By default, the upgrade process upgrades the ESXi hosts in all clusters in a domain in parallel. If you have multiple clusters in the management domain or in a VI workload domain, you can select which clusters to upgrade. You can also choose to update the clusters in parallel or sequentially.

If you want to skip any hosts while applying an ESXi update to the management domain or a VI workload domain, you must add these hosts to the file before you begin the update. See Skip Hosts During ESXi Update.

To perform ESXi upgrades with custom images and async drivers, see Upgrade ESXi with Custom ISO or Async Drivers.


  • Download the ESXi bundle. See Downloading Bundles.
  • Ensure that the domain for which you want to perform cluster-level upgrade does not have any hosts or clusters in an error state. Resolve the error state or remove the hosts and clusters with errors before proceeding.


  1. Navigate to the Updates/Patches tab of the domain.
  2. Run the upgrade precheck. See Perform Upgrade Precheck.
  3. In the Available Updates section, click Update Now or Schedule Update for the ESXi bundle and click the date and time for the bundle to be applied.
  4. Select the clusters to upgrade and click Next.
    The default setting is to upgrade all clusters. To upgrade specific clusters, click Enable cluster-level selection and select the clusters to upgrade.
    You can upgrade a maximum of five clusters in parallel. If you select more than five clusters, the additional clusters are upgraded sequentially.
  5. Select the upgrade options and click Next.
    By default, all clusters are upgraded in parallel. To upgrade clusters sequentially, select Enable sequential cluster upgrade.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Monitor the upgrade progress. See Monitor Updates.

What to do next