Pro Tip: Removing Phantom Entries from vSphere Licensing

Sometimes, if you’ve killed a vSphere object in a less than 100% graceful fashion, you end up with phantom entries in your license screen.


In this case we have a phantom vCenter, but it could equally be an ESXi host etc.

There are a couple of ways to tackle this, but I used JXplorer (

[Disclaimer: At your own risk, do outside of production hours, and make sure you cover yourself with a known good backup!]

  1. Once downloaded, installed and launched, select File -> Connect.
  2. Enter the following details
    • Host: FQDN of your Platform Services Controller (or Load Balanced PSC)
    • Port: 389 or 11711 (unless you have done something non standard)
    • Protocol: LDAP v3
    • Base DN: dc=vsphere,dc=local (replace with yours if you have a custom SSO domain)
    • Security Level: User + Password.
    • Security User DN: will be cn=administrator,cn=users,dc=vsphere,dc=local (again unless you have a custom SSD domain)
    • Security Password: password to match account in Step 6.
  3. Click OK to connect.
  4. Expand Services > LicenseService.
  5. Look for entries starting with AssetEntity with one of the following suffixes
    • vCenters there will be a GUID appended
    • Hosts there will be _host and a GUID
    • For NSX there will be _nsx
  6.  In my case, I have two vCenters, and I need to select the one that matches the phantom vCenter I want to deletejXplorer
  7. Right Click on the relevant AssetEntity and Delete
  8. Restart the VMware License Service
    • SSH into the PSC
    • service-control –stop vmware-cis-license
    • service-control –stop vmware-cis-license
  9. Refresh the License ScreenLicenses

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