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Deleting an orphaned virtual machine when the Remove option is not available (1011468)

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This article provides steps to delete an orphaned virtual machine. You may want to delete an orphaned virtual machine when you do not have the Remove option in vCenter Server.


To delete an orphaned virtual machine:
  1. Open VMware Infrastructure or vSphere Client and connect to vCenter Server with a user with Administrative rights.
  2. Change the view to the VMs and Templates inventory view.
  3. On the left pane, right-click vCenter Server, click New Folder and provide an alpha-numeric name to the folder.
  4. Click the virtual machine and while holding the left mouse button, drag the virtual machine to the folder created in step 3.
  5. Right-click the folder, and click Remove. The folder and its contents are deleted.

Note: In VMware View source or replica virtual machines, the source and replica files are linked to the pool desktop. Deleting any of these files before deleting the pool breaks all pool desktops. For more information, see Unable to delete the VMware View source or replica virtual machine (1030568).

Additional Information

If these steps do not resolve the issue, there may be a file lock on the virtual machine files by an ESX host. To determine if an ESX host has a lock on the virtual machine files, see Identifying the ESX host that is locking the file section in Investigating virtual machine file locks in ESX/ESXi(10051).
If a host is maintaining a lock on the virtual machine files, connect directly to the host with the vSphere Client as root to determine the virtual machine status and try to power off and remove the virtual machine from inventory.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 191 Ratings