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Manage the directory for your Office 365 subscription in Azure

Updated: June 24, 2015

Applies To: Azure, Office 365


Please bear with us as we migrate this and other content to the Microsoft Azure website. This topic is no longer being updated and might become out of date. Please bookmark the updated Azure article on this subject, Manage the directory for your Office 365 subscription in Azure.

This topic covers how to manage a directory that was created for an Office 365 subscription within the Management Portal. The steps to complete this differ depending on whether you already have a subscription for Azure. You must be either the Service Administrator or a co-administrator of an Azure subscription in order to sign in to the Management Portal.

If you don’t yet have an Azure subscription, you just need to sign up by using the work or school account that you use to sign in to Office 365.

Organizational Account Sign In

A corresponding subscription for Azure will not be found, but you can click Sign up for Azure and relevant information from the Office 365 account will be prepopulated in the sign-up form. The same account will be assigned to the Service Administrator role by default.

Organizational Account Free Trial

After you complete the Azure subscription, you can sign in to the Management Portal and access Azure services. Click the Active Directory extension in order to manage the same directory that authenticates your Office 365 users.

If you do already have an Azure subscription, the process to manage an additional directory is also straightforward. The following diagram may help to see the process.

In this example, Michael Smith has an Office 365 subscription for He has an Azure subscription that he signed up for by using his Microsoft account, In this case, he manages two directories.


Office 365


Display name


Default directory

Domain name

He wants to manage the user identities in the Contoso directory while he is signed in to Azure using his Microsoft account so he can enable Azure AD features such as multifactor authentication.

O365 And WAAD Directory

In this case the two directories are independent of each other. In order for Michael Smith to manage both directories while he is signed in to Azure as, he needs to complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Management Portal as

  2. Click New > App services > Active Directory > Directory > Custom Create.

  3. Click Use existing directory and check I am ready to be signed out now.


    These steps can only be completed while a user is signed in with a Microsoft account. If the user is signed in with a work or school account, the option to Use existing directory is not available because a work or school account can be authenticated only by its home directory (that is, the directory where the work or school account is stored, and which is owned by the work or school).

  4. Sign in to the Management Portal as global admin of (for example,

  5. When prompted to Use the Contoso directory with Azure?, and click continue.

  6. Click Sign out now.

  7. Sign in to the Management Portal as The Contoso directory and the Default directory appear in the Active Directory extension.

After completing these steps, is a global administrator in the Contoso directory.

Now let’s suppose that John Doe needs to sign in to the Management Portal and administer the websites and database resources that are associated with the Azure subscription of To do that, Michael Smith needs to complete these additional steps:

  1. Sign in to the Management Portal by using the Service Administrator account of the Azure subscription (in this example,

  2. Transfer the subscription to the Contoso directory: click Settings > Subscriptions > select the subscription > Edit Directory > select Contoso ( Note: As part of the transfer, any work or school accounts that are co-administrators of the subscription will be removed.

  3. Add John Doe as co-administrator of the subscription: click Settings > Administrators > select the subscription > Add > type

For more information about the relationship between subscriptions and directories, see How Azure subscriptions are associated with Azure AD.