Create your first Windows virtual machine in the Azure portal
This tutorial shows you how easy it is to create a Windows VM in just a few minutes using the Azure portal.
If you don't have an Azure subscription, you can create a free account in just a couple of minutes.
Here's a video walkthrough of this tutorial.
We use a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter image as an example, but that's just one of the many images Azure offers. Your image choices depend on your subscription. For example, desktop images may be available to MSDN subscribers.
Sign in to the Azure portal.
On the Hub menu, click New > Virtual Machines > Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.
On the Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter page, under Select a deployment model, verify that Resource Manager is selected. Click Create.
After you select the image, you can use Azure's default settings for most of the configuration and quickly create the virtual machine.
On the Basics blade, enter a Name for the virtual machine. The name must be 1-15 characters long and it cannot contain special characters.
Enter a User name, and a strong Password that will be used to create a local account on the VM. The local account is used to log on to and manage the VM.
The password must be between 12-123 characters long and have at least one lower case character, one upper case character, one number, and one special character.
Select an existing Resource group or type the name for a new one. Type an Azure datacenter Location such as West US.
When you are done, click OK to continue to the next section.
Choose a VM size and then click Select to continue.
On the Settings blade, you can change the storage and networking options. For a first virtual machine, you can generally accept the default settings. If you selected a virtual machine size that supports it, you can try out Premium Storage by selecting Premium (SSD) under Disk type. When you are done making changes, click OK.
Click Summary to review your choices. When you're done, click OK.
While Azure creates the virtual machine, you can track the progress under Virtual Machines in the hub menu.
On the Hub menu, click Virtual Machines.
Select the virtual machine from the list.
On the blade for the virtual machine, click Connect. This creates and downloads a Remote Desktop Protocol file (.rdp file) that is like a shortcut to connect to your machine. You might want to save the file to your desktop for easy access. Open this file to connect to your VM.
You will get a warning that the .rdp is from an unknown publisher. This is normal. In the Remote Desktop window, click Connect to continue.
In the Windows Security window, type the username and password for the local account that you created when you created the VM. The username is entered as vmname\username, then click OK.
You will get a warning that the certificate cannot be verified. This is normal. Click Yes to verify the identity of the virtual machine and finish logging on.
If you run into trouble when you try to connect, see Troubleshoot Remote Desktop connections to a Windows-based Azure Virtual Machine.
You can now work with the virtual machine just as you would with any other server.
It is a good idea to stop the VM so you don't incur charges when you aren't actually using it. Just click the Stop button and then click Yes.
Just click the Start button to restart the VM when you are ready to use it again.