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Increasing VMware ESXi 6 & 6.5 Host Client Session Timeout for Web Interface

With the latest version(s) of VMware ESXi, 6 and 6.5, VMware decided it would be most convenient to automatically logoff sessions every 15 minutes.  So, after 15 minutes of inactivity, you have to log back in to the ESXi Host Client Web Interface, again and again.  I found this extremely annoying.  Especially in a lab environment when testing various features or troubleshooting issues.  Fortunately, this automatic logoff timeout can be increased so it’s not quite so painful.

How to Increase Session Timeout on ESXi 6 & 6.5

To increase the session timeout, all you need to do is change one advanced configuration parameter in the ESXi Host Client Web Interface.

First, log in to the web interface.  After doing so, navigate to Host > Manage > System > Advanced Settings.  Scroll down or search for the UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout key.

 

 

The default value for UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout is 900.  Because this value is in seconds, by default you will be logged out after 15 minutes of activity.  Personally, I would like to set this to 24 hours, but that isn’t possible.

 

VMware has limited the maximum timeout of UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout to 7200 seconds, which is 120 minutes or 2 hours.  Be sure to set the value in seconds.

Right-click on UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout and select “Edit option.”

 

 

Enter a new value and click save.  7200 will get you 2 hours, which is the max.  You will receive an error if you try to set it any higher (I’ve tried).

 

 

After clicking Save, reboot your ESXi server and your settings will go into effect.  I’ve been told a reboot is not required, but YMMV.  I hope you found this guide helpful.  If you have any questions, problems, or concerns, please feel free to post in the comments below.  Thanks!

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Increasing VMware ESXi 6 & 6.5 Host Client Session Timeout for Web Interface

  1. blogthis says:

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for, but unfortunately for me, UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout is missing. My screen for my ESXi 6.0u2 is also slightly different, because I joined it into a datacenter (managed by vCenter 6 Server Appliance). So I figured it would be in VCSA 6.0u2a since it’s controlling my ESXi – but no, it’s also not in its Host > Manage > Settings > Advanced Settings either. I don’t know how to add a completely missing setting like this, but I’d love to add UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout — any ideas?

    Reply
  2. George Horlacher says:

    I set the timeout to 0 and it hasnt logged me off yet…

    Reply
    • Mike Smith says:

      That’s great to know. Are you saying that 0 is basically an infinite timeout? Thanks for reading.

      Mike

      Reply
      • Pol Yil says:

        Yes, 0 = NO timeout provided your browser window remains open.

        Reply
  3. blogthis says:

    Any idea on my issue? The timeout setting in article screenshots does not exist at all in my environment. Thus, it cannot be set.

    Reply
    • Mike Smith says:

      Are you logged into a vSphere Server or directly to the ESXi Embedded Host Client? Thanks for reading and sorry for the delay!

      Mike

      Reply
      • blogthis says:

        The ESXi 6.0u2 Host Client Web Interface. Following exactly as your article describes. I see all settings in the screenshot in your article and in the same order, except this one. It’s as if the moment I joined the ESXi host into the VCSA, it disappears. I presume it’s being moved elsewhere but I cannot find it.

        Reply
        • Krystof says:

          I was looking for the same setting and came here, same issue with 6.0u2
          then I clicked on my login at the top of web ui, client settings, application timeout … few choices but “Off” and longer timeouts were there

          Reply
  4. AveryFreeman says:

    If you want to keep it open indefinitely, just set the timeout to 0 (just like other timeout variables, like the one for the DCUI), save it and and reload the web page. Might want to update the blog post. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • blogthis says:

      Please scroll down in this blog. You’ll see that what you said is utterly impossible in my situation. As I said, UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout is missing completely… Can’t set a variable to 0 if it’s literally not there!

      Reply
  5. Victor Lee says:

    in 6.5 its UserVars.HostClientSessionTimeout

    Reply

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