Create a snapshot

Take a snapshot of an OS or data disk for backup or to troubleshoot VM issues. A snapshot is a full, read-only copy of a VHD.

Use Azure CLI

The following example requires the Azure CLI 2.0 installed and logged into your Azure account. Run az --version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install Azure CLI 2.0.

The following steps show how to take a snapshot using the az snapshot create command with the --source-disk parameter. The following example assumes that there is a VM called myVM in the myResourceGroup resource group.

Get the disk ID.

osDiskId=$(az vm show -g myResourceGroup -n myVM --query "" -o tsv)

Take a snapshot named osDisk-backup.

az snapshot create \
    -g myResourceGroup \
    --source "$osDiskId" \
    --name osDisk-backup


If you would like to store your snapshot in zone-resilient storage, you need to create it in a region that supports availability zones and include the --sku Standard_ZRS parameter.

Use Azure portal

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Starting in the upper-left, click Create a resource and search for snapshot.
  3. In the Snapshot blade, click Create.
  4. Enter a Name for the snapshot.
  5. Select an existing Resource group or type the name for a new one.
  6. Select an Azure datacenter Location.
  7. For Source disk, select the Managed Disk to snapshot.
  8. Select the Account type to use to store the snapshot. We recommend Standard_LRS unless you need it stored on a high performing disk.
  9. Click Create.

Next steps

Create a virtual machine from a snapshot by creating a managed disk from the snapshot and then attaching the new managed disk as the OS disk. For more information, see the Create a VM from a snapshot script.