[Solved] How to connect USB HID Card Reader or Keyboard to VMware Virtual Machine

This article outline the step-by-step guide for how to connect HIDs (Human Interface Devices) card reader or keyboard to VMware Workstation or Fusion.

VMware Fusion USB & Bluetooth settings
VMware Fusion USB & Bluetooth settings

Content Summary

For VMware Workstation
For VMware Fusion

For VMware Workstation

Step 1: Power off virtual machine. Disable automatic connection of USB devices if you are using a KVM switch for USB device.

Step 2: Select the virtual machine and go to VM > Settings > Hardware tab > USB Controller > Check Show all USB input devices.
* This option allows users to use special USB HIDs inside the virtual machine.

Show all USB input devices setting in VM virtual machine settings
Show all USB input devices setting in VM virtual machine settings

Step 3: Click OK to save the setting changed.

Step 4: Power on the virtual machine. HIDs appear in the Removable Devices menu.

For VMware Fusion

Due to the risk of removing all human interface from the Mac, VMware Fusion does not allow HIDs device to be connected to the virtual machine by default. It is possible to instruct VMware Fusion to make it possible to connect HIDs devices by modifying the virtual machine settings.

Step 1: Shut down virtual machine that needs the HIDs device.

Step 2: Plug the HIDs device into Mac.

Step 3: Edit virtual machine’s .vmx file using a text editor to include below lines:
usb.generic.allowHID = "TRUE"
usb.generic.allowLastHID = "TRUE"

Modify .vmx file
Modify .vmx file

Step 4: Power on virtual machine.

Step 5: Go to Virtual Machine > USB & Bluetooth (Fusion 4.x and later) / USB (Fusion 3.x and earlier) and select Connect <your mouse or keyboard>.

VMware Fusion connect RFIDeas USB device
VMware Fusion connect RFIDeas USB device

Source:
Workstation 11 Documentation Center > Connect USB HIDs to a Virtual Machine
VMware Knowledge Base > Connecting a second mouse or keyboard directly to a Fusion virtual machine (1003418)