vSphere 6.0: Reset ESXi Root Password via Active Directory

In your virtual environment, you’re in a situation where you’ve lost your one of ESXi hosts root password, how will you reset it? It can be reset via Host Profiles (requires Enterprise Plus License), and Microsoft Active Directory.

In this post, we’ll see how an ESXi host password can be reset via Active Directory.

This post is related to troubleshoot your virtual environment and a common troubleshoot process which can be done if required. To reset an ESXi host password, it must be controlled by vCenter Server. Otherwise, to recover a host password, the only way is to re-install it. Before going into further details, make sure that your ESXi host is registered with domain, static forward and reverse lookup are properly configured and resolved and NTP should also be configured.

Let’s start the process

Step 1: Login to your vCenter Server via vSphere Web Client with Domain Admin account and Select your ESXi host > Manage > Settings > System > Authentication Services > Join Domain.

Enter the Domain Name and admin credentials and click OK.

Step 2: Go to your Domain controller and create a Global Security group called ESX Admins and make a domain administrator part of this group.

Step 3: Now, login to your ESXi host directly via vSphere Client using domain credentials. Then go to the Users > Right click on Root > Edit > Check the box Change password to change the local root password.


If you forgot root password of your one of ESXi hosts, you can reset it. Thing to remember is that your ESXi host must be controlled by vCenter Server, and with the help of vCenter Server, you can reset your ESXi’s root password. Otherwise, as per VMware  KB1317898, you’ll have to reinstall your host.

For complete guidance regarding vCenter Server installation and configuration, you can follow VMware vSphere 6.0 Part 2 – vCenter, Alarms and Templates , or you can take Learning vSphere 6 Course, and is highly recommended.

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Comments (2)

  1. Rizwan Hanif

    It is really very useful…… Thanks alot

    1. Nisar Ahmad (Post author)

      Thanks Rizwan.


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