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VMware OS Optimization Tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps prepare and optimize Windows 10/8/7 and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008 systems for use with VMware Horizon.

The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance and user experience.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Analyze/Optimize
  • Remote Analyze
  • Optimization History and Rollback
  • Managing Templates
  • Generalize (Sysprep)
  • Finalize

The Analyze button, at the bottom, compares the settings of the template against the machine settings.

The Common Options button opens a dialog where the tabs allow you to quickly and easily choose and set preferences to control common functionality. These options normally involve configuring multiple individual settings in the template. By grouping the actions together, the individual settings get configured as necessary to give the desired outcome.

Amongst the settings in this dialog there is the option to remove Windows 10 Store Apps while keeping commonly used ones.

The Optimize button, at the bottom of the Analyze page, applies the template settings to the machine.


My Templates lists all the built-in templates, templates you have created or downloaded. It also allows you to examine the detail of a template, the individual settings and understand what action is carried out if that setting is selected.

Public Templates allows you to share your templates, get templates from the community, or update the built-in templates (if an update is available).


Generalize helps in running the system preparation tool (Sysprep) with a supplied and editable unattend answer file.


Finalize provides the option to automate and help with some of the common clean up tasks that are typically run just before using the prepared image. These include system clean up tasks and clearing information that makes the image cleaner and ready for use with Horizon.


  • Windows 7/8/10, Windows Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019
  • NET Framework 3.5, SP1 or later
  • Download file from Download button and unzip the file.
  • Double-click the executable to run the tool on the machine you want to optimize. Follow instructions from there.

For more information, please see the VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide.VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide.

For details on the complete process for creating an optimized Windows image from beginning to end, please see the Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop guide.

January, 2020, b1140

Includes various bug fixes.

Optimize Results

  • A new button has been added to the results page that displays once an optimization job has completed. This Export button allows you to save the results page as an HTML file.


  • New option and button that simplifies the task of running Sysprep using a standard answer file. You can edit the provided answer file before running Sysprep with it.


  • New option and button to automate many common tasks that are typically run as a last step before you shut down Windows to use the VM in Horizon. These include the system clean up tasks (NGEN, DISM, Compact and disk clean up) that were previously provided in the Common Options dialog. This also includes clearing event logs, KMS information and releasing the IP address.

Common Options

  • System clean up tasks have been removed from the common options so will now not run during optimize but instead should be run as part of the Finalize process.
  • New tab for Security options. This allows for the quick selection of common settings that might need to be left enabled depending on the security requirements. This offers control over Bitlocker, Firewall, Windows Defender, SmartScreen, HVCI.

Command Line

  • Added command line parameter to allow the tool to run without applying optimizations. This is part of the -o parameter called none that then allows you to run things like the system cleanup tasks (NGEM DISM, etc.) without also having to optimize at the same time.
  • VMwareOSOptimizationTool.exe -o none -t template -systemcleanup 0 1 2 3
  • Changed default to not disable Webcache. In testing this was shown to break Edge and IE browsers ability to download and save files. The settings are still available in the Windows 10 templates if you want to disable Webcache.


  • Updated OSOT user guide: VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide.
  • Updated Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop guide coming soon.

December, 2019, b1130

Command Line
  • Added command line parameters to allow the control of the common options settings. This allows for the control of visual effect, notification, windows update, store applications, background and system clean up tasks, from the command line.
  • Added list of available templates to the output when run with -h (help).
  • Fixed issues with command line options.

The VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide has been updated to include instruction and examples on using the command line.

Visual Effects
  • Changed balanced setting (default) to leave Show shadows under windows enabled. This was making the white on white explorer windows blend in together which did not give the best user experience.
  • Added optimization settings to disable WebCache processes from Windows 10. The default is that these optimizations are selected. This removes approximately 40 Mb from each users’ profile on creation and improves logon times.
Horizon Cloud Templates
  • Changed the two Horizon Cloud specific templates (Windows 10 and Windows 7) by removing the item “VMware DaaS Agent Service". This is no longer required in Horizon Cloud Service.

December, 2019, b1120

Changed the two existing Windows 10 templates to also cover the associated Server OS and to introduce support for Windows Server 2019.
• Windows 10 1507-1803 / Server 2016
• Windows 10 1809-1909 / Server 2019
The old Windows Server 2016 templates have been removed.

