Activate my Azure AD roles in PIM

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Privileged Identity Management (PIM) simplifies how enterprises manage privileged access to resources in Azure AD and other Microsoft online services like Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Intune.

If you have been made eligible for an administrative role, then you must activate the role assignment when you need to perform privileged actions. For example, if you occasionally manage Microsoft 365 features, your organization's privileged role administrators might not make you a permanent Global Administrator, since that role impacts other services, too. Instead, they would make you eligible for Azure AD roles such as Exchange Online Administrator. You can request to activate that role when you need its privileges, and then you'll have administrator control for a predetermined time period.

This article is for administrators who need to activate their Azure AD role in Privileged Identity Management.

Determine your version of PIM

Beginning in November 2019, the Azure AD roles portion of Privileged Identity Management is being updated to a new version that matches the experiences for Azure resource roles. This creates additional features as well as changes to the existing API. While the new version is being rolled out, which procedures that you follow in this article depend on version of Privileged Identity Management you currently have. Follow the steps in this section to determine which version of Privileged Identity Management you have. After you know your version of Privileged Identity Management, you can select the procedures in this article that match that version.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal with the Privileged role administrator role.

  2. Open Azure AD Privileged Identity Management. If you have a banner on the top of the overview page, follow the instructions in the New version tab of this article. Otherwise, follow the instructions in the Previous version tab.

    Select Azure AD > Privileged Identity Management.

Activate a role for new version

When you need to assume an Azure AD role, you can request activation by opening My roles in Privileged Identity Management.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Open Azure AD Privileged Identity Management. For information about how to add the Privileged Identity Management tile to your dashboard, see Start using Privileged Identity Management.

  3. Select My roles, and then select Azure AD roles to see a list of your eligible Azure AD roles.

    My roles page showing roles you can activate

  4. In the Azure AD roles list, find the role you want to activate.

    Azure AD roles - My eligible roles list

  5. Select Activate to open the Activate pane.

    Azure AD roles - activation page contains duration and scope

  6. Select Additional verification required"** and follow the instructions to provide additional security verification. You are required to authenticate only once per session.

    Screen to provide security verification such as a PIN code

  7. After multi-factor authentication, select Activate before proceeding.

    Verify my identity with MFA before role activates

  8. If you want to specify a reduced scope, select Scope to open the filter pane. On the filter pane, you can specify the Azure AD resources that you need access to. It's a best practice to request access to the fewest resources that you need.

  9. If necessary, specify a custom activation start time. The Azure AD role would be activated after the selected time.

  10. In the Reason box, enter the reason for the activation request.

  11. Select Activate.

    If the role requires approval to activate, a notification will appear in the upper right corner of your browser informing you the request is pending approval.

    Activation request is pending approval notification

View the status of your requests for new version

You can view the status of your pending requests to activate.

  1. Open Azure AD Privileged Identity Management.

  2. Select My requests to see a list of your Azure AD role and Azure resource role requests.

    My requests - Azure AD page showing your pending requests

  3. Scroll to the right to view the Request Status column.

Cancel a pending request for new version

If you do not require activation of a role that requires approval, you can cancel a pending request at any time.

  1. Open Azure AD Privileged Identity Management.

  2. Select My requests.

  3. For the role that you want to cancel, select the Cancel link.

    When you select Cancel, the request will be canceled. To activate the role again, you will have to submit a new request for activation.

    My request list with Cancel action highlighted

Troubleshoot for new version

Permissions are not granted after activating a role

When you activate a role in Privileged Identity Management, the activation may not instantly propagate to all portals that require the privileged role. Sometimes, even if the change is propagated, web caching in a portal may result in the change not taking effect immediately. If your activation is delayed, sign out of the portal you are trying to perform the action and then sign back in. In the Azure portal, PIM signs you out and back in automatically.

Next steps