How to Export your VM Inventory list from vCenter

Time will come when you need a quick inventory of the VMs in your vCenter with their IPs, Computer name, power on status & all these simple things. You might just need that sheet b/c you need to keep an inventory of what you have or just the for the simple cause that the management had asked you for such one. In both cases you need to figure out the quickest and easiest way to do it. Yeah this can be achieved using power shell script or any other scripting language that vSphere support, but let’s keep that to when we require a more extensive inventory that is can not be generated using the GUI of vCenter. One question I repeatedly hear “why is the Export list in vCenter file menu is shadowed and can not be chosen?” Here I will show you the steps to get a simple inventory of your VMs using VMware vCenter GUI & following it will show you how to get the Export list in vCenter file menu in business.

Steps to Export your VM Inventory list from VMware vCenter

1- Open the vSphere Client and connect to your vCenter

2- From the top menu go to View ==> Inventory ==> VMs & Templates

3- From the inventory list on the left side choose the VMs you want to include in your inventory export or choose a top level folder that includes the VMs you want to export

4- Choose the Virtual Machines tab from the the tabs on the top of the right side.

5- You might want to modify the filter to include other items like Virtual machines IPs, Hostname, & the similar.

6- From the top menu go to File => Export => Export list.

7- Choose the format you want to save the list into (CSV, Html, & XML are some of the available format).

Note: You can repeat the above steps for exporting hosts inventory in vCenter and the similar as well!

I hope this help someone save time on generating such inventory list without having to write a single command. For an extra exercise you can try to generate the same with Powershell script and see how much longer it will take you to write such a script :).


  1. Clayton Andrews says

    Nice little tip. Suprising how often people don’t know that you can create filtered lists and export them.
    Another great alternative is RV Tools.

  2. Hi Clayton,

    Thanks for your great contribution. Actually I have never used the RV Tools before, though look quite interesting and will for sure give it a try sometime.


  3. Hi Clayton.
    Thanks for your tutorial.
    i have other question. how can I extract this lists but with the mac adress of each VM.
    Thanks so much

  4. Eiad…we tried our best down here in MENA to extract it for one of our customers in Qatar… but we failed… very useful indeed

  5. Hi Motaz,

    Glad you got to benefit of it. I really miss you guys :).


  6. Thanks for the great advice! Works really well!

  7. Tushar Bhandare says

    How to pull 2nd vNIC details from VC?

  8. I’m running vSphere 5.1.0 and you have to be in “Hosts and Clusters” not “VMs and Templates” for this to work. Just FYI. 🙂

  9. This helped a lot.
    Thanks man 🙂

  10. Ours is a big environment with lot of VMs. This helped me saving my time a lot. Thank you.

  11. lawrence says

    worked for us, but we had a weird issue where we had to scroll through the entire list of virtual machines on the right side and see the “Loading” message over and over before everything would show up on the export. If we didn’t we would get a bunch of blank lines/missing servers on the export.

  12. Thanks lawrence! I had the same issue where it wasn’t exporting the full list. I tried it a couple times, and your hint to scroll down to load all of the vm’s into the display pane prior to exporting the list did the trick. That is some strange behavior but I just wanted to get the output and was so thankful for the bump of direction!

  13. Easy enough in the desktop client. Anybody know how to do this in the web client?

  14. Thanks, very useful

  15. Jelmer de Jong says

    Thanx helped me alot!

  16. I can’t seem to do #6 (File -> Export -> Export List) on the Web client, using Chrome on a Mac? The “File” menu is for Chrome, not VMware in my case.

  17. This repository will help you to Listed all VMs and #Snapshot information by #vCenter with AD or Login/Password credential:

    [VMware Collect]

Speak Your Mind