System Clean Up

Added System Clean Up options to Common Options dialog. This removed the need for these to be typed and run manually.
1. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)
Reduces the size of the WinSxS folder by uninstalling and deleting packages with components that have been replaced by other components with newer versions. Should be run after a Windows update.
2. Native Image Generator (NGEN).
Optimizes the .NET Framework. Should be run after an update of .NET Framework.
3. Compact
Compact (Windows 10/ Server 2016/2019). Enables CompactOS to compress specific Windows system files to free up space. Can take several minutes to execute.
4. Disk Cleanup.
Deletes temporary and unnecessary files.


New Common Options page for Background which allows the choice of color using a picker. This also allows the option to allow the user to be able to change their wallpaper.

Visual Effects options

Added a third option where all visual effects are turned off apart from smooth edges and use drop shadows. This is now the default selection.

Windows Store Apps

New page in Common Options that allows more control over removing Windows Store Apps while allowing the user to select common ones to keep. The Windows Store App and the StorePurchaseApp are retained by default.

Applications that will be able to be selected to be kept are:
• Alarms & Clock
• Camera
• Calculator
• Paint3D
• Screen Sketch
• Sound Recorder
• Sticky Notes
• Web Extensions


The small taskbar option is now no longer selected by default.
In both Windows 10/ Server templates the following services are now no longer selected by default.

• Application Layering Gateway Service
• Block Level Backup Engine Service
• BranchCache
• Function Discovery Provider Host
• Function Discovery Resource Publication
• Internet Connection Sharing
• IP Helper
• Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service
• Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
• Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service
• SNMP Trap
• SSDP Discovery
• Store Storage Service
• Volume Shadow Copy Service
• Windows Biometric Service

Numerous New Optimizations
• Fully disable Smartscreen.
• Disable Content Delivery Manager.
• Disable User Activity History completely.
• Disable Cloud Content.
• Disable Shared Experiences.
• Disable Server Manager when Windows Server OS.
• Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security when Windows Server OS (not selected by default).
• Disable Storage Sense service.
• Disable Distributed Link Tracking Client Service.
• Disable Payments and NFC/SE Manager Service.
Bug and error fixes
• Fixed condition when Export Analysis Results would fail to create file.

September, 2019, b1110

  • New Common Options button - Allows you to quickly choose and set preferences to control common functionality. These would normally involve configuring multiple individual settings but can now be done with a single selection through this new interface
  • Split Windows 10 into two templates to better handle the differences between the versions; one for 1507-1803 and one for 1809-1909
  • Improved and new optimizations for Windows 10, especially for 1809 to 1909.

Updated and changed template settings for newer Windows 10 versions to cope with changes in the OS, registry keys and functionality:

  • Move items from mandatory user and current user to default user
  • Add 34 new items for group policies related to OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, privacy, Windows Update, Notification, Diagnostics
  • Add 6 items in group of Disable Services
  • Add 1 item in group of Disable Scheduled Tasks
  • Add 1 item in group of Apply HKEY_USERS\temp Settings to Registry
  • Add 2 items in group of Apply HKLM Settings
  • Removing Windows built-in apps is now simplified. Removes all built-in apps except the Windows Store.

Numerous bug and error fixes:

  • Reset view after saving customized template
  • Unavailable links in reference tab
  • Windows Store is unavailable after optimizing
  • Start menu may delay after optimizing
  • VMware Tools stops running after optimizing
  • Analysis Summary Graph is cropped

July 30, 2018, b1100

  • Issue fix: With group selection operation, un-selected optimization items are applied.
  • Issue fix: can not export analysis report

July 20, 2018, b1099

  • Template update: Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016
  • Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage
  • Registry changes:
    reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Classes\CLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
    * reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\CLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\System\GameConfigStore" /v GameDVR_Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\People" /v PeopleBand /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameDVR" /v AppCaptureEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Notifications\Settings\Windows.SystemToast.SecurityAndMaintenance" /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PenWorkspace" /v PenWorkspaceButtonDesiredVisibility /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg delete "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v OneDrive /F reg delete "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v OneDriveSetup /F

    June 14, 2018

    • Issue fix: Crash in non-English locale (e.g. French)

    March 30, 2018

    • [Template] Issue fix - DELETEVALUE actions do not do anything
    • [Template] Issue fix - DISM commands missing /NoRestart switch
    • [Tool] Issue fix - Switching to another tab loses all unsaved changes
    • [Tool] Enhancement - Simplify user interaction in Template Editor. Now editing template no longer requires repeated Update button click. Mac style editing is applied (Automatically save changes along with edit)

    December 14, 2017

    • Template update. Detailed change log for each template is in the online version of each template (accessed from Public Templates tab)

    September 20, 2017

    • Supports new mode for optimization item: display-only
    • Supports more easy information retrieval. For example, installed product version, service current status

    August 2, 2017

    • New Template: App Volumes Packaging Machine - This template is intended to be used by Application Packagers who are responsible for creating AppStacks and should only be used on the 'Packaging machine'.

