Jun 10

“Move” button in Datastore Browser Copies in vSphere 5.5

Yet another reason to get comfortable and start using the vSphere Web-Client. It appears that in vSphere 5.5 if you are using the c# client and decide to “move” a folder or items using the ‘move’ icon, vSphere will actually create a copy of the files at the destination folder until all data exists at the destination, at which time it will remove the files from the source folder.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, however if you do not know that this happens, it can put you in a very sticky situation if you try to do a move and are tight on disk space. Let me explain:

If your datastore is 220GB and 218GB used (cutting it kinda close, right?) Well, let’s say you have an ISO that you have in the parent directory and want to move it into another folder on the same datastore. In the case below, the SDT.ISO is 812MB. If I were to use the “Move to” feature in the c# client, it would create another 812MB file in the target folder, thereby increasing my datastore used capacity from 218GB to 219GB / 220GB. Once the copy completes, it will delete the original SDT.ISO and the datastore used capacity will then drop back down to 218GB.

Screenshot 2014-06-10 09.11.46

Even though this says “Moving 1 file(s)” it is actually creating a copy first.

Screenshot 2014-06-10 09.12.33








So, If you are running tight on disk space in your datastore, what is the best solution for moving files around? it’s the vSphere Web-Client!

This issue seems to only occur when using the c# on 5.5 and does not affect the Web Client at all. a Move through the Web Client is a straight out “move”.

Just one more reason to push yourself toward using the Web Client going forward.


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  1. David

    Hi thanks for the post. Interesting thing: with vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 the option to move a file from one datastore to another is not available… However it’s there in the C# client that I am using now. In fact the only thing I can do in my environment is to download the file. Am I missing something?

    1. Johnny

      You’re most likely “missing” another datastore to move the file/folder to since that can only be done between datastores.

      I’m beta testing VSphere v6 and the move option is visible and available when browsing a datastore (I have two datastores).

      1. Thoralf

        Maybe it is available in version 6 but in version 5.5 it is not visible. I only can download and upload files while i can move AND copy/paste files across datastores, and across data centers with the C# client. Considering that i work from home office connected with a 6Mbit line it would be a pain in the …. to copy an OS DVD image to another server/datacenter with the Web Client. There are still no good reasons in 5.5 for the Web Client except the better VMRC ( and the HW version 10 ) .

  2. Chris

    Note that Moving a folder using the C# still works as expected (moving pointers and not copying/deleting the files)

  3. Matthew Fletcher

    vSphere Web Client 6 actually implements a ‘move’ as copy-then-delete as well, so there is no difference.

    I can see this beacuse i get out of space messages on datastores that should not be a problem if there was a real move operation.

    Yes i used ‘Move-To’ from vSphere 6.

    1. Brian Graf

      You are correct if talking about vSphere 6.0. in vSphere 5.5 that was not the case.

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