VirtualBox is not alone in its lack of USB support. Many other virtualization applications also suffer a case of this limitation. Fortunately, there is a software solution called FlexiHub that allows users to connect USB to virtual machines in VirtualBox.
This USB to VirtualBox software enables your guest OS to access USB devices attached to any network-connected machine, not just the host operating system.
VirtualBox USB support has many uses. Mainly, it can be used to back up data from a guest operating system and copy documents from virtual drivers for printing from VirtualBox or sharing with other people. In addition, USB support is a feature that makes using a virtual machine more convenient for most VM users to access and manage data from their virtual hard disk.
VirtualBox makes it possible for users of virtual machines to connect their USB devices to the guest OS with a USB controller. However, when a USB device is connected to the computer, its connection will be redirected to the guest OS, making it unavailable in the host OS.
Note: FlexiHub is compatible with all OSes, and you may work in VirtualBox without any limits.
With Virtualbox USB filters, you can get a specific USB device mounted in your VirtualBox VMs in the default mode.
Once USB support is enabled for a virtual environment, you’ll be able to control which devices will be connected to the guest OS automatically. Filters allow you to connect USB to VirtualBox automatically according to specific parameters. Devices that match your designated filters will be automatically connected to the guest OS once linked to the host.
Besides, devices that do not match the filter won’t be excluded from further use in the guest session. Instead, they can be added manually to the guest through the operating system’s Device -> USB menu.
The Virtualbox USB Device Filters window is where you create new filters. You can name them for easy reference and specify different criteria for each filter. You can keep close tabs on selected devices by creating as many filters as you need.
When setting up a VirtualBox USB drive on Windows 10, you’ll have to unplug and reconnect your connected USB drives. Otherwise, the said device won’t be affected by filters created to control its behavior.
What troubles most VirtualBox users is how USB support for their virtual machines powered by VirtualBox isn’t enabled from the get-go.
Unfortunately, connecting a flash drive to the virtual machine right after installation isn’t viable, even on VirtualBox's latest versions. This functionality still hasn’t been worked on by its developers.
However, this doesn’t make USB support on VirtualBox impossible. In fact, it’s pretty easy to set up. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps that may vary depending on your host OS (Mac or Linux).
To learn more, read the easy-to-follow guide we prepared for you below:
Note: USB 2.0 transmits data faster than USB 1.1.
When you connect your USB device to your Mac after launching your Windows VM, it will automatically connect to the guest OS’ virtual hard disk.
Note: VirtualBox, by default, supports only USB 1.1 devices. Installing the said extension pack is necessary to proceed with setting up VirtualBox USB support if you have USB 2.0 devices or higher.Make sure that you install the extension pack that is compatible with your VirtualBox version.
Note: You will see the newly added features in the installation description.
Note: Only one can be enabled.
With your USB still plugged in, run your VM. Your VM should be able to detect the listed USB device, while your host OS will not be able to access it unless the VM is closed.
Despite this feature not being readily available on VirtualBox, setting it up manually takes no time at all. Following these steps above is very easy, even for new VirtualBox macOS and Linux users.
To access your USB from your virtual machine, it will take a few extra steps after the installation of VirtualBox. But, worry not, because it’s quite easy. You can connect your USB to your devices and pass through macOS and Linux by modifying a few settings in your VB software. After completing the steps above, you’ll be able to connect your USB to your virtual machine automatically every time you connect your USB drive or reboot your device.