The virtual hardware version determines the virtual hardware that is available to the virtual machine, which corresponds to the physical hardware available on the host machine. You can upgrade the virtual hardware to make a virtual machine compatible with a newer version of ESXi running on the host.

For information about virtual machine hardware versions and compatibility, see Virtual Machine Compatibility and the information about virtual machine compatibility in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.

Create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machines. See the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.

Upgrade VMware Tools. On Microsoft Windows virtual machines, if you upgrade the virtual hardware before you upgrade VMware Tools, the virtual machine might lose its network settings.

Verify that all .vmdk files are available to the ESX/ESXi host on a VMFS3, VMFS5, or NFS datastore.

Verify that the virtual machines are stored on VMFS3, VMFS5, or NFS datastores.

Verify that the virtual hardware on the virtual machines is not the latest supported version.


The menu option to upgrade the virtual hardware does not appear if the virtual machine is powered on or already has the latest supported virtual hardware version.


Log in to the vCenter Server from the vSphere Client.


In the inventory, select the host or cluster containing the virtual machines.


On the Virtual Machines tab, select the virtual machines to upgrade.


Power off the selected virtual machines.


Right-click your selections, and select Upgrade Virtual Hardware.


Click Yes to confirm the upgrade.

The selected virtual machines are upgraded to the latest supported version, which appears as the VM Version in the Summary tab of the virtual machine.

Power on the virtual machines.