Create your first Windows virtual machine in the Azure portal
This tutorial shows you how easy it is to create a Windows virtual machine (VM) in just a few minutes, by using the Azure portal.
If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.
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, some desktop images are 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 blade, in Select a deployment model, verify that Resource Manager is selected. Click Create.
After you select the image, you can use the default settings 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 sign in to and manage the VM.
The password must be 8-123 characters long and meet three out of the four following complexity requirements: one lower case character, one upper case character, one number, and one special character. See more about username and password requirements.
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 network options. For this tutorial, accept the default settings. If you selected a virtual machine size that supports it, you can try Azure Premium Storage by selecting Premium (SSD) in Disk type. When you're done making changes, click OK.
Click Summary to review your choices. When you see the Validation passed message, click OK.
While Azure creates the virtual machine, you can track the progress in Virtual Machines on 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 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 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 in to 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 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 Stop and then click Yes.
Click the Start button to restart the VM when you're ready to use it again.
You can experiment with your new VM by installing IIS. This tutorial also shows how to open port 80 to incoming web traffic using a network security group (NSG).
If you're interested in automating deployments, see Create a Windows virtual machine by using a Resource Manager template.