Configure automatic shutdown of VMs for a lab account


The information in this article applies to early versions of Azure Lab Services prior to the August 2022 Update. Newer updates to the service build upon lab plans instead of lab accounts.

As part of the August 2022 update, Azure Lab Services lab plans replace lab accounts. For new customers, learn how you can get started by creating a lab plan. For existing lab account customers we recommend that you transition from lab accounts to lab plans.

As of February 21st, 2023, you're no longer able to create a Lab Account to use the service. If you have a new subscription, create a Lab plan instead to start using the service.

If you already have a Lab account, you can continue to use it and if you need additional lab accounts, as an exception, you can submit an Azure support ticket.

You can enable several auto-shutdown cost control features to proactively prevent additional costs when the virtual machines are not being actively used. The combination of the following three automatic shutdown and disconnect features catches most of the cases where users accidentally leave their virtual machines running:

  • Automatically disconnect users from virtual machines that the OS deems idle.
  • Automatically shut down virtual machines when users disconnect.
  • Automatically shut down virtual machines that are started but users don't connect.

Review more details about the auto-shutdown features in the Maximize cost control with auto-shutdown settings section.


Linux labs only support automatic shut down when users disconnect and when VMs are started but users don't connect. Support also varies depending on specific distributions and versions of Linux. Shutdown settings are not supported by the Data Science Virtual Machine - Ubuntu image.

Enable automatic shutdown

  1. In the Azure portal navigate to the Lab Account page.

  2. Select Labs settings on the left menu.

  3. Select the auto-shutdown setting(s) that is appropriate for your scenario.

    Automatic shutdown setting at lab account

    The setting(s) apply to all the labs created in the lab account. A lab creator (educator) can override this setting at the lab level. The change to this setting at the lab account will only affect labs that are created after the change is made.

    To disable the setting(s), uncheck the checkbox(s) on this page.

Next steps

To learn about how a lab owner can configure or override this setting at the lab level, see Configure automatic shutdown of VMs for a lab