You can add one or more USB passthrough devices from an ESXi host to a virtual machine if the physical device is connected to the host on which the virtual machine runs.

If a USB device is connected to another virtual machine, you cannot add it until that machine releases it.


If you have the Apple Frontpanel Controller device in your environment, you can safely add it to a virtual machine. However, this device has no documented function and no known use. ESXi hosts do not use it and do not provide Xserver functionality for USB passthrough


  • Verify that the virtual machine is using hardware version 7 or later.
  • Verify that a USB controller is present. See Add a USB Controller to a Virtual Machine in the vSphere Client.
  • To use vMotion to migrate a virtual machine with multiple USB devices, you must enable all attached USB devices for vMotion. You cannot migrate individual USB devices.
  • When you add a CD/DVD-ROM drive that is backed by a USB CD/DVD drive on the host, you must add the drive as a SCSI device. Hot adding and removing SCSI devices is not supported.
  • Verify that you know the virtual machine requirements for USB devices. See USB Configuration from an ESXi Host to a Virtual Machine.
  • Required privileges: Virtual Machine.Configuration.HostUSBDevice


  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings.
  2. Click the Hardware tab and click Add.
  3. Select USB Device and click Next.
  4. (Optional) Select Support vMotion while device is connected.
  5. If you do not plan to migrate a virtual machine with USB devices attached, deselect the Support vMotion option.
    This reduces migration complexity, which results in better performance and stability.
  6. Select a device to add.
    You can add multiple USB devices, but only one device at a time.
  7. Click Finish.
    New USB Device (adding) appears in the hardware list as Present.
  8. Click OK to save your changes.


When you reopen the Properties editor, the USB device appears on the Hardware tab of the Properties Editor. The device type and ID appear in the right pane.