Remove associations with applications in VMWare Fusion

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One of the “features” of VMWare Fusion is that it associates files on the Mac host with programs in the VM. Unfortunately I uninstalled VMWare Fusion, and my Mac still has applications in VMWare Fusion associated with it. How can I remove the associations? I went to the Genius Bar, but they didn’t know how to fix it (they cleared my cache, but that didn’t do it.)

I am running OSX Snow Leopard


You can try rebuilding your Launch Services Cache by running the following command in the Terminal:

sudo /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

The Launch Services Database is in charge of file/application associations.

Also, how did you uninstall VMWare Fusion – using the Uninstaller or just throwing away the application?

To use the Uninstaller (if you’ve just thrown away the application) you can run it either from the disk image you used to install VMWare (if you still have it) or open it from /Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion. Once that is run it will remove all the helper tools VMWare uses to help integrate the virtual machines with the host operating system (in this case Mac OS X).

In Virtual Machine > Settings > Default Applications unchecking Open your Mac files and web links by using Windows applications and clicking Clean Up Applications removed all file associations for me in VMWare Fusion 8.5.0 and OS X El Capitan.

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Remove the “Application” folder (in your Virtual Machines dir).

The following fixed it for me:

rm -rf ~/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/

I didn’t have to rebuild the associations or anything – all the VMware Fusion entries went away immediately.

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