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Using Work Accounts with Visual Studio Subscription

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



  • A work or school account is an identity created through Azure Active Directory or another Microsoft cloud service, such as Microsoft 365. A work account typically uses an organization’s custom domain name or company name, such as These are created by an organization’s administrator to enable a member of the organization access to Microsoft cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Intune or Microsoft 365. To learn about the process of administering work accounts by the organization’s administrator please take a look at the FAQ below.

    A Microsoft account (MSA) is an account created by a user for personal use and is the new name for what used to be called “Windows Live ID”. The Microsoft account is the combination of an email address and a password that a user uses to sign in to all consumer-oriented Microsoft products and cloud services such as Outlook (Hotmail), Messenger, OneDrive, MSN, or Xbox LIVE. Your Microsoft account is created and stored in the Microsoft consumer identity account system that's run by Microsoft.

  • Yes. If your organization assigned your Visual Studio subscription to your work account, then that’s the email address you’ll use to sign into your subscription. You can read about the process for signing into your Visual Studio subscription with a work account in our docs. Or, if you have already signed in using a Microsoft account (MSA), you can add an alternate account to your subscription to allow you to sign in with your work account identity to the subscription, as well as to other subscription benefits like Azure and Azure DevOps. Read the Visual Studio subscription docs article about adding an alternate account for more information.

  • If a subscriber activates their Azure dev/test individual credits using a work account this associates the individual azure subscription role based access controls with organization identities from the organization’s Azure Active directory. This enables the developer to maintain the same identity as their organization for their individual credit subscription.

  • New or existing Visual Studio subscribers who have not yet activated their Azure dev/test individual credit can activate the credits using their work account in the Visual Studio subscriber portal.

    If you’ve already activated your Azure dev/test individual credits and would like to transfer the Azure subscription from your Microsoft account to your work account, contact Microsoft Azure Customer Support.


    1. The administrator signs up as an organization to a Microsoft cloud service such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Intune or Microsoft 365.
    2. A cloud based tenant is provisioned automatically in Azure Active Directory to represent the organization.
    3. Once this tenant has been provisioned, the administrator issues work accounts to each one of its members.
  • Visual Studio subscribers can activate their Azure dev/test individual credits with a work account or Microsoft account by simply selecting the “Activate” button on the Azure credit tile and following the prompts from the Visual Studio subscriber portal. For detailed steps including screenshots, check out our docs article about activating Azure credits.

  • With clear policy and guidance, organizations can reduce the likelihood of this happening.

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