Fixed: Cannot Expand Virtual Disk In vSphere Greyed Out

Expanding a virtual disk serves the purpose of increasing the storage capacity available to a virtual machine.


By Crystal / Updated on August 24, 2023

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When You Cannot Expand Virtual Disk in vSphere

Expanding a virtual disk becomes necessary when the existing disk space is running low and there's a need for more room to accommodate additional data, applications, or system processes. By expanding the virtual disk, you ensure that the virtual machine can continue to function optimally without being constrained by storage limitations.

However, you cannot extend virtual disk in vSphere greyed out due to one of the following issues:

  • Virtual disks with snapshots cannot be expanded. Ensure that there are no active snapshots on the virtual machine (VM) before attempting to expand the disk.
  • There is not enough free space on the datastore where the virtual machine virtual disk resides.
  • You do not have sufficient permission to perform the disks expansion task.
  • Underlying datastore is not healthy or not connected well with ESXi hosts.

When faced with the inability to expand a virtual disk in vSphere, you can try these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.


How to Expand the vDisk in VMware vSphere Greyed Out

If you're facing the issue of not being able to extend a virtual disk in vSphere due to snapshots, you can follow these steps to resolve the problem:

1. Check if there are any unnecessary or old snapshots associated with the virtual machine. Having snapshots can sometimes prevent disk extension. If possible, consolidate or delete the snapshots.

✍Note: Snapshots and backup processes can lock virtual machine files, including the virtual disk. Ensure that no backup or snapshot-related tasks are actively running, and that no files are locked. You might need to wait for these processes to complete or manually cancel them.

2. Right click VM >> Snapshots >> Manage Snapshots. Then you can delete the unnecessary snapshots.

manage snapshots

3. After deleting the snapshot, you can extend the virtual hard disk again.

expand virtual disk vsphere

Remember to exercise caution when dealing with snapshots and disk operations, as they directly impact your VM's stability and data integrity. Always back up VMware data before making significant changes to your virtual machines.

Backup VMware Virtual Machines Before Big Changes

Professional VM Backup software captures point-in-time state of the entire VMs without resource contention, and creates independent backups that allow for fast and complete VM recovery.

Therefore, I'd like to present you a VMware backup software - AOMEI Cyber Backup. It’s a centralized and easy enterprise backup solution for virtual machines and SQL databases. And it includes the benefits I mentioned above, or to be more specific:

✧ Agentless Backup: Create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi VMs.
✧ Multiple Storage Destinations: Back up to local folders, network shared folders and NAS shared folders (folders shared via the SMB protocol).
✧ Automated Execution: Automate virtual machine protection and notified by email.
✧ Restore from Any Point: Restore entire VM from any backed up restore points.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Here, I will demonstrate how to quickly schedule an automatic backup task of multiple ESXi VMs. You can click the following button to download the 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.

Steps to Backup VMware vSphere VMs with AOMEI Cyber Backup

1. Bind Devices: Launch AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host as the source device. And then clickBind Device.

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task + Create New Task, and then set it up according to your needs.

  • Device: cover multiple VMs on the host in one backup task.
  • Target: selecting to back up to a local path, or to a network path. Used paths will be saved in Favorite Storage for handy selection.
  • Schedule: choosing to perform full, differential or incremental backup, and automate execution daily, weekly or monthly according to the frequency you specified.
  • Backup cleanup: Configure a retention policy to auto delete old backup files and save storage space.


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

To create a new VM, you can choose Restore to New Location to restore a virtual machine in the same or another datastore/host directly, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.



When your virtual disk in vSphere greyed out, it's important to approach the problem systematically. The issue can arise from factors like VM power status, active snapshots, available storage, permissions, and ongoing operations. Also, consult VMware's official resources and support for guidance.

By combining careful action with backups, you can effectively resolve issues and maintain a smooth-running virtual 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.