To be able to use certain features and functionality of an ESXi host, you must assign it a license key when the evaluation period of the host expires.

Required privilege: Global.Licenses


In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the host in the vSphere inventory.


Select the Manage tab.


Under System, select Licensing.


Click Assign License Key.


From the drop-down menu, select an option to assign a license key to the host.



Assign an existing license key

Select from the license keys that already exist in the inventory of the vCenter Server instance that manages the host. Make sure to select a license key that supports all the features that the host runs.

Assign a new license key

Enter a new license key and assign it to the host. You can click Decode to verify that the license key is in the correct format, and that it has enough capacity to satisfy the required license usage for the host. You can also decode the license key to verity that it belongs to the correct product.


Click OK.

The license is assigned to the host. Capacity from the license key is allocated according to the required license usage for the host.


If you assign a vSphere 5.x license to the host, you might notice that there is a vRAM usage reported for the license. vSphere 5.x is licensed per-processor and you should ignore the reported vRAM usage for vSphere 5.x licenses.