What is the Azure portal?

The Azure portal is a web-based, unified console that lets you create and manage all your Azure resources. With the Azure portal, you can manage your Azure subscription using a graphical user interface. You can build, manage, and monitor everything from simple web apps to complex cloud deployments in the portal. For example, you can set up a new database, increase the compute power of your virtual machines, and monitor your monthly costs. You can review all available resources, and use guided wizards to create new ones.

The Azure portal is designed for resiliency and continuous availability. It has a presence in every Azure datacenter. This configuration makes the Azure portal resilient to individual datacenter failures and helps avoid network slowdowns by being close to users. The Azure portal updates continuously, and it requires no downtime for maintenance activities. You can access the Azure portal with any supported browser.

In this topic, you learn about the different parts of the Azure portal.

Azure Home

By default, the first thing you see after you sign in to the portal is Azure Home. This page compiles resources that help you get the most from your Azure subscription. We include links to free online courses, documentation, core services, and useful sites for staying current and managing change for your organization. For quick and easy access to work in progress, we also show a list of your most recently visited resources.

Portal elements and controls

The portal menu and page header are global elements that are always present in the Azure portal. These persistent features are the "shell" for the user interface associated with each individual service or feature. The header provides access to global controls. The working pane for a resource or service may also have a resource menu specific to that area.

The figure below labels the basic elements of the Azure portal, each of which are described in the following table. In this example, the current focus is a virtual machine, but the same elements generally apply, no matter what type of resource or service you're working with.

Screenshot showing the full screen portal view and a key to UI elements.

Screenshot showing the portal menu and a key to UI elements.

Key Description
1 Page header. Appears at the top of every portal page and holds global elements.
2 Global search. Use the search bar to quickly find a specific resource, a service, or documentation.
3 Global controls. Like all global elements, these controls persist across the portal. Global controls include Cloud Shell, Notifications, Settings, Support + Troubleshooting, and Feedback.
4 Your account. View information about your account, switch directories, sign out, or sign in with a different account.
5 Portal menu. This global element can help you to navigate between services. Sometimes referred to as the sidebar. (Items 10 and 11 in this list appear in this menu.)
6 Resource menu. Many services include a resource menu to help you manage the service. You may see this element referred to as the service menu, or sometimes as the left pane. The commands you see are contextual to the resource or service that you're using.
7 Command bar. These controls are contextual to your current focus.
8 Working pane. Displays details about the resource that is currently in focus.
9 Breadcrumb. You can use the breadcrumb links to move back a level in your workflow.
10 + Create a resource. Master control to create a new resource in the current subscription, available in the Azure portal menu. You can also find this option on the Home page.
11 Favorites. Your favorites list in the Azure portal menu. To learn how to customize this list, see Add, remove, and sort favorites.

Portal menu

The Azure portal menu lets you quickly get to key functionality and resource types. You can choose a default mode for the portal menu: flyout or docked.

When the portal menu is in flyout mode, it's hidden until you need it. Select the menu icon to open or close the menu.

Screenshot of the Azure portal menu in flyout mode.

If you choose docked mode for the portal menu, it will always be visible. You can collapse the menu to provide more working space.

Screenshot of the Azure portal menu in docked mode.

You can customize the favorites list that appears in the portal menu.


Dashboards provide a focused view of the resources in your subscription that matter most to you. We've given you a default dashboard to get you started. You can customize this dashboard to bring the resources you use frequently into a single view.

You can create other dashboards for your own use, or publish customized dashboards and share them with other users in your organization. For more information, see Create and share dashboards in the Azure portal.

As noted earlier, you can set your startup page to Dashboard if you want to see your most recently used dashboard when you sign in to the Azure portal.

Get started

If you're a new subscriber, you'll have to create a resource before there's anything to manage. Select + Create a resource from the portal menu or Home page to view the services available in the Azure Marketplace. You'll find hundreds of applications and services from many providers here, all certified to run on Azure.

To view all available services, select All services from the sidebar.


Often, the quickest way to get to a resource, service, or documentation is to use Search in the global header.

Next steps