Create an image of a VM in the portal

An image can be created from a VM and then used to create multiple VMs.

For images stored in an Azure Compute Gallery (formerly known as Shared Image Gallery), you can use VMs that already have accounts created on them (specialized) or you can generalize the VM before creating the image to remove machine accounts and other machines specific information. To generalize a VM, see Generalized a VM. For more information, see Generalized and specialized images.


Once you mark a VM as generalized in Azure, you cannot restart the VM. Legacy managed images are automatically marked as generalized.

When capturing an image of a virtual machine in Azure, the virtual machine will be temporarily stopped to ensure data consistency and prevent any potential issues during the image creation. This is because capturing an image requires a point-in-time snapshot of the virtual machine's disk. To avoid disruptions in a production environment, it's recommended you schedule the image capture process during a maintenance window or a time when the temporary downtime won't impacting critical services.

Capture a VM in the portal

  1. Go to the Azure portal, then search for and select Virtual machines.

  2. Select your VM from the list.

  3. On the page for the VM, on the upper menu, select Capture.

    The Create an image page appears.

  4. For Resource group, either select Create new and enter a name, or select a resource group to use from the drop-down list. If you want to use an existing gallery, select the resource group for the gallery you want to use.

  5. To create the image in a gallery, select Yes, share it to a gallery as an image version.

    To only create a managed image, select No, capture only a managed image. The VM must have been generalized to create a managed image. The only other required information is a name for the image.

  6. If you want to delete the source VM after the image has been created, select Automatically delete this virtual machine after creating the image. This is not recommended.

  7. For Gallery details, select the gallery or create a new gallery by selecting Create new.

  8. In Operating system state select generalized or specialized. For more information, see Generalized and specialized images.

  9. Select an image definition or select create new and provide a name and information for a new Image definition.

  10. Enter an image version number. If this is the first version of this image, type 1.0.0.

  11. If you want this version to be included when you specify latest for the image version, then leave Exclude from latest unchecked.

  12. Select an End of life date. This date can be used to track when older images need to be retired.

  13. Under Replication, select a default replica count and then select any additional regions where you would like your image replicated.

  14. When you are done, select Review + create.

  15. After validation passes, select Create to create the image.

Next steps