 resolution.
    A quick question, does this have anything to do with the cmd prompt not running with admin rights?

    PS Also tried the virtual machine identifier. Did not work for me.

  2. I have tried everything in this posting and all feedback- using the ID instead of the name- speech marks etc etc- nothing has added the desired resolution to the Windows8 options.

    I need 1280×720

    I have even located the xml settings file and can see that the entry has been made in here for CustomVideoMode1 but this appears to be ignored by VirtualBox.

    Anybody got any bright ideas what I can try now??

    Thank you.

  3. I have tried everything folks have suggested here but no luck.  When i run the command a new DOS box flashes up, something happens (i guess) but when i go to VirtualBox and look for the screen resolution… no dice.

    Whats worse, i have the Guest Additions installed but if i enable 3D acceleration, Windows 8 looks better with the right rez but the speed is astonishingly slow.

    Any ideas?

  4. I followed the instructions Franz gave,By the way Thank You for the step by step thats exactly what I needed as I’m not that experienced with command prompt. Everything worked for me except Step 4. What ended up working running Windows 7 Ultimate 64. was,
    (and make sure to include all spaces and all parenthesis) 

    At C: Type “C:Program FilesOracleVirtualBoxVBoxManage.exe” setextradata “Windows 8” CustomVideoMode1 1600x900x32   hit enter and your done. (Note ) Repalce Windows 8 with the name of your Virtual Machine,and it is case sensitive, (Note) Replace 1600x900x32 with your desired resolution. And Thanks again Franz                                             


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