Passthrough devices provide the means to use resources efficiently and improve performance of your environment. You can enable DirectPath I/O passthrough for a network device on a host.

Caution: If your ESXi host is configured to boot from a USB device or an SD card attached to a USB channel, make sure that you do not enable DirectPath I/O passthrough for the USB controller. Passing through a USB controller on an ESXi host that boots from a USB device or SD card might put the host in a state where its configuration cannot be persisted.


  1. Browse to a host in the vSphere Client navigator.
  2. On the Configure tab, expand Hardware and click PCI Devices.
  3. To enable DirectPath I/O passthrough for a PCI network device on the host, click Edit.
    A list of available passthrough devices appears.
    Icon Description
    green icon A device is active and can be enabled.
    orange icon The state of the device has changed, and you must reboot the host before you can use the device.
  4. Select the network device to be used for passthrough and click OK.
    The selected PCI device appears in the table. Device information is displayed at the bottom of the screen.