You can configure virtual machines running on an ESXi host to start up and shut down with the host. You can also set the default timing and startup order for selected virtual machines. This ability allows the operating system to save data when the host enters maintenance mode or is being powered off for another reason.

The Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown (automatic startup) feature is disabled for all virtual machines residing on hosts that are in (or moved into) a vSphere HA cluster. Automatic startup is not supported when used with vSphere HA.


  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, select the host where the virtual machine is located and click the Configuration tab.
  2. Under Software, click Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown and click Properties.
    The Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown dialog box opens.
  3. Select Allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with the system.
  4. (Optional) Configure the startup and shutdown behavior.
    Option Action
    Default Startup Delay Select the amount of time to delay starting the operating system.

    This delay allows time for VMware Tools or the booting system to run scripts.

    Continue immediately if the VMware Tools starts Select to start the operating system immediately after VMware Tools starts.
    Default Shutdown Delay Select the amount of time to delay shutdown for each virtual machine.

    The shutdown delay applies only if the virtual machine does not shut down before the delay period elapses. If the virtual machine shuts down before the delay time is reached, the next virtual machine starts shutting down.

    Shutdown Action Select a shutdown option from the drop-down menu.
    • Power Off
    • Suspend
    • Guest Shutdown
    Move Up and Move Down Select a virtual machine in the Manual Startup category and use the Move Up button to move it up to Automatic Startup or Any Oder.

    When virtual machines are in the Automatic Startup category, you can use Move Up and Move Down to order them so that they start in a preferred sequence. During shutdown, the virtual machines are stopped in the opposite order.

    Edit Click Edit to configure user-specified autostartup and shutdown behavior for virtual machines in the Automatic Startup or Any Order category.
  5. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your settings.