Manage the resources associated with your Azure accounts in Visual Studio Cloud Explorer


This article applies to Azure Cloud Services (classic), which is now deprecated for new customers and will be retired on August 31, 2024. Existing services built with this technology are still supported through Azure Cloud Services (extended support). For new development, we recommend that you use a newer service type designed for your specific purpose, such as Azure App Service, Azure Functions, or Azure Container Apps. For the latest list of available services, see Directory of Azure products.


Cloud Explorer has been retired in Visual Studio 2022. Instead, you can use the following alternatives:

  • To debug Azure App Service or Azure Functions, you can use the Connected Services or the Publish features available on all projects.
    • If you rely on Visual Studio for publishing, you can access this feature under the "Additional Options" in the Hosting section.
    • If you don't use the publishing feature, the Connected Services node inside each Project in your Solution can help you configure access to Azure resources and invoke various operations like remote debugging, remote profiling, starting/stopping the application, view streaming logs, and more.
  • Use Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a free, standalone app from Microsoft. You can use it to work visually with Azure Storage data on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • The Kudu console gives you direct, elevated command-line access to the App Service server and its file system. This is both a valuable debugging tool and allows for CLI operations such as installing packages.

If needed, you can use the Azure Portal or continue to use the Azure node of Server Explorer in previous versions of Visual Studio.

For more information about Visual Studio 2022, see our release notes.

Cloud Explorer enables you to view your Azure resources and resource groups, inspect their properties, and perform key developer diagnostics actions from within Visual Studio.

Like the Azure portal, Cloud Explorer is built on the Azure Resource Manager stack. Therefore, Cloud Explorer understands resources such as Azure resource groups and Azure services such as Logic apps and API apps, and it supports role-based access control (RBAC) (RBAC).



To view Cloud Explorer, press Ctrl+Q to activate the search box, and then enter Cloud Explorer.

Add an Azure account to Cloud Explorer

To view the resources associated with an Azure account, you must first add the account to Cloud Explorer.

  1. In Cloud Explorer, select the Account Management button.

    Cloud Explorer Azure account settings icon

  2. Select Manage accounts.

    Cloud Explorer add-account link

  3. Sign in to the Azure account whose resources you want to browse.

  4. Once signed in to an Azure account, the subscriptions associated with that account display. Select the checkboxes for the account subscriptions you want to browse and then select Apply.

    Cloud Explorer: select Azure subscriptions to display

  5. After selecting the subscriptions whose resources you want to browse, those subscriptions and resources display in the Cloud Explorer.

    Cloud Explorer resource listing for an Azure account

Remove an Azure account from Cloud Explorer

  1. In Cloud Explorer, select Account Management.

    Azure account settings

  2. Next to the account you want to remove, select Manage Accounts.

    Remove account

  3. Choose Remove to remove an account.

    Cloud Explorer Manage accounts dialog box

View resource types or resource groups

To view your Azure resources, you can choose either Resource Types or Resource Groups view.

  1. In Cloud Explorer, select the resource view dropdown list.

    Cloud Explorer dropdown list to select the desired resources view

  2. From the context menu, select the desired view:

    • Resource Types view - The common view used on the Azure portal, shows your Azure resources categorized by their type, such as web apps, storage accounts, and virtual machines.
    • Resource Groups view - Categorizes Azure resources by the Azure resource group with which they're associated. A resource group is a bundle of Azure resources, typically used by a specific application. To learn more about Azure resource groups, see Azure Resource Manager Overview.

    The following image shows a comparison of the two resource views:

    Cloud Explorer resource views comparison

View and navigate resources in Cloud Explorer

To navigate to an Azure resource and view its information in Cloud Explorer, expand the item's type or associated resource group and then select the resource. When you select a resource, information appears in the two tabs - Actions and Properties - at the bottom of Cloud Explorer.

  • Actions tab - Lists the actions you can take in Cloud Explorer for the selected resource. You can also view these options by right-clicking the resource to view its context menu.

  • Properties tab - Shows the properties of the resource, such as its type, locale, and resource group with which it is associated.

The following image shows an example comparison of what you see on each tab for an App Service:

Screenshot of Cloud Explorer

Every resource has the action Open in portal. When you choose this action, Cloud Explorer displays the selected resource in the Azure portal. The Open in portal feature is handy for navigating to deeply nested resources.

Additional actions and property values might also appear based on the Azure resource. For example, web apps and logic apps also have the actions Open in browser and Attach debugger in addition to Open in portal. Actions to open editors appear when you choose a storage account blob, queue, or table. Azure apps have URL and Status properties, while storage resources have key and connection string properties.

Find resources in Cloud Explorer

To locate resources with a specific name in your Azure account subscriptions, enter the name in the Search box in Cloud Explorer.

Finding resources in Cloud Explorer

As you enter characters in the Search box, only resources that match those characters appear in the resource tree.