Hyper-V Virtual Machines Won't Act Their Place and Just Won’t Turn-Off/Shut Down

Your Hyper-V Virtual Machine not stopping? Is it being a PITA even after rebooting? Do you just want to strangle the process until even it’s children become non-responsive (that wasn’t an unnecessarily dark comment – there IS a nerd joke hidden in there somewhere).

Then you’ve come to the right place!

I primarily use Hyper-V VMs (ask my bosses at VENZO why I’m not allowed to use VirtualBox or Parallels anymore. Hint: it’s because we Love-All-Things-Microsoft™) and routinely go through a whole bunch of them – Checkpoints, Reverting, Wiping, Migrating, Moving, Deleting, and just plain ol’ fresh deployments when I just can’t be bothered anymore.

Did I ever mention that I was a macOS user for almost two solid decades? In fact, I even ran macOS as my daily driver even at the MSP I used to work at before I joined VENZO as a security specialist. As much as enjoy working with Microsoft technology and Linux; what I really liked about macOS was that shit just worked.

That said, said shit was severely limited. I tend to do a fresh wipe on my Lenovo X1 at least every other month due to the sheer abuse I throw at it. And that doesn’t even include stuff like routine network resets every other week to counter whatever cockups I’ve made in regards to my Hyper-V networking.

But there’s something in particular that just fucking irks me no matter what. Stalled VMs. I’ve gone through this enough times that I just thought fuck it – im writing a blog post next time it happens because it’s easy low-hangning fruit for a post AND I can grab screenshots while I’m fixing something I’d otherwise be fixing regardless!

So, with that said, onwards!


First thing to try – Restart the Service

First up, try restarting the vmms.exe (Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service) process. This is a safe operation and will not interrupt the other running VMs. The easiest way to restart the vmms.exe process is through the vmms service using the services.msc console or with the PowerShell service management cmdlets.

Run Get-Service vmms | Restart-Service

No? Well, fuck you too.

Second thing to try - Killing a Frozen Hyper-VM using PowerShell

Instead of restarting the whole service, let’s target the bastard process:

$VMGUID = (Get-VM "[NameOfYourVirtualMachine]").ID

$VMWMProc = (Get-WmiObject Win32_Process | ? {$_.Name -match 'VMWP' -and $_.CommandLine -match $VMGUID})

Stop-Process ($VMWMProc.ProcessId) –Force


OK, let’s try this then.  We’ll grab the GUID of the process and terminate it directly from that. If you’re unsure what [NameOfYourVirtualMachine] should be, then you can either take a peek at what you named it in your Hyper-V manager or run Get-VM | Select Name, Id.

Third thing to try – Kill it with fire! Going straight for the PID

The only way to force shutdown restart such a stuck VM without rebooting the whole Hyper-V host is to end its running workflow in the guest OS. All VMs on the Hyper-V host are started using the vmwp.exe process (Virtual Machine Worker Process). To search for a process, you need to find out the GUID of the virtual machine.

We have the GUID from the previous step. In this case, 8182a521-c026-438f-b8f3-014f7f1734c3.

Launch Task Manager and navigate to the Details tab. Each virtual machine has its own instance of vmwp.exe running. You'll need the GUID of the hung-up VM you got before to figure out which process is in charge of your VM. Locate the process vmwp.exe that contains your VM's GUID in the User name field. Stop this procedure (End Task).

Endtask that badboy > Go into your Hyper-V Manager and shut it down again and…


That’s right. We are.

Happy trails, kids.