Quickstart: Upload, download, and list blobs with PowerShell

Use the Azure PowerShell module to create and manage Azure resources. You can create or manage Azure resources from the PowerShell command line or in scripts. This guide describes using PowerShell to transfer files between local disk and Azure Blob storage.


To access Azure Storage, you'll need an Azure subscription. If you don't already have a subscription, then create a free account before you begin.

You will also need the Storage Blob Data Contributor role to read, write, and delete Azure Storage containers and blobs.


We recommend that you use the Azure Az PowerShell module to interact with Azure. See Install Azure PowerShell to get started. To learn how to migrate to the Az PowerShell module, see Migrate Azure PowerShell from AzureRM to Az.

This quickstart requires the Azure PowerShell module Az version 0.7 or later. Run Get-InstalledModule -Name Az -AllVersions | select Name,Version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install Azure PowerShell module.

Sign in to Azure

Sign in to your Azure subscription with the Connect-AzAccount command and follow the on-screen directions.


If you don't know which location you want to use, you can list the available locations. Display the list of locations by using the following code example and find the one you want to use. This example uses eastus. Store the location in a variable and use the variable so you can change it in one place.

Get-AzLocation | Select-Object -Property Location
$Location = 'eastus'

Create a resource group

Create an Azure resource group with New-AzResourceGroup. A resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed.

$ResourceGroup = 'MyResourceGroup'
New-AzResourceGroup -Name $ResourceGroup -Location $Location

Create a storage account

Create a standard, general-purpose storage account with LRS replication by using New-AzStorageAccount. Next, get the storage account context that defines the storage account you want to use. When acting on a storage account, reference the context instead of repeatedly passing in the credentials. Use the following example to create a storage account called mystorageaccount with locally redundant storage (LRS) and blob encryption (enabled by default).

$StorageHT = @{
  ResourceGroupName = $ResourceGroup
  Name              = 'mystorageaccount'
  SkuName           = 'Standard_LRS'
  Location          =  $Location
$StorageAccount = New-AzStorageAccount @StorageHT
$Context = $StorageAccount.Context

Create a container

Blobs are always uploaded into a container. You can organize groups of blobs like the way you organize your files on your computer in folders.

Set the container name, then create the container by using New-AzStorageContainer. The container name in this example is quickstartblobs.

$ContainerName = 'quickstartblobs'
New-AzStorageContainer -Name $ContainerName -Context $Context

Upload blobs to the container

Blob storage supports block blobs, append blobs, and page blobs. VHD files that back IaaS VMs are page blobs. Use append blobs for logging, such as when you want to write to a file and then keep adding more information. Most files stored in Blob storage are block blobs.

To upload a file to a block blob, get a container reference, then get a reference to the block blob in that container. Once you have the blob reference, you can upload data to it by using Set-AzStorageBlobContent. This operation creates the blob if it doesn't exist, or overwrites the blob if it exists.

The following examples upload Image001.jpg and Image002.png from the D:\Images folder on the local disk to the container you created.

# upload a file to the default account (inferred) access tier
$Blob1HT = @{
  File             = 'D:\Images\Image001.jpg'
  Container        = $ContainerName
  Blob             = "Image001.jpg"
  Context          = $Context
  StandardBlobTier = 'Hot'
Set-AzStorageBlobContent @Blob1HT
 # upload another file to the Cool access tier
 $Blob2HT = @{
  File             = 'D:\Images\Image002.jpg'
  Container        = $ContainerName
  Blob             = 'Image002.png'
  Context          = $Context
  StandardBlobTier = 'Cool'
 Set-AzStorageBlobContent @Blob2HT
# upload a file to a folder to the Archive access tier
$Blob3HT = @{
  File             = 'D:\Images\FolderName\Image003.jpg'
  Container        = $ContainerName
  Blob             = 'FolderName/Image003.jpg'
  Context          = $Context
  StandardBlobTier = 'Archive'
Set-AzStorageBlobContent @Blob3HT

Upload as many files as you like before continuing.

List the blobs in a container

Get a list of blobs in the container by using Get-AzStorageBlob. This example shows just the names of the blobs uploaded.

Get-AzStorageBlob -Container $ContainerName -Context $Context |
  Select-Object -Property Name

Download blobs

Download the blobs to your local disk. For each blob you want to download, set the name and call Get-AzStorageBlobContent to download the blob.

This example downloads the blobs to D:\Images\Downloads on the local disk.

# Download first blob
$DLBlob1HT = @{
  Blob        = 'Image001.jpg'
  Container   = $ContainerName
  Destination = 'D:\Images\Downloads\'
  Context     = $Context
Get-AzStorageBlobContent @DLBlob1HT

# Download another blob
$DLBlob2HT = @{
  Blob        = 'Image002.png'
  Container   = $ContainerName
  Destination = 'D:\Images\Downloads\'
  Context     = $Context  
Get-AzStorageBlobContent @DLBlob2HT

Data transfer with AzCopy

The AzCopy command-line utility offers high-performance, scriptable data transfer for Azure Storage. You can use AzCopy to transfer data to and from Blob storage and Azure Files. For more information about AzCopy v10, the latest version of AzCopy, see Get started with AzCopy. To learn about using AzCopy v10 with Blob storage, see Transfer data with AzCopy and Blob storage.

The following example uses AzCopy to upload a local file to a blob. Remember to replace the sample values with your own values:

azcopy login
azcopy copy 'D:\Images\Image001.jpg' "https://$StorageAccountName.blob.core.windows.net/$ContainerName/NewGaphic.jpg"

Clean up resources

Remove all of the assets you've created. The easiest way to remove the assets is to delete the resource group. Removing the resource group also deletes all resources included within the group. In the following example, removing the resource group removes the storage account and the resource group itself.

Remove-AzResourceGroup -Name $ResourceGroup 

Next steps

In this quickstart, you transferred files between a local file system and Azure Blob storage. To learn more about working with Blob storage by using PowerShell, select an option below.

Microsoft Azure PowerShell Storage cmdlets reference

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

  • Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a free, standalone app from Microsoft that enables you to work visually with Azure Storage data on Windows, macOS, and Linux.