The other day I had a Windows XP virtual machine instance running on my Mac. When I came back later the OS had decided to restart automatically for windows updates but had frozen at the shutdown screen. I tried closing the window, sending CTRL-ALT-DEL, and "Shut Down guest". Everything. Yet each time VMWare Fusion would ask if I really wanted to power off, and despite me saying would do nothing and the instance was still frozen.

The trick is to go to the "Virtual Machine" menu option, and then press and hold the "alt" key, and you can then select "Power off" which is equivalent to unplugging the computer, rather than just hitting the power button a few times to no avail. It shouldn't be that hard, and how do they expect users to discover those hidden options? I am also nominating this for a bad UI!


thank you sir!
Thanks for this tip! I was beginning to panic this morning; fortunately Google delivered me to your page and saved me a huge amount of trouble.
Thanks -- you saved me a lot of time!!
Thank you! Perfect tip got me out of a frozen "Windows is Shutting Down" screen this morning.
thanks so much.. i was about to kick my computer when i found this..
This post helped A LOT!!!! THANKS!!! My VMWare with WinXP Pro was just hanging. Never had a problem and then all of a sudden it hangs. Nothing helped except this post!
This worked for me... BIG THANKS. My VMWare was hanging on shutdown and I tried everthing.
@Alex, glad I could help!
Alex Stanhope
Hi Nick - Thanks for the excellent guide to forcing a VMWare Fusion machine to "power down" - saved my life this morning when an XP install hung good and proper!