You can set a virtual disk to independent mode to exclude the disk from any snapshots taken of its virtual machine.


Power off the virtual machine and delete any existing snapshots before you change the disk mode. Deleting a snapshot involves committing the existing data on the snapshot disk to the parent disk.

Required privileges:
  • Virtual machine.Snapshot management.Remove Snapshot
  • Virtual machine.Configuration.Modify device settings
Note: An independent disk does not participate in virtual machine snapshots. That is, the disk state is independent of the snapshot state and creating, consolidating, or reverting to snapshots does not have effect on the disk.

Starting with ESXi 7.0 Update 3l, you can take a memory snapshot of a virtual machine with an independent disk only to analyze the guest operating system behavior of a virtual machine. You cannot use such snapshots for virtual machine backups because restoring this type of snapshots is unsupported.


  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Edit Settings.
  2. On the Virtual Hardware tab, expand Hard disk, and select an independent disk mode option.
    Option Description

    Dependent mode is the default disk mode. When you take a snapshot of a virtual machine, dependent disks are included in the snapshot. When you revert to the previous snapshot, all data are reverted to the point of taking a snapshot.

    Independent - Persistent

    Disks in persistent mode behave like conventional disks on your physical computer. All data written to a disk in persistent mode are written permanently to the disk even if you revert a snapshot. When you power off or reset a virtual machine, the disk and all its snapshots are preserved.

    Independent - Nonpersistent

    Disks in nonpersistent mode behave like read-only disks. Changes to disks in nonpersistent mode are discarded when you power off or reset the virtual machine. With nonpersistent mode, you can restart the virtual machine with a virtual disk in the same state every time. Changes to the disk are written to and read from a redo log file that is deleted when you power off or reset the virtual machine, or when you delete a snapshot.

  3. Click OK.