Jan 22

So, You’ve Lost Your Password for your ESXi Host…. Now what?

Recently, I found myself in a quandary… I had forgotten my password to my ESXi hosts for a specific environment. I’m not sure why I forgot my password for these two systems.. getting older (after all don’t they say the mind is the first th…. what was I saying?) .. too many passwords to remember… didn’t write it down like I should…  With the amount of test environments I have and the changes that take place over the course of a few months, this has surprisingly only happened this one time.  With some thought and trickery, I managed to change the password using the below method.  Maybe this will help you as well.

The first thing you need to do is find an ESXi host that you know the password too.  I’d log into it remotely through SSH (or however you want to connect) just to be sure that you indeed know it.  Then we get slightly devious and use a tool that VMware has graciously given us:  Host Profiles.

The below method will only work if your host on which you’ve forgotten the password is attached to a vCenter server.

First, select an ESXi host that you know the password too (see below).

password recovery 1


Next, right click on the ESXi host (that you know the password too!) and select Host Profile > Manage Profile.

password recovery 3


You’ll get the Profiles Details screen. Put a name in for the profile and then select Next and then Finish.

password recovery 4


Click on Home at the top and select Host Profiles.  Then right click on the profile you created and select Edit Profile.

password recovery 5


Find “Security Configuration”.  Under this select Administrator password.  At the drop down on the right side of this screen select Configure a fixed administrator password and then enter the new password you would like to have for the host.

password recovery 6


Back at the main screen, select the ESXi host that you have lost the password too and then click Manage Profile.

password recovery 7


Select the profile created earlier and then click OK.

password recovery 8


Place the host which needs the password recovered from into maintenance mode.

password recovery 9


Right click on the host that is in maintenance mode and Select Host Profile > Apply Profile

password recovery 10


The profile gets applied to the host. In this example, some other items get applied as well. However, notice the last entry that says “Administrator password will be changed“.  Then click Finish.password recovery 11

Exit the host from maintenance mode. Your password will be changed on this host.

That’s it!  Pretty simple and a nice little work around.

As a side note, you could always create the host profile on one vSphere environment and then export it to another environment.

I hope this helps some of you with.  Let me know if I missed anything.



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  1. sushil

    Jack ..you rock !!

  2. Nishant Rapate

    Jack… this solution is perfectly explained… nothing like it.
    Thanks a ton. :)

  3. Nishant Rapate

    Jack you have explained it very well, it has been really helpful for me and others who are searching for the solution i had faced. Thanks.

    keep it up !!!

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