    June 5, 2017

    • Template Update (Windows 7/8/8.1/10/2016 Desktop/2016 RDSH/ 2008-2012) : "Remove Windows Desktop Update Setup" is unselected by default
    • Template Update (Windows 10): Delete item "Remove Mail", because "Remove Communications Apps" item can remove Mail App.
    • Issue fix: mistakenly reports new version available
    • Issue fix: Export Template: xml file has no format. Now the exported XML file is formatted with indentation.

    May 16, 2017

    • OSOT binary is now digital-signed, to make sure the integrity of distribution
    • Template update: Windows 10 - Item "Use small icons on taskbar" is unselected by default.

    April 27, 2017 b1090b

    • Issue Fix: "the node to be removed is not a child of this node" when opitimize windows 10 template
    • Issue Fix: System.NullReferenceException occurs if the network can't reach any of the public template repository.
    • Template Update (Windows 7/8/8.1): Correct the Menu Show Delay type to REG_SZ in item "Reduce Menu Show Delay"

    April 18, 2017

      Issue fixed
    • Some optimization items are skipped mistakenly. For example, Remote Apps in Windows 10 template. This is caused by a recent change in Conditional Check feature.
    • April 17, 2017 b1088

      • Conditional Check: you can specify on what condition an optimization should be run. For example, when a specific registry key match certain value.
      • Template
      • "Change Explorer Default View" has been changed to unselected by default, because of conflict to UEM. Details: it causes the locations in "user files" (desktop, downloads, favorites, music, videos , Documents, Pictures) folder is to the local drive c:\Users\Username, its Should be \\server\folder_redirection\%username% when use UEM folder redirection.
      • Enhancements
      • Public Templates tab: click template on the list is very slow, which should not be
      • Default public template repository URL updated
      • Loading public template repository takes too long
      • Issue Fix
      • Field validation: prevent user from creating template with blank name

      March 17, 2017 b1086

      • New template (beta): Windows server 2016 (RDSH)
      • New template (beta): Windows server 2016 (Desktop)
      • New template (beta): Windows server 2016 (Server)
      • New template: Windows 2016 (from by Omar)
      • Windows 10 template is no longer marked "Beta"
      • Update template (Windows 7/8/8.1/10): TCP Offload default is now Enabled (the same as Windows default). The reason of the original item was hardware limit. Today most of the hardware supports this feature well. So change this item back.
      • Enhancement: performance improvement for change log

      February 23, 2017

      • Feature: Template change log. Now user can see change log in Public Template Repository, and append change log when they publish new version of their own templates.
      • Command line mode: auto exit without key press (by simulating key event)
      • Documentation & example for command line (Reference from GUI)
      • Export template: new options: export as XML for importing to another OSOT
      • Import template: should not require restart to take effect
      • Fix issue: avoid unnecessary error dialog when non-template XML file exists in the "current directory".
      • New online service URL (Public Template Repository)

      November 2, 2016, Build b1084

      • Template update - Windows 7/8/8.1: Update item "Machine Account Password Changes - Disable" data from 0 to 1 (reg key DisablePasswordChange)
      • Template update - Windows 10: "Remove Apps" items default unselected, because removing those apps increases login time for local admin.
      • Program issue fix: Template comments from Fling site can not be shown.
      • Program issue fix: Rare case crash when switching tab during downloading template.
      • Program Enhancement [My Templates & Public Templates] - A new "website" field is available for shared templates, so you can lead users of your template to your own site.
      • Program Enhancement [My Templates] - Show template id.
      • Program Enhancement [My Templates] - Add "View in Public Templates" button.
      • Program Enhancement [Public Templates] - Add textbox to show template description.
      • Program Enhancement [Public Templates] - Refresh button can refresh the comments now.

      September 30, 2016

      • A new template for Windows 10 is included (from
      • Issue fix: Crashes on history tab when the local system time format is not default.

      September 27 2016, Build b1082

      Template Update

      • Windows 10: Updated "Remove Apps" items, so sysprep can work properly now.
      • Windows 10: Remove item "Device Association Service", because disabling the service leads to more logon time.
      • Windows 10: Make item "Remove Microsoft Internet Explorer Initialize Setup" unselected by default, so as to fix issue: unable to edit Trusted Sites in IE 11.

      Program Fixes

      • Apply HKCU Settings to Registry" items can not optimize success on windows 10 with Framework 4.5.
      • Sometimes the application hangs when executing shell command based optimizations (e.g. bcdedit.exe).
      • Editing Schedule Task causes "Error - Sequence contains no elements". 

