When you remove NICs from active virtual machines, you might still see the NICs you have removed in the vSphere Client.

Removing NICs from an Active Virtual Machine Without a Guest Operating System Installed

You cannot remove NICs from an active virtual machine on which no operating system is installed.

The vSphere Client might report that the NIC has been removed, but you continue to see it attached to the virtual machine.

Removing NICs from an Active Virtual Machine with a Guest Operating System Installed

You can remove a NIC from an active virtual machine, but it might not be reported to the vSphere Client for some time. If you click Edit Settings for the virtual machine, you might see the removed NIC listed even after the task is complete. The Edit Settings dialog box for the virtual machine does not immediately display the removed NIC.

You might also still see the NIC attached to the virtual machine if the guest operating system of the virtual machine does not support hot removal of NICs.