How to reclaim unused disk space in esxi 6.7?

Lotfi BOUCHERIT used Ask the Experts™
I would like to know how i can reclaim unused disk space from a vmdk file of a virtual machine which is hosted in ESXi 6.7.
Thank you in advance,
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

If the space was all allocated to the machine, you can use VMware Converter to take the existing machine as input and an new smaller machine as output.

Here is a support article to assist you.

(Dell owns VMware)
Lotfi BOUCHERITSystem administrator


Thank you for your help,
It's kinda huge vm, and this solution won't help me
In previous versions, it existed the ability to update the disk descriptor to reduce its capacity, but the same procedure, is not helping in this version.
I recap, the procedure said:
  • Connect through ssh to the esxi
  • navigate to the vm path
  • vi vm.vmdk
  • Here, just change the vmdk size, which is written as number of 512k blocks, and that's it

But in version 6.7, the vm.vmdk file, does not have the same syntax and i cannot figure out the line where the disk volume is written.
Thank you
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
You are referring to this method

HOW TO: Shrink a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) in 15 minutes

(unsupported and it's a hack!)

Use VMware Converter, the method you are using is not supported method.

see by EE article step by step tutorial instructions with screenshots (also valid for 6.7)

Part 13: HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

The maximum size for Version 6 is 2 TB.  Is your machine bigger than that

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