How to disable snapshots on a VMware Virtual Machine


Hi folks,

Today we will be looking at how to disable snapshots on a VMware Virtual Machine, but before that let me give you a background about the issue.

While I was browsing one of the forums, I came across a question where the user was stating that there was a script that was running in the background, which was taking snapshots of a virtual machine.

The user wasn’t sure as to from where the script was running, he only knew that it was running using a specific account used for the VMware infrastructure.

The only way to figure out more about the issue is to look into the hostd and vpxa logs.

Since the user also mentioned that he did not have any intention of taking snapshots and also there was no need of snapshots for this specific VM in the environment.

Therefore, an alternative workaround was suggested to disable snapshots on the Virtual Machine until they found from where the task was running.

This can be done by altering the snapshot.maxSnapshots parameter of a virtual machine.

Before you can disable snapshots, you will have to first delete any existing snapshots or consolidate them if you are sure that you require the changes.

To disable snapshots of a VMware Virtual Machine, perform the below:

  • Power down the virtual machine from vSphere Web Client.
  • Right-click the virtual machine in the vSphere Web Client and click Edit Settings.
  • Click the Options tab, click General, then select the Configuration Parameters option.
  • Click Add Row. Type these values in the Name and Value columns:

snapshot.MaxSnapshots – 0

  • Click OK to save the changes.
  • Power on the virtual machine.

Now if you trying taking a snapshot of the Virtual Machine, you will be presented with the error stating that you have exceeded the maximum number of permitted snapshots as seen below.

A general system error occurred: Exceeded the maximum number of permitted snapshots.

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!


About Author

I am Adil Arif, working as a Senior Technical Support Engineer at Rubrik as well as an independent blogger and founder of Enterprise Daddy. In my current role, I am supporting infrastructure related to Windows and VMware datacenters.


  1. Just FYI, this does not work on vCenter 6, and probably not on 5.5 as well. When you attempt this the host will time out from vCenter for a bit and then come back and the config change will fail. I don’t recommend testing this on production equipment. Seems to work fine in 5.1 though.

    • Hi Taylor,

      I rechecked this based on your comments, I was able to successfully perform this on a 6.0 test lab.

      Did you check what was going in the VM log file and why the change did not take effect?

      Adil Arif

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