Try SQL Server in the cloud with an Azure free account

Run Microsoft SQL Server on Azure virtual machines or use Azure SQL Database, a fully managed service

Azure SQL Database, a fully managed service in the cloud

Azure SQL Database offers benefits such as automatic updates and patches, as well as built-in high availability, intelligence, security and full SQL Server compatibility.

SQL Database Managed Instance

Migrate your SQL Server databases without changing your apps and unlock the operational and financial benefits of an intelligent, fully managed service.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

Use your on-premises SQL Server licences with Software Assurance to save up to 30% on SQL Database Managed Instance through Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

SQL Server on virtual machines

Take advantage of cost savings, operating system choice, cloud flexibility, access to database-optimised VMs, hybrid connectivity, and security and compliance.

Learn more about running SQL Server on virtual machines

What do I get?

With your Azure free account, you get all of this – and you won’t be charged until you choose to upgrade.

12 months

of popular free services


$200 credit

to explore Azure for 30 days

$200 credit

to explore Azure for 30 days


Always free

25+ services

Five more Azure services, now free for 12 months

Plus, now get 25 GB of storage free with Azure Cosmos DB.

Azure Load Balancer
Azure Container Registry
Azure Service Bus
Azure Archive Storage
Azure VPN Gateway

Which products are free for 12 months?

These products are free for 12 months, up to the monthly limits. Availability is based on resource and region.

Linux Virtual Machines


750 hours

B1S Standard tier

Create Linux virtual machines with on-demand capacity in seconds.

Windows Virtual Machines


750 hours

B1S Standard tier

Create Windows virtual machines with on-demand capacity in seconds.

Managed Disks


64 GB x 2

P6 solid-state drives (SSD)

Get high-performance, durable block storage for Azure Virtual Machines with simplified management.

Blob Storage


5 GB

locally redundant storage (LRS) hot block

Use massively scalable object storage for any type of unstructured data.

File Storage


5 GB

LRS file storage

Migrate to simple, distributed, cross-platform file storage without changing code.

SQL Database


250 GB

Create an SQL database that delivers intelligence built in.

VPN Gateway NEW


750 hours

VpnGw1 gateway type

Establish secure, cross-premises connectivity.

Load Balancer NEW


750 hours, 15 GB data processing, 5 rules

Standard Load Balancer

Deliver high availability and network performance to your applications.

Azure Cosmos DB NEW


400 RU/s provisioned throughput

With 25 GB of storage

Get a fast NoSQL database with open APIs for any scale.

Service Bus NEW


750 hours, 13 million operations

Standard tier base unit

Get reliable cloud messaging as a service with simple hybrid integration.

Container Registry NEW


1 Standard tier registry

With 100 GB storage and 10 webhooks

Store and manage container images across all types of Azure deployments.

Archive Storage NEW


10 GB LRS storage

10 GB LRS/GRS write and retrieval plus 100 reads

Store and manage rarely accessed data with locally redundant storage (LRS) or geo-redundant storage (GRS).

Which products are always free?

These products are always free, up to the specified amounts. Availability is based on resource and region.

Azure Cosmos DB


400 request units per second

provisioned throughput

Build modern apps with a fast NoSQL database service with open APIs at any scale.

App Service



Web, mobile or API apps

Quickly create powerful apps for any platform or device using your choice of tools, including Node.js and PHP.




requests per month

Process events with a serverless code architecture.

Event Grid



operations per month

Get reliable event delivery at massive scale.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)



Deploy and manage containers using the tools you choose.

DevTest Labs



Enable fast, easy and lean dev-test environments.

What else do I need to know?

Do I pay anything to start with the Azure free account?

No. Starting is free, plus you get a $200 credit which you can spend during the first 30 days.

What happens once I’ve used my $200 free credit or I’m at the end of 30 days?

We’ll notify you so you can decide whether you want to upgrade to pay-as-you-go pricing and remove the spending limit. If you do, you’ll have access to free products.* If you don’t, your account and products will be disabled, and you’ll need to upgrade to resume usage.
* Based on resource and region availability.

What happens at the end of the 12 months of free products?

For 12 months after you upgrade your account, certain amounts of a number of products are free.* After 12 months, you’ll be charged at the standard pay-as-you-go rates.
* Based on resource and region availability.

What do I need to sign up for a free account?

All you need is a phone number, a credit card, and a GitHub account or Microsoft account username (formerly Windows Live ID).

Pay less with Azure

AWS is five times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. Why run them anywhere else?

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

Get personalized guidance and answers to questions you might have whether you’re evaluating the cloud, starting your first project, or migrating to Azure.

Ready when you are – let’s set up your free account