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.

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.

Note: This procedure applies only to vCenter Server user lists. You cannot search ESXi user lists in the same way.


  1. Browse to the vCenter Server system in the vSphere Client object navigator.
  2. Select Configure and click Settings > General.
  3. Click Edit and select User directory.
  4. Change the values as needed and click Save.
    Option Description
    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 Toggle on to set a maximum number of users and groups that vCenter Server displays.
    Query limit size Maximum number of users and groups from the selected domain that vCenter Server displays in the Select Users or Groups dialog box. If you enter 0 (zero), all users and groups appear.
    Validation Toggle off to disable validation.
    Validation Period Specifies how often vCenter Server validates permissions, in minutes.