An introduction to the Microsoft Azure portal

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure portal (sometimes referred to as the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal). The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services.

This article describes how to access the Microsoft Azure portal. It also very briefly describes how to navigate the features contained within the portal. Due to the size and complexity of the portal, a detailed description is beyond the scope of this article, but reference is given to on line help.


Before accessing the portal, you must first have a valid email address and Microsoft Azure password. If you do not have these, then contact your manager.

Your Microsoft Azure portal password is the same password that you use to access your Microsoft Office 365 application.


Accessing the Azure portal

To log in to the Microsoft Azure portal, proceed as follows.

  1. Open a Windows browser and go to

The following screen appears.

  1. Click on your account name.

You're redirected to a login screen.

  1. Enter your password and click Sign in.

You are now logged in to the Microsoft Azure portal.

To log out of the portal, click on  your username in the top right hand corner of the display, then click Sign out.


Introducing the Azure portal

A full description of the Azure portal is beyond the scope of this document. However, the portal contains a short (4.44 minutes) and informative introductory video, to guide new users through some of the features. The Azure online help provides more comprehensive information. In addition, and where appropriate, individual Cloud Direct knowledge articles may be created to guide users through specific tasks using the portal. This section describes how to access the introductory video, and how to access the online help.

Accessing the introductory video

To access the introductory video, Get started with Azure, proceed as follows.

  1. Click on the Microsoft Azure title to open the Dashboard.

The Dashboard is highly configurable, to meet the needs of any user. Initially it will include a section entitle Get Started.

  1. In the Get Started section, click on Azure Portal.

The following page opens, containing one or more video links.

  1. At the bottom of the Get started with Azure video graphic, optionally, click the Full Screen icon, then click the Play icon to start the video.

On your computer, ensure you have the loudspeaker, or headphones, switched on, and the volume set at a suitable level for the audio delivery.

  1. Adjust volume at any time by dragging the blue slider volume control in the bottom right hand corner of the display


Accessing the online help

The Azure online help provides more comprehensive information regarding features provided by the portal. To access the online help, proceed as follows.

  1. On the top menu bar, click the Help icon then, from the dropdown menu, click Help + support.

The Help + support page opens. The Help section contains links to:

  • Documentation – Azure tutorials, whitepapers, and how-to articles.
  • MSDN – Information and discussion by Microsoft and the community.
  • Stack Overflow - Questions and answers on a wide range of Azure programming topics.

The Documentation section includes the following useful links:

  • Documentation Center – Access hundreds, perhaps thousands, of technical articles covering all aspects of Azure.

  • Getting Started – Access a small number of short (5 minute) videos explaining how to get started with Azure in areas such as Virtual Machines, Web Apps, Data, or Serverless Computing.

  • Blog – Join a blog to discuss issues and news with the Azure community.

  • Training and certification – A link to the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) where you can access over 150 virtual learning videos covering everything from a basic overview to deep technical training.

  • SDKs and Tools – Download a number of Azure Developer tools to help build, debug, deploy, diagnose, and manage multi-platform, scalable apps and services.