The virtual machine compatibility determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine, which corresponds to the physical hardware available on the host machine. You can upgrade the compatibility level to make a virtual machine compatible with the latest version of ESXi running on the host.

For information about virtual machine hardware versions and compatibility, see vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.


  • Create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machines. See Using Snapshots to Manage Virtual Machines.
  • Upgrade VMware Tools. On virtual machines that run Microsoft Windows, 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 machine is stored on VMFS3, VMFS5 or NFS datastores.
  • Verify that the compatibility settings for the virtual machines are not set to the latest supported version.
  • Determine the ESXi versions that you want the virtual machines to be compatible with. See vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine from the list and select Upgrade VM Compatibility from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select the latest supported version and click Upgrade.