      Program Enhancements 

      • Update command line support. Now you can analyse/optimize with specified template silently.
      • Better input validation
      • Add "Import Template" feature. Now you can import previous XML template easily
      • You can simply put an XML with the OSOT executable file, and the tool will list the template (in My Templates category).
      • You can use 3rd party exe to in optimization items. To do so, create a shell command based optimization item, specify the absolute path of the exe file, or relative path of the exe file if you put it in the same directory as OSOT exe.
        • Example format: "cmd.exe /c <absolute_or_relative_path_to_your_exe> <parameters_use_double_quotation_mark_if_necessary>"

      Update August 18 2016, Build b1080

      • You can share customized templates to the community, and download/comment templates shared by others.
      • Redesign of local template repository. Now there are three template categories managed: VMware Fling templates, Downloade templates, and my templates. You can create new template based on existing template.
      • New template: Windows 10 template for Horizon Air Hybrid 4. Updated templates: Windows 10 beta, Windows 7 5. GUI update: fix bugs and improve performance for template editor

      Update May 24 2016, Build b1072

      • New template: Windows 10/Horizon Air Hybrid
      • Hide technical items in analysis/optimization view

      Update April 26 2016

      This version includes an "Export template" function, which enables the capability to export a template in a human readable format, as an one-file HTML. It also eliminates the duplicated effort in creating lots of sections in our user manual.

      Update March 31, 2016

      All templates: Windows 7/8/8.1/2008/2012/10

      • Theme optimization is not selected by default. So after default optimization you will still have pretty looking Windows GUI.
      • Optimize sound schema. Disable Windows sound effects.
      • Items in the "Improving Login Time" group now have more meaningful names.

      Windows 7

      • "Action Center Icon - Disable" now works for both current user and new user
      • Turn off "Computer Maintenance"

      Windows 8/Windows 8.1

      • "Action Center Icon - Disable" now works for both current user and new user
      • Turn off "Computer Maintenance".
      • Add "Set Default Wallpaper" item to "Apply HKCU Settings to Registry" group

      Windows 10

      • "Action Center Icon - Disable" now works for both current user and new user
      • Turn off "Computer Maintenance"
      • Add "Set Default Wallpaper" item to "Apply HKCU Settings to Registry" group
      • Add "Disable UAC" group
      • Change "Device Association Service" and "Device Setup Manager" item default unselected.
      • Items in "Remove Apps" group now also applies to new users
      • New items in "Remove Apps" group:
        • Remove Candy Crush Soda Saga
        • Remove Communications Apps
        • Remove Maps
        • Remove Twitter

      New items in "Apply HKCU Settings to Registry" group:

      • Advertising ID
      • Cursor Blink
      • Cursor Blink Rate
      • Default Printer
      • Lock Screen Title Migrate
      • Menu Show Delay
      • On Screen Keyboard - Key Stroke Delay
      • On Screen Keyboard - First Repeat Delay
      • On Screen Keyboard - Next Repeat Delay
      • Pocket Outlook Object Module(POOM) - Work Rsult
      • Pocket Outlook Object Module(POOM) - Run Cookie
      • Preview Desktop
      • Show me tips about windows
      • Smart Screen
      • Speech, inking ,& typing setting - Implicit Ink Collection
      • Speech, inking, & typing setting - Implicit Text Collection
      • Speech, inking, & typing setting - Contacts
      • Speech, inking, & typing setting - Privacy Policy
      • Start Menu App Suggestions
      • Sync language
      • Tablet Mode Auto Correction
      • Tablet Mode Speel Checking
      • Tablet Mode Taskbar Icons
      • Taskbar buttons
      • Taskbar Navigation
      • Taskbar Size
      • Taskbar Small Icons
      • Taskbar Task View Button
      • Unified Store
      • Unistore
      • USB

      New items in "Apply HKLM Settings" group:

      • Boot Optimize Function
      • Customer Experience Improvement Program - Disable
      • First Login Animation

      New items in "Disable Scheduled Tasks" group

      • Shell - IndexerAutomaticMaintenance

      New items in "Disable Services" group

      • Bluetooth Handsfree Service
      • Downloaded Maps Manager
      • Encrypting File System(EFS) Service
      • Microsoft (R) Diagnostics Hub Standard Collector Service
      • WAP Push Message Routing Service
      • Windows Biometric Service

      New template: Windows 7 (Horizon Air Hybrid)

      Bug Fix & GUI Update

      • Bug Fix:
        • Template editor: change between steps will cause field value overwritten

