The virtual machine compatibility determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine. You can schedule a compatibility upgrade to make a virtual machine compatible with newer versions of ESXi.


  • Create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machines. See Using Snapshots To Manage Virtual Machines.

  • Upgrade to the latest version of VMware Tools. If you upgrade the compatibility before you upgrade VMware Tools, the virtual machine might lose its network settings.

  • Verify that all .vmdk files are available to the ESXi host on a VMFS3, VMFS5, or NFS datastore.

  • Verify that the virtual machines are stored on VMFS3, VMFS5 or NFS datastores.

  • Verify that the compatibility settings for the virtual machines are not the latest supported version.

  • Determine the ESXi versions that you want the virtual machines to be compatible with. See Virtual Machine Compatibility.


  1. (Optional) To determine the compatibility setting of a virtual machine, select the virtual machine in the inventory and click the Summary tab.
  2. Change the default virtual machine compatibility setting.



    vSphere Client

    • Change the default compatibility setting of a virtual machine.

      • Right-click a virtual machine and click Compatibility > Upgrade VM Compatibility.

      • Right-click a virtual machine and click Compatibility > Schedule VM Compatibility Upgrade.