How to reset vCenter Orchestrator’s Configuration password back to the default

Recently, I upgraded one of my vSphere environments from vSphere 5.5 GA to 5.5 Update 1b. It all went smoothly and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Well, except for when I tried to use vCenter Orchestrator. The service was down and trying to start it, didn’t work. It was as if it was in its unconfigured state.

Thinking of checking the configuration, I tried to log into the configuration page and was hit by the following message:

Login failed: User/password mismatch or account temporarily blocked after too many unsuccessful attempts

vCO Password Message

Now that was unusual because I was absolutely sure about the password and I also knew that Orchestrator was working just before the upgrade – well because I checked it! Just to make sure, I also checked the default password and it also failed in the same way. That was a bit of an issue as how could I possibly fix the service if I can’t get into the configuration!

I was kinda in a hurry so after spending a few minutes not finding a way in, I decided to reset the password. As the process is not that well-known, I thought I should just quickly blog about it so that people can find it easily if needed.

The process is as follows:

  1. Go to <Install Directory>\VMware\Infrastructure\Orchestrator\configuration\conf
  2. Find the file “” (or “” if your system has been around for a while) and make a copy of it as a backup.
  3. Edit the file and replace whatever is in there with either vmware=92963abd36c896b93a36b8e296ff3387 OR vmware=SHA512WithSalt\:GZ5wTW6Ni5x7\:wNCp8I8zHv7GQItrKDRjAgKsddjD4GUZ6nrOYhuEl3D+x4BT5Xs1KL8f/R2T3K2nYPzMwVTW9E9mmbvESAU3ww\=\=
  4. Save the file and restart the vCenter Orchestrator Configuration service.

I actually used the first string as that’s what I knew from olden days but the string has changed since so try either one of them.

Once done, you should be able to log into the page using the default combination of username and password. It will go through the default behaviour of getting you to change the password as usual and you should gain your access back.

If, like mine, your environment has been upgraded year after year as the different versions came out then the path mentioned above may not be valid. Mine was in a different location too. Just do a search for the file from the “Orchestrator” level folder; there should only be one of those files under the structure.

Hope this helps!

By |2016-12-11T15:25:03+00:00July 16th, 2014|How To, vCenter, Virtualization, VMware, vSphere|8 Comments

About the Author:

Ather Beg is a technology and virtualisation blogger and is Chief Virtualogist at Virtualogists Ltd, which is a consultancy focusing on virtualised solutions. Ather has worked in IT for over 20 years and contributes his findings on this blog. In addition to holding several industry-related certifications, he has also been awarded vExpert status by VMware.


  1. rick August 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM - Reply

    how did you set up your workstation environment? can you email me in regards to that?

    • Ather August 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM - Reply

      Hi Rick,

      I don’t have my setup process documented because it’s not worth doing really for a lab but I just tend to follow installation/administration guides for the products I need to install. If you have issues building a particular setup and I’ve worked with those or similar products, I can definitely try to help with any queries, if that helps?


  2. Emmanuel September 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM - Reply

    Well, and then what’s the new root password?

  3. Jonathan Medd April 21, 2015 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    Thanks buddy, worked a treat 🙂

    • Ather Beg April 21, 2015 at 11:55 AM - Reply

      Glad to be of assistance, my friend! 🙂

  4. aenagy December 16, 2015 at 10:39 PM - Reply

    What is the path for the appliance version of Orchestrator?

    • Ather Beg December 17, 2015 at 5:48 PM - Reply


      As far as I remember, it’s “/etc/vco/configuration/”

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