vCenter Server periodically validates its user and group lists against the users and groups in the user directory. It then removes users or groups that no longer exist in the domain. You can disable validation or change the interval between validations. If you have domains with thousands of users or groups, or if searches take a long time to complete, consider adjusting the search settings.

About this task

For vCenter Server versions before vCenter Server 5.0, these settings apply to an Active Directory associated with vCenter Server. For vCenter Server 5.0 and later, these settings apply to vCenter Single Sign-On identity sources.


This procedure applies only to vCenter Server user lists. ESXi user lists cannot be searched in the same way.


  1. Browse to the vCenter Server system in the vSphere Web Client object navigator.
  2. Select the Manage tab and click Settings.
  3. Click General and click Edit.
  4. Select User directory.
  5. Change the values as needed.



    User directory timeout

    Timeout interval in seconds for connecting to the Active Directory server. This value specifies the maximum amount of time vCenter Server allows a search to run on the selected domain. Searching large domains can take a long time.

    Query limit

    Select the checkbox to set a maximum number of users and groups that vCenter Server displays.

    Query limit size

    Specifies the maximum number of users and groups that vCenter Server displays from the selected domain in the Select Users or Groups dialog box. If you enter 0 (zero), all users and groups appear.


    Deselect the check box to disable validation

    Validation Period

    Specifies how often vCenter Server validates permissions, in minutes.

  6. Click OK.