Resetting Password on ESXi Host
If you need to reset the password of an ESXi host, you can use the following steps for different situations. According to VMware, the only supported way to reset a lost password is to do a fresh install. However, there are ways around it if your host is already connected to vCenter.
If you know the current password, you can reset by using the following method.
- Connect directly to the host via vSphere client (C# [fat] client – can’t use web client here).
- Select the host on the left and click the Local Users & Groups tab.
- Right click root (or other user) and select Edit. Change the password using the provided area.
If you do NOT know the host password but it’s currently connected to vCenter, you can use Host Profiles to reset the password. Follow these steps to reset it via Host Profiles.
*Note: Don’t forget that Host Profiles are a feature of Enterprise Plus licensing only.
1. Right click the host, choose All vCenter Actions, Host Profiles, and select Extract Host Profile. Run through the wizard to create the new profile.
2. At the top of the vSphere client, click Home and Host Profiles under the Management section. Right click the newly created profile and choose Edit.
3. Click Next to the Edit Host Profile step and expand Security and Services, then expand Security Settings. Click on Security Configuration. Modify the dropdown list and select the “Configure a fixed administrator password” option. Enter the new password.
4. Complete the wizard which will save all your changes.
5. Back in the Hosts and Clusters view, right click your host and go to All vCenter Actions, Host Profiles, and Attach Host Profile. Select your profile you created and customized and finish the wizard.
6. Put your host in maintenance mode.
7. Right click the host again, All vCenter Actions, Host Profiles, and Remediate. If your host is not in maintenance mode, you’ll get the message “Remediate operation is allowed only for hosts in maintenance mode”
8. Once the Host Profile is applied, the host will reboot and your password will now be updated.