How to use Azure Queue Storage from PowerShell

Azure Queue Storage is a service for storing large numbers of messages that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. For detailed information, see Introduction to Azure Queue Storage. This how-to article covers common Queue Storage operations. You learn how to:

  • Create a queue
  • Retrieve a queue
  • Add a message
  • Read a message
  • Delete a message
  • Delete a queue

This how-to guide requires the Azure PowerShell (Az) module v0.7 or later. Run Get-Module -ListAvailable Az to find the currently installed version. If you need to upgrade, see Install Azure PowerShell module.

There are no PowerShell cmdlets for the data plane for queues. To perform data plane operations such as add a message, read a message, and delete a message, you have to use the .NET storage client library as it is exposed in PowerShell. You create a message object and then you can use commands such as AddMessage to perform operations on that message. This article shows you how to do that.


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.

Sign in to Azure

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


Retrieve list of locations

If you don't know which location you want to use, you can list the available locations. After the list is displayed, find the one you want to use. This exercise will use eastus. Store this in the variable location for future use.

Get-AzLocation | Select-Object Location
$location = "eastus"

Create resource group

Create a resource group with the New-AzResourceGroup command.

An Azure resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. Store the resource group name in a variable for future use. In this example, a resource group named howtoqueuesrg is created in the eastus region.

$resourceGroup = "howtoqueuesrg"
New-AzResourceGroup -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -Location $location

Create storage account

Create a standard general-purpose storage account with locally redundant storage (LRS) using New-AzStorageAccount. Get the storage account context that defines the storage account to be used. When acting on a storage account, you reference the context instead of repeatedly providing the credentials.

$storageAccountName = "howtoqueuestorage"
$storageAccount = New-AzStorageAccount -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup `
  -Name $storageAccountName `
  -Location $location `
  -SkuName Standard_LRS

$ctx = $storageAccount.Context

Create a queue

The following example first establishes a connection to Azure Storage using the storage account context, which includes the storage account name and its access key. Next, it calls New-AzStorageQueue cmdlet to create a queue named howtoqueue.

$queueName = "howtoqueue"
$queue = New-AzStorageQueue –Name $queueName -Context $ctx

For information on naming conventions for Azure Queue Storage, see Naming queues and metadata.

Retrieve a queue

You can query and retrieve a specific queue or a list of all the queues in a storage account. The following examples demonstrate how to retrieve all queues in the storage account, and a specific queue; both commands use the Get-AzStorageQueue cmdlet.

# Retrieve a specific queue
$queue = Get-AzStorageQueue –Name $queueName –Context $ctx
# Show the properties of the queue

# Retrieve all queues and show their names
Get-AzStorageQueue -Context $ctx | Select-Object Name

Add a message to a queue

Operations that impact the actual messages in the queue use the .NET storage client library as exposed in PowerShell. To add a message to a queue, create a new instance of the message object, Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueueMessage class. Next, call the AddMessage method. A CloudQueueMessage can be created from either a string (in UTF-8 format) or a byte array.

The following example demonstrates how to add a message to your queue.

# Create a new message using a constructor of the CloudQueueMessage class
$queueMessage = [Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueueMessage]::new("This is message 1")

# Add a new message to the queue

# Add two more messages to the queue
$queueMessage = [Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueueMessage]::new("This is message 2")

$queueMessage = [Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueueMessage]::new("This is message 3")

If you use the Azure Storage Explorer, you can connect to your Azure account and view the queues in the storage account, and drill down into a queue to view the messages on the queue.

Read a message from the queue, then delete it

Messages are read in best-try first-in-first-out order. This is not guaranteed. When you read the message from the queue, it becomes invisible to all other processes looking at the queue. This ensures that if your code fails to process the message due to hardware or software failure, another instance of your code can get the same message and try again.

This invisibility timeout defines how long the message remains invisible before it is available again for processing. The default is 30 seconds.

Your code reads a message from the queue in two steps. When you call the Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueue.GetMessage method, you get the next message in the queue. A message returned from GetMessage becomes invisible to any other code reading messages from this queue. To finish removing the message from the queue, you call the Microsoft.Azure.Storage.Queue.CloudQueue.DeleteMessage method.

In the following example, you read through the three queue messages, then wait 10 seconds (the invisibility timeout). Then you read the three messages again, deleting the messages after reading them by calling DeleteMessage. If you try to read the queue after the messages are deleted, $queueMessage will be returned as $null.

# Set the amount of time you want to entry to be invisible after read from the queue
# If it is not deleted by the end of this time, it will show up in the queue again
$invisibleTimeout = [System.TimeSpan]::FromSeconds(10)

# Read the message from the queue, then show the contents of the message. Read the other two messages, too.
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)

# After 10 seconds, these messages reappear on the queue.
# Read them again, but delete each one after reading it.
# Delete the message.
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)
$queueMessage = $queue.CloudQueue.GetMessageAsync($invisibleTimeout,$null,$null)

Delete a queue

To delete a queue and all the messages contained in it, call the Remove-AzStorageQueue cmdlet. The following example shows how to delete the specific queue used in this exercise using the Remove-AzStorageQueue cmdlet.

# Delete the queue
Remove-AzStorageQueue –Name $queueName –Context $ctx

Clean up resources

To remove all of the assets you have created in this exercise, remove the resource group. This also deletes all resources contained within the group. In this case, it removes the storage account created and the resource group itself.

Remove-AzResourceGroup -Name $resourceGroup

Next steps

In this how-to article, you learned about basic Queue Storage management with PowerShell, including how to:

  • Create a queue
  • Retrieve a queue
  • Add a message
  • Read the next message
  • Delete a message
  • Delete a queue

Microsoft Azure PowerShell storage cmdlets

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.