By default, VirtualBox creates dynamic disks that grow over time as you add data. However, if you delete data from the virtual machine later, you’ll notice that the disk doesn’t automatically shrink. But you can manually shrink a dynamic disk using a hidden command.
Remember that this will only shrink the disk if it’s grown in size and you’ve since removed data. So, if you just created a dynamic disk, this won’t shrink it. But, if you’ve created a dynamic disk, downloaded 10 GB of data into it, and then deleted that 10 GB of data afterwards, you should be able to shrink the disk by about 10 GB.
This process only works for dynamic disks, which can grow and shrink in size. Dynamic disks may be up to a certain maximum size—50 GB, for example—but they only actually grow to that maximum size when they contain that much data. Fixed size disks will always be their maximum size.
If you have a fixed size disk you want to shrink, you can first convert it to a dynamic disk and then follow the below instructions. For example, if you have a fixed disk of 50 GB in size with only 20 GB of data on it and you convert it to a dynamic disk, you should be able to shrink it to take up only 20 GB of space.
To check whether a disk is dynamic or fixed size in VirtualBox, right-click the virtual machine that uses the disk and select “Settings”. Click the “Storage” tab and select the disk. You’ll see what type of disk it is displayed next to “Details”. For example, in the screenshot below, “Dynamically allocated storage” indicates that this is a dynamic disk.Read More...
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