How-to : Move a Virtual Machine from one datastore to another datastore under ESXi


Here is a very quick post to learn how to move one virtual machine from a datastore to another datastore. This is done under VMWare ESXi 5.0.1.

More “Virtualisation” posts

1) Moving a virtual machine

This is done using the VSphere client under a Windows OS.

1.1 Select the source datastore

Navigate through the “Configuration” menu then select “Storage“, in this window you can see all your datastore, select the one which contains the Virtual machine you wish to move :




1.2 Select the Virtual Machine to be moved

Once you have selected the right datastore, a right-clic gives you the context menu in which you must select “Browse datastore“, this will open a “Windows like” browser :



At the top left of this browser you can see a toolbar, please refer to the below list for the meanings of each icons (described from left to right):



  1. Save Virtual Machine
  2. Go to folder
  3. Create new folder
  4. Download to current datastore
  5. Download from current datastore to your local compute
  6. Move a Virtual Machine from one datastore to another
  7. Remove a file or folder
  8. Update


1.3 Eventually move the selected Virtual Machine

Follow this process to actually move your Virtual Mavhine.

  1. Clic the “Move Virtual Machine” icon VSphere
  2. Read and accept the warning, if you do understand it and agree
  3. Choose the destination datastore and clic “Move” to validate your choice
  4. A new popup window gives you the estimated time required to complete the Virtual Machine moving…



1.4 Add the newly moved VM to inventory (and remove the old one)

You now need to add the moved Virtual Machine to your inventory, but before that you need to remove the old reference from the inventory. Remove the old machine by selecting it from the left panel and right-clic to “Remove from inventory” this operation should not be long.


Then navigate to the new location of your moved Virtual Machine (See Fig.1) and select the Virtual Machine folder in the left panel : This allow you to choose the corresponding vmx file (the actual Virtual Machine file, which contains VM metadata) from the right section of the current window and via a right-clic choose “Add to inventory“, answer to the following 3 “questions” and you should now see the moved Virtual Computer back to your inventory on the left panel. VSphere

The next time you will start the moved machine you will have to answer a question that ask you if you moved or copied the Virtual Machine, just follow the ESX advice by answering “I copied it“. Et voilĂ  ! Hope this quick post will speed up the process for this simple task.

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