      Template editor

      • Add right click menu: up and down
      • Resize description box within container
      • Change Registry Type from textbox to combobox


      • Add link to optimization guide
      • Add Optimization Estimation Result link


      • Auto analysis on app open
      • Alert When optimizing using incompatible template

      Update February 17

      • [Optimization] [Win10] changed "Device Association Service" and "Device Setup Manager" item in "Disable Services" group not selected by default. Optimizing these two items will lead to error when adding devices. Select them according to your own need.
      • [Optimization] [Win10] update optimization items in "Remove Apps" group. Removed app will not appear for new users.
      • [Optimization] [Win8.1/10] add "set default wallpaper" item
      • [Optimization] [Win10] add "Disable UAC"
      • [GUI] Template editor: change "Add Action", add registry type to combo box
      • [GUI] Template editor: auto scroll to new added group or step
      • [GUI] Template editor: add "Add Group" button and "Add Step" button

      Update Jan 4 2015

      • Windows 10 template (beta)
      • Login time optimization, for Windows 7, Window 8, Windows 8.1.
      • Visual effect correction, now works for both current user and new users. This change applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1.
      • Some items are not selected by default, for better compatibility or user experience. You can still select them on demand.
      • A reference tab is added for OSOT Fling home site, as well as other optimization materials.
      • Drop old product support (View 5.3).
      • UI enhancement: optimize product compatibility settings.
      • Issue fix: When UAC is enabled, incorrect message shows in command line mode.

      [Optimization Items]

      • Windows 8: hide fast user switching
      • Windows 8: disable welcome screen
      • Windows 8: change item recommendation level: Disable Windows Update service: recommended -> Optional. Update description.
      • Windows 7 & 8: Fix item: "Disable IPv6", according to
      • Windows 7 & 8: Add optional item to disable visual effects. By default these items are NOT selected.
      • Windows Server 2008-2012: add item to disable Windows Update service.

      [Template & GUI]

      • Windows 7-8 template has been separated into two templates.
      • Template is automatically selected based on the target OS (for both local analysis and remote analysis)
      • MasterTemplate is removed
      • Remove description column in history view
      • Remove template content view on remote analysis panel
      • Rename most of optimization items. Sort items in alphabetical order

      [Template Management]

      • Simplify the GUI. Two "Set" buttons have been removed. The XML content is update on the fly with user input.
      • Mandatory fields are marked with a red "*"
      • Add a new field: default selected
      • Add a new Save button, which is enabled for custom templates, and is disabled for built-in (readonly) templates.​
      • Context menu added for each step node
      • Add menu item Remove for group node
      • Disable Remove button for the top level
      • Adjust column width for better text display
      • Prevent user from removing top level group node
      • Update up and down icon
      • Label icon now has the same context menu as label (tree view)
      • Field Step Type has been removed for group node (unnecessary)
      • Title of HKCU operations has been changed according to command name (LOAD/UNLOAD), for consistency

      [Issue Fix]

      ​Missing icon on optimization result

      1. Add feature "product compatibility". A dialog is added before analysis to ask user for in-use VMware products/features. The information is used to tweak optimization items. For example, if Persona Management is selected, the expected status of Volumn Shadow Copy service is AUTO, rather than the default DISABLED. Currently the configuration covers only Persona Management and View 5.3 Fixpack.
      2.  Add template capability: default selection state (XML attribute of step node: defaultSelected). You can specify which item is not selected by default in a template.
      3. By default, item "Disable Windows Firewall Service" is not selected, and the severity level has been lowered from MANDATORY to RECOMMENDED. Disabling Windows Firewall prevents some software from installing correctly.
      4. Fix optimization items
      5. Customer Experience Improvement Plan (CEIPenable)
        * Disable Diagnostic Service Host (WdiServiceHost)
        * Interactive Services Detection (UI0Detect)
        * Disable Windows Media Center Network Sharing Service (WMPNetwrokSVC)
        * Fix blank items
      6.  Add MasterTemplate back. This will fix the error message when using Remote Analysis.
      7. Minor model dialog tweak for progress bar dialog.
      8. Update manifest for OS compatibility.
      9. Include build version. So you can identify whether the tool you have has the correct level.

      New for version 2014!

      • Updated templates for Windows 7/8 - based on VMware's OS Optimization Guide
      • New templates for Windows 2008/2012 RDSH servers for use as a desktop
      • Single portal EXE design for ease of deployment and distribution
      • Combination of Remote and Local tools into one tool
      • Better template management, with built in and user-definable templates
      • Results report export feature.

      Various bug fixes, usability enhancements, and GUI layout updates.