VMWare ESXi 5 Move VM to Different Datastore

In this lesson, I will demonstrate how you can move your virtual machine from one datastore to another using VMWare ESX 5 using the Vsphere client. Before you start, make sure that the virtual machine you want to move has been powered off.

In my example, I have two datastores, one of 300 GB and the other one is 600 GB. I want to move a VM from the 600 GB drive to the 300 GB drive.

Click on your ESXi host and select Configuration > Datastore where your VM is located, and click on Browse Datastore.

ESXi 5 vsphere client configuration storage

You will see an overview of everything in the datastore. I want to move a virtual machine called “MMOBSERVIUM01”. Select the virtual machine and click on the Move button in the toolbar.

ESXi 5 vsphere client datastore browser

You will see a confirmation screen. Just click Yes to continue.

ESXi 5 vsphere client confirm move

Now we select the datastore where we want to move the VM to. In my example, I select the 300 GB datastore. Optionally you can select a folder to move the virtual machine to…Click Move to continue.

ESXi 5 vsphere client move items

Your virtual machine will be moved, and depending on the size of its partitions and whether it has been thick or thin provisioned, this might take a while…

ESXi 5 vsphere client moving

Once the virtual machine has been moved to the other datastore, we still have to remove it from the inventory because the ESXi host thinks it’s still on the old datastore. Select your virtual machine from the main screen, do a right-mouse click, and select Remove from Inventory.

ESXi 5 vsphere client remove from inventory

Now you should go back to the datastore browser, select the virtual machine on the new datastore, do a right mouse-click on the vmx file, and select Add to Inventory.

ESXi 5 vsphere client add to inventory

The wizard will ask you if you want to give it a new name. Click Next to continue.

ESXi 5 vsphere client add to inventory name

I only run a single ESXi host, so there’s just one resource pool. Click Next to continue.

ESXi 5 vsphere client add to inventory resource pool

And finally, click Finish to continue.

ESXi 5 vsphere client add to inventory complete

Hit the power button of the virtual machine to start it. You will probably receive a notification that the virtual machine has been moved. Select I moved it and click on OK.

ESXi 5 vsphere client virtual machine message

Your virtual machine is now running from the new datastore. That’s all there is to it! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!

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Forum Replies

  1. Excellent How-to!
    Great pictures, explanations, etc…

  2. Professional, detailed, the screenshots are perfect. Great job.

  3. Thanks for the explanation.

    I found it because I just bought an SSD to add to my Whitebox. I’m migrating some of the heavier duty VMs from my old 2TB HD to the SSD. I was wondering whether any additional changes or steps should be taken since I’m converting from spinning rust to an SSD.


  4. Hi Dylan,

    Good to hear it was helpful to you. I can’t think of any other changes you’ll have to make…


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