vCenter Server Appliance: ROOT password expired (6.x)

When you setup Vmware Vcenter Server Appliance , it will default expires your root password for it, if you do not schedule a reset, it will eventually lock you out, showing this, when you login to http://vcenter.domain.local:5480:

This message will show if the password is expired, and you typed the correct old root password, if you did type a wrong password you will get:

How to fix:

  1. Launch remote/web console to your VCSA by logging on to the vSphere ESXi server that is hosting it.
  2. Press F2 to configure your vCenter appliance
  3. When prompted, type in your root password (YES – the one’s that exiredv ;))
  4. You will se an option to change root password from here, but it will not work, because it’s expired!!.
  5. Go to “troubleshooting mode options” and enable BASH and enable SSH
  6. Connect to your VCSA using SSH with ex. Putty – logging on with root and your expired root password.
  7. Type “shell” and press enter
  8. type “passwd” and press enter
  9. Type the new root password twice here.
  10. Verify it works by opening the management website again on port 5480 to your vCenter server and log on.

Prevent the root password from expiring again

Change as needed 🙂


  1. Preetam Zare

    Thanks for writing this article. It saved hour of life.

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Preetam

    Hallo Martin,
    did you get email before password is expiring
    At least I do not get any emails on it.

    1. Martin (Post author)

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