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How to downgrade license keys in My VMware (2006975)

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This article provides information about downgrading license keys in My VMware.


When a new version of a product is released, the older versions are no longer available for purchase. Downgrading a license key allows you to use an older version of a product. If you downgrade a license key, you can revert to the newer version by upgrading the license key. For more information, see How to upgrade license keys in My VMware (2006974).

Only Super Users, Procurement Contacts, and users with Upgrade and Downgrade License Keys permissions can downgrade a license key.
Not all products are eligible for downgrade. When you select Downgrade License Keys from the I want to dropdown, you only see products that can be downgraded.
  • The downgrade option is not available for ESXi 4 Single Server to ESXi 3.x.
  • The downgrade option is not available for vSphere Essentials to VI3.
  • If license keys are downgraded from vSphere Enterprise version 5 to ESX version 3, the vSphere Enterprise 5 key will still remain in the license portal and a new license key will be available in the VI3 license portal. You will not be able to upgrade this new VI3 key. To remain in compliance, use either the vSphere Enterprise 5 key or the downgraded VI3 key.
  • Site Recovery Manager 5 has two different editions: Standard and Enterprise. You can downgrade the Site Recovery Manager 5 Enterprise licenses to previous version, but you cannot downgrade Site Recovery Manager 5 Standard licenses.
  • No edition downgrade.
  • The downgrade view portal may vary depending on Browsers.
  • After downgrading a license key, the original key should not be used in order to remain in compliance.

Downgrading a license key to versions other than VI3

To downgrade a license key to versions other than VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3):
  1. Log in to My VMware.
  2. Select Manage License Keys from the navigation bar.
  3. Select Downgrade License Keys from the available dropdown.
  4. Select one or more folders. All products that you are entitled to downgrade are displayed:

  5. If you have a large number of products or license keys, you can use the By Products tab. To filter products within particular folders, click the Folders dropdown and select a folder. Click Apply.

  6. Select a product, then select a license key.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Select the quantity of licenses that you want to downgrade.

    Note: The quantity you are downgrading must be equal to or less than the available quantity.

  9. Indicate that you have read and understand the warning, then click Confirm.
  10. The downgraded license key is displayed in the dialogue box. Click Downgrade more license keys to continue downgrading more license keys or click Done to return to the license key page.

See Also

This Article Replaces


Update History

01/14/13 - Added note about downgrading from vSphere 5 to VI3 09/06/16 - Added note about not using the original key in order to remain in compliance.

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  • 94 Ratings