Quickstart: Set and retrieve a key from Azure Key Vault using Azure CLI

In this quickstart, you create a key vault in Azure Key Vault with Azure CLI. Azure Key Vault is a cloud service that works as a secure secrets store. You can securely store keys, passwords, certificates, and other secrets. For more information on Key Vault, review the Overview. Azure CLI is used to create and manage Azure resources using commands or scripts. Once that you've completed that, you will store a key.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create an Azure free account before you begin.


  • This quickstart requires version 2.0.4 or later of the Azure CLI. If using Azure Cloud Shell, the latest version is already installed.

Create a resource group

A resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. Use the az group create command to create a resource group named myResourceGroup in the eastus location.

az group create --name "myResourceGroup" --location "EastUS"

Create a key vault

Use the Azure CLI az keyvault create command to create a Key Vault in the resource group from the previous step. You will need to provide some information:

  • Key vault name: A string of 3 to 24 characters that can contain only numbers (0-9), letters (a-z, A-Z), and hyphens (-)


    Each key vault must have a unique name. Replace <your-unique-keyvault-name> with the name of your key vault in the following examples.

  • Resource group name: myResourceGroup.

  • The location: EastUS.

az keyvault create --name "<your-unique-keyvault-name>" --resource-group "myResourceGroup" --enable-rbac-authorization

The output of this command shows properties of the newly created key vault. Take note of these two properties:

  • Vault Name: The name you provided to the --name parameter.
  • Vault URI: In this example, the Vault URI is https://<your-unique-keyvault-name>.vault.azure.net/. Applications that use your vault through its REST API must use this URI.

Add a key to Key Vault

To add a key to the vault, you just need to take a couple of additional steps. This key could be used by an application.

Type this command to create a key called ExampleKey :

az keyvault key create --vault-name "<your-unique-keyvault-name>" -n ExampleKey --protection software

You can now reference this key that you added to Azure Key Vault by using its URI. Use https://<your-unique-keyvault-name>.vault.azure.net/keys/ExampleKey to get the current version.

To view previously stored key:

az keyvault key show --name "ExampleKey" --vault-name "<your-unique-keyvault-name>"

Now, you've created a Key Vault, stored a key, and retrieved it.

Clean up resources

Other quickstarts and tutorials in this collection build upon this quickstart. If you plan to continue on to work with subsequent quickstarts and tutorials, you may wish to leave these resources in place.

When no longer needed, you can use the Azure CLI az group delete command to remove the resource group and all related resources:

az group delete --name "myResourceGroup"

Next steps

In this quickstart, you created a Key Vault and stored a key in it. To learn more about Key Vault and how to integrate it with your applications, continue on to these articles.