How to Start, Stop, Restart vCenter Services | 2 Ways

For troubleshooting and maintenance purposes, it is necessary to change the status of VMware vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller services such as VMware Virtual Center Server, VMware vSphere Web Client, or VMware Directory Service.


By Crystal / Updated on June 17, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

What are the vCenter services

vCenter Server provides a centralized platform for management, operation, resource provisioning, and performance evaluation of virtual machines and hosts.

When you deploy the vCenter Server appliance, vCenter Server, the vCenter Server components, and the authentication services are deployed on the same system.

The following services are included in the vCenter Server appliance deployments:

  • The authentication services contain vCenter Single Sign-On, License service, Lookup Service, and VMware Certificate Authority.
  • The vCenter Server group of services contains vCenter Server, vSphere Client, vSphere Auto Deploy, and vSphere ESXi Dump Collector. The vCenter Server appliance also contains the VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager Extension service and the VMware vCenter Lifecycle Manager.

When you want to troubleshoot or maintain the vCenter server, you may need to stop or restart vCenter services. This article covers 2 ways to start/stop/restart vCenter services using vSphere Client and command-line.

restart vcenter services

How to restart vCenter services with 2 ways

In VMware vCenter Server 6.x, VMware recommends to use the vSphere Web Client or Service Control command-line tool to stop, start, or restart vCenter Server and/or Platform Services Controller services.

Way 1. Use vSphere Web Client to restart vCenter

To stop, start, or restart vCenter services using vSphere Web Client:

1. Log in to the vSphere Web Client with a vCenter Single Sign-on administrator account.

2. Navigate to Administration >> Deployment >> System Configuration.

3. Click on Services, and you could see the list of all vCenter services.

4. To view a list of services for a specific node, click Nodes, select the node in question and click the Related Objects tab.

5. Right-click on the service you would like to restart and select Restart (Start/Stop).

select restart vcenter services

Way 2. vCenter restart services with the command-line

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

Note: Detailed information about enabling SSH for VMware vCenter.

2. Run this command to enable the shell:

shell.set --enabled true

Note: This command is only applicable for in vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.

Then launch the shell:


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

cd /bin

4. Run this command to list the vCenter Server services:

service-control –-list

5. Run this command to restart vCenter services:

Start a specific service:

service-control --start servicename

Start all services:

service-control --start –all

To perform a dry run of the command, this displays the actions that command run without executing the actions: service-control --start --all --dry-run

Stop a specific service:

service-control --stop servicename

Stop all services:

service-control --stop --all

With these two methods, you can start, stop, or restart vCenter services at any time especially when you need to perform troubleshooting or maintenance.

If your enterprise environment relies on vCenter Servers, you need to prepare a complete vCenter backup, and choose a reliable VMware backup method.

Backup to protect VMware ESXi VMs from data loss

vCenter Server is a very convenient official platform for centrally managing ESXi virtual environments and large numbers of VMs on it. A single vCenter Server instance can support a maximum of 1,000 hosts, 10,000 powered-on virtual machines and 15,000 registered virtual machines.

However, vCenter Server does not provide the feature of virtual machine backup. And that makes backup software a commonly accepted choice. A professional backup tool is more efficient than the built-in features.

Here I introduce you to a VMware backup software -- AOMEI Cyber Backup. It offers you the following benefits.

Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
Multiple VM 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 or network share destinations.
Automated Execution: create backup schedules to automate backups daily, weekly, or monthly.
Restore Entire VM: restore immediately available VMs from any selected restore points.

dashboard manage view

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

4 Steps to batch backup VMs on vCenter Server

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 device

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type.

vmware esxi backup

3. Set Task NameDeviceTargetSchedule, and Cleanup as needed.

  • Task Name: you can change the task name or use the default name with an ordinal.
  • 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.
  • Archive: Archive backup files to Amazon S3 object storage.

create vm backup


4. 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 progress checking, schedule changing and restoring. It’s easy to make a clone of a virtual machine in the same or another datastore/host, without reinstalling or configuring a new VM by clicking Restore to new location.

restore vm


For large-scale virtual environment of enterprise, it even requires multiple vCenter Servers to work simultaneously.

This article covers 2 ways to restart vCenter services. You are able to restart all vCenter services in vSphere Web Client and if you are familiar with command line, it’s also easy to start/stop/restart vCenter services.

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.