Resizing El Capitan Mac volumes under VMWare Fusion

Apple has made some changes to Disk Utility in OS X 10.11 El Capitan. One of the biggest changes is how the partition tab looks and functions.

Under Yosemite 10.10 and previous it was quite simple to increase the size of a virtual hard disk in VMWare Fusion and then simply expand the volume on the guest Mac OS VM

Increase the size of the virtual disk in VMWare Fusion

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 12.53.53 pm

Open up Disk Utility in the guest VM

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 12.59.39 pm

Note that the VMWare Virtual Disk is showing as 107.37GB, yet the Macintosh HD volume is showing as a capacity of 33.5GB

To expand the Macintosh HD volume to the maximum, you just needed to click on the VMWare Virtual Disk, click the partition tab and drag the slider in the bottom right hand corner all the way to the bottom and note the size will change under the Partition Information.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.02.21 pm

Drag the slider to the bottom

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.02.29 pm

Hit apply and the volume will be expanded. Pretty easy!

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.03.45 pm

But in 10.11 we are presented with this

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.05.42 pm

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.05.48 pm

So we can see that the VMWare Virtual Disk is 94.49GB, but our Macintosh HD volume is only 34.57GB

Hitting the partition button gives us this

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.13.24 pm

And Disk Utility can’t seem to see the extra space!


Fortunately its a trivial task to achieve the same goal using the command line.

So bust open and enter the following command

sudo diskutil resizeVolume / R

This will resize the Volume at / (Macintosh HD) to the maximum (R)

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.23.49 pm


  1. Thanks mate, i was looking for a solution to the El Capitan bug on disk utility app…
    The commando worked for me, i was using a physic partition on my hdd, now its full.
    Thanks again.


  2. Hi. Great article. Thanks! However, after countless tries, your command line kept error out on OSX 10.10. Correct command line that worked for me:
    sudo diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 R

    Perhaps this is because Im using VMWare Workstation 11…not sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm never used VMware Workstation… So not sure why thats the car

      When you specify the disk0s2 you are specifying a disk and then a slice i.e. disk0 then slice 2.
      As opposed to what i was doing which was specifying a mount point, which then diskutil would work out what disk it was referencing.
      So perhaps Workstation handles disks in a VM a little differently.

      Glad you got it working, and thanks for posting in case others find it useful 🙂


  3. I’m running 10.11 under KVM and after growing the vHD, Disk Utility in OS X shows the new capacity, but when I use this command I get the error message “-5341: MediaKit reports partition (map) too small; if you recently grew your whole-disk, you should run whole-disk repair” Any suggestions?


  4. I am getting this error? Error: -69742: The requested size change for the target disk or a related disk is too small; please try a different disk or partition, or make a larger change I just replace my 256 SSD to a 500 and I get this error. my symptom is exactly what you got in the first picture. Shows as a 500 gig but the disk below says 256 and it won’t let me expand it using 10.11.2


  5. hi i am using OS X EI 10.11.3 my disk space is reduced whenever i try this command to increase my disk space it give me error message
    as “improper sudo command entered” what should i do?


  6. I recently grew my MacPro VM’s virtual disks from 128G to 256G, and ran ‘sudo diskutil resizeVolume / R’ to try to make the space available, but it told me ‘MediaKit reports partition (map) too small’.

    I downloaded gparted-live-0.27.0-1-i686.iso and put it into datastore1, added it ‘at power up’ to the VM’s CD, changed the VM type to Other 2.6.x LInux 32 bit, booted the VM and held C down from the VMWare screen until it reached the GRUB screen, but while I could select the GRUB options, most of the resulting systems either didn’t recognise the keyboard in character mode, or the mouse in GUI mode.

    Every so often, the default GRUB option worked but while I got through language selection I found I needed to selected menu option 2 to enter shell mode, then quit it without doing anything to enter the GUI, but had to drum on the keyboard’s arrow keys for a while before the GUI system recognised the keyboard or mouse clicks.

    I told it to fix the partition table – the ‘do you want to fix this’ that came up automatically.

    I saw a small /dev/sda1, the EFI system partition, at 200M, /dev/sda2 the Mac HD, at 127G, /dev/sda3 the recovery HD at 620M, and 128G of unallocated space.

    I asked to move the recovery partition to the very end of the free space, and it said that might be bad, so I just quit and rebooted.

    I turned the guest OS back to Mac (I had to log in to the host as root to shut down the VM, for some reason: VMWare Fusion didn’t give me the shutdown option), and now it’s back in OSX.

    Now resizeVolumes / R doesn’t show the

    ‘Note: Your partition map does not use the entire space of your whole-disk’ warning, and completes without ‘MediaKit reports partition map too small’.

    And my HD is at 274G. not quite the whole 128G, but certainly better than 127.


  7. Just as an FYI, on my Mac (10.11.6) I was able to use disk utility as well. The space showed as empty and I clicked on the pie chart and it filled the disk with available space. I am guessing they have actually added a feature back in to disk utility vs constantly removing features that are useful.


  8. Awesome!!!

    This helped me on:
    Guest: OSX Sierra 10.12
    Host: Windows 7
    Initial Virtual Disk Size: 70GB
    Expanded VDS to: 100GB
    30 GB added to VD Guest OSX 10.12 with success.

    I have to try on Sierra High 10.13 as well and will post that results also.

    Thanks thanks thanks


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