How to Reboot vCenter and Restart vCenter Service | Easiest

Restarting VMware vCenter Server helps maintain the health and reliability of the virtualization environment.


By Crystal / Updated on August 16, 2023

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Case: Can I safely restart my Vcenter Server Appliance?

I've got 8 ESXI hosts running on a Cisco UCS chassis. On one of the ESXI hosts I have vcenter running, I access it via http and manage the hosts. Can I safely restart the Vcenter Server Appliance VM without interrupting anything with my esxi hosts?

- Question from Reddit

vCenter Server is a management platform developed by VMware for managing and orchestrating virtualized environments. It is designed to provide administrators with tools to efficiently manage and monitor their virtualized data centers, including virtual machines, servers, storage, and networking resources. So What happens on each host but does not affect VMs if it is unavailable.

Sure, sometimes you have to restart or reboot vCenter based on the following scenarios:

  • Routine Maintenance: Scheduled restarts for maintenance and updates.
  • Performance Issues: Unresponsive or slow vCenter due to resource constraints.
  • Configuration Changes: Major configuration changes requiring a restart.
  • Software Updates: Applying patches or upgrades may require a restart.
  • Network Changes: Network reconfiguration impacting vCenter connectivity.
  • Security Updates: Restart after security-related updates.
  • Resource Exhaustion: Out of memory or disk space issues.

Note: Remember, always consider the potential impact of a restart on your environment and perform necessary backups before making any changes. Rebooting or shutting down a vCenter Server is a crucial task that should be performed carefully to ensure the stability and availability of your virtual infrastructure.

Here, this article will introduce how to reboot vCenter and restart a vCenter Service easily.

how to restart vcenter

How to Reboot vCenter Step by Step

To start the vCenter Server after it has been shut down, you can follow these steps:

1. Log in to the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface as root.

2. On the left-hand side of the interface, select "Hosts and Clusters" to view your data center inventory.

2. In the inventory, locate and click on the vCenter Server instance you want to reboot. Click on the "Actions" menu at the top of the interface.

3. From the drop-down menu, select "Reboot." This will initiate the reboot process of vCenter Server.

select reboot vcenter

4. Confirm your intention to reboot the vCenter Server, and monitor the progress until the server becomes accessible again.

After starting your vCenter after shutdown, you may receive the error of "no healthy upstream" when browsing to the vCenter UI.

Restart vCenter Service via Command-line

If you need to restart vCenter Server services from the command line, you can do so by typing these commands into the terminal.

1. Log in as root through an SSH or console session on the vCenter Server Appliance.

2. Run this command to enable the shell (Note: This command is applicable only for vCenter Server Appliance 6.0):

shell.set --enabled true

3. Run this command to launch the shell:


4. Run this command to change directories to /bin:

cd /bin

To list the vCenter Server Appliance services:

service-control --list

To stop a specific service:

service-control --stop servicename

To stop all services by typing the command:

service-control --stop --all

To start a specific service:

service-control --start servicename

To start all services by typing the command:

service-control --start –all

Whether for routine maintenance, addressing performance issues, applying updates, or resolving unexpected crashes, restarting vCenter can help restore stability and maintain the health of the virtual infrastructure.

However, it's crucial to approach this process with caution. Proper planning, including taking backups of critical data, understanding the potential impacts on connected services and virtual machines, and following best practices, is essential before initiating a vCenter Server restart.

Backup Crucial Data Before Rebooting vCenter

vCenter Server is a powerful and central component managing multiple ESXi virtual machines. However, it does not provide the feature of virtual machine backup. Therefore, you cannot try VMware vCenter backup virtual machine. And that makes backup software the commonly accepted choice to protect VM data, and by far the most convenient.

Here I introduce you to a VMware backup software AOMEI Cyber Backup, it enables you to backup multiple VMs in 3 simple steps. And it offers you the following benefits

Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
Flexible vSphere Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
Multiple Storage Destinations: backup to local drive, or network destinations like Windows share or NAS.
Automated Execution: schedule to automate backups daily, weekly, or monthly with email notifications.
Role Assignment: allows one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges.

aomei cyber backup dashboard

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will show you how to perform vSphere backup and restore via AOMEI Cyber Backup. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

4 easy steps vCenter backup VM via AOMEI Cyber Backup

1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click  > Bind Device.

bind vcenter

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and then set Task NameBackup TypeDeviceTargetSchedule, and Cleanup.

  • Device: batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.
  • Target: select to back up to a local path, or to a network path.
  • Schedule (optional): perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.
  • Cleanup (optional): automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.

start vmware backup

3. Run Backup: Click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately, for restoring, progress checking and schedule changing.

When restoring, you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

restore vmware bcakups


Rebooting vCenter Server is an essential task to ensure proper operation and performance of your virtualized environment in a variety of situations.

You could to be aware of regular maintenance, timely troubleshooting, and staying informed of VMware recommendations and updates will help you build a more efficient and reliable virtualized environment.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.