The snapshot Consolidation command searches for hierarchies or delta disks to combine without violating data dependency. After consolidation, redundant disks are removed, which improves virtual machine performance and saves storage space.

Snapshot consolidation is useful when snapshot disks fail to compact after a Delete or Delete all operation or if the disk did not consolidate. This might happen, for example, if you delete a snapshot but its associated disk does not commit back to the base disk.

The Needs Consolidation column in the vSphere Client shows the virtual machines that need to be consolidated and the virtual machine's Summary tab shows a Configuration Issues consolidation message if the virtual machine needs to be consolidated. If you see errors for failed conditions, such as running out of disk space, correct them and run the consolidation task.


Required privilege: Virtual machine.Snapshot management.Remove Snapshot


  1. Display the Need Consolidation column in the vSphere Client.
    1. Select a vCenter Server, host, or cluster and click the Virtual Machines tab.
    2. Right-click the menu bar for any virtual machine column and select Needs Consolidation from the menu.
    The Needs Consolidation column appears. A Yes status indicates that the snapshot files for the virtual machine should be consolidated and that the virtual machine's Tasks and Events tab shows a configuration problem. A No status indicates that the files are OK.
  2. To consolidate the files, right-click the virtual machine and select Snapshot > Consolidate.
  3. Check the Need Consolidation column to verify that the task succeeded.
    If the task succeeded, the Configuration Issues message should be cleared and the Needs Consolidation value should be No.