Arcane Tricks: Cut / Copy / Paste To and From Virtual PC

As you might guess from my various posts, I like using Virtual PC. It has one annoyance, you can’t cut / copy / paste between the Virtual PC and another machine, like the host operating system.

This is actually a good thing, as it’s a security feature. It allows you to test suspicious software safely, without fear of it damaging your host. There are times though, when you know it is safe to allow the cut / copy / paste connection between your Virtual PC and your host. It would be nice to have a switch or option that turns this on and off. Sadly, it’s not there.

There is a work around though. Back in December, I talked about the combination of Virtual PC and Remote Desktop. ( or . While VPC lacks the ability to cut / copy / paste, Remote Desktop does not. Using Remote Desktop you can cut, copy, and paste data from your host (or any other remotely controlled PC) to the Virtual PC you are controlling via Remote Desktop.

All you have to do is follow the instructions in the post mentioned above, and “remote” into the virtual machine. Yes, you will be remoting to a machine running on the same box, but all the remote desktop software sees is an IP address. It can’t tell if that IP is on the same host computer or one across the planet.

This little trick has saved me several times, and was one of those “doh!” moments when it first occurred to me. Even if you have been following along and using Remote Desktop with VPC, it may not have occurred to you to use it on the same machine.



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