How to clear alarms in vSphere vCenter 4

Posted by on April 22, 2010 in vCenter Server, VMware | 8 comments

I know this would seem like an easy thing and you might not give it a second thought. But if you’ve ever had an alarm that just wont clear and the virtual machine is no longer suffering from the event that caused it. Then you might benefit from the following suggestions that I came across. As always I recommend that you investigate each alarm and make sure that your are not ignoring any serious issues before clearing any alarms.

Sure alarms can alert you to some pretty serious events, but many are triggered by short term or non-reoccurring events. You might get an event for excessive CPU utilization due to something crazy happening on a Windows server. It passes or was dealt with by the SA and does not return. But that nagging alarm keeps staring you down each time you visit vCenter. Sure you have acknowledged the alarm and plenty of time has passed without a re-occurrence. But that little red diamond alarm still remains.

Option #1 is the simplest way and will not cause any interruptions to any tasks. This method will clear the alarms but it will clear them for all hosts, VMs, datastores or whatever you are clearing the alarm for. Also you must do this at the level that the alarm was created on, for example if the alarm was created at the Datacenter level then it will clear the alarm for every object in that Datacenter for the specific alarm that you are modifying. Once you located the correct alarm at the proper level you need to edit the alarm and uncheck the Enable this Alarm setting. Give it a few seconds for the command to complete then you can re-edit the alarm and enable it again. This will clear all occurrences of this alarm at this level and below.

Option #2 is a more manual way but will also only clear alarms on a specific host. With this method you need to be able to restart services on the host. I will usually just use Putty and SSH to the host and run from the command line. You the command that I have listed just below to restart the VPXA service and this should clear All alarms on this ESX host. Just be sure that you have looked at the cause of all alarms for this host before clearing them.

# service vmware-vpxa restart

If there are any other good options for clearing these alarms feel free to drop a note in the comments and I will update the post.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. Good solution!
    I’ve tried first and works perfectly! Thanks!

  2. Maybe you should add that the connection to the server get´s lost for a few seconds if you try the second one… clears the alarms of the hosts, but not the datastore alarms. The first option helps for this problem.

    To check if maschines are running during a lost connection of vcenter you could try “vm-support -x”, it is important to use a small x instead a big X

  3. Pretty annoying that there isn’t just a ‘Clear alarm’ option when you right-click it. I’ll have to see if that’s available in vSpehere 5.

  4. Thanks a lot this has been annoying me for a while.

  5. Thanks for the tip. I hadn’t thought of it.

  6. We are running Vsphere 4 and you can just right clikc the triggered alarm and set it to green and it will clear.

    • Thanks. Very helpful!

  7. Thanks. Option #1 worked for me on 4.1.0 (Build 345043)


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