Get started with Storage Explorer

Overview

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a standalone app that makes it easy to work with Azure Storage data on Windows, macOS, and Linux. In this article, you'll learn several ways of connecting to and managing your Azure storage accounts.

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

Prerequisites

Storage Explorer is supported on the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 10 (recommended)
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

For all versions of Windows, .NET Framework 4.6.2 or later is required.

Download and install

Download and install Storage Explorer

Connect to a storage account or service

Storage Explorer provides several ways to connect to storage accounts. In general you can either:

Sign in to Azure

Note

To fully access resources after you sign in, Storage Explorer requires both management (Azure Resource Manager) and data layer permissions. This means that you need Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) permissions, which give you access to your storage account, the containers in the account, and the data in the containers. If you have permissions only at the data layer, consider adding a resource through Azure AD. For more information about the specific permissions Storage Explorer requires, see the troubleshooting guide.

  1. In Storage Explorer, select Manage Accounts to go to the Account Management panel.

    Manage Accounts

  2. The left pane now displays all the Azure accounts you've signed in to. To connect to another account, select Add an account.

  3. If you want to sign in to a national cloud or an Azure Stack, select the Azure environment drop-down list to choose the Azure cloud you want to use. After you've chosen your environment, select the Sign-in button. For more information, see Connect Storage Explorer to an Azure Stack subscription.

    Sign-in option

  4. After you successfully sign in with an Azure account, the account and the Azure subscriptions associated with that account are added to the left pane. Select the Azure subscriptions that you want to work with, and then select Apply. (Selecting All subscriptions toggles your selection between all or none of the listed Azure subscriptions.)

    Select Azure subscriptions

    The left pane displays the storage accounts associated with the selected Azure subscriptions.

    Selected Azure subscriptions

Attach a specific resource

There are multiple ways to attach to a resource in Storage Explorer:

Add a resource via Azure AD

  1. Open the Connect dialog box by selecting the Connect button on the vertical toolbar on the left:

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. If you haven't already done so, use the Add an Azure Account option to sign in to the Azure account that has access to the resource. After you sign in, return to the Connect dialog box.

  3. Select Add a resource via Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), and then select Next.

  4. Select the Azure account and tenant that have access to the Storage resource you want to attach to. Select Next.

  5. Choose the resource type you want to attach, and then enter the information needed to connect. The information you enter on this page depends on what type of resource you're adding. Make sure to choose the correct type of resource. After you've entered the required information, select Next.

  6. Review the connection summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, use the Back button to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree automatically goes to the node that represents the connection. If it doesn't go to that node, look under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts > (Attached Containers) > Blob Containers. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the troubleshooting guide.

Use a connection string

  1. Open the Connect dialog box by selecting the Connect button on the vertical toolbar on the left:

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a connection string, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection and enter your connection string. Then, select Next.

  4. Review the connection summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, use the Back button to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree automatically goes to the node that represents the connection. If it doesn't go to that node, look under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the troubleshooting guide.

Use a SAS URI

  1. Open the Connect dialog box by selecting the Connect button on the vertical toolbar on the left:

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a shared access signature (SAS) URI, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection and enter your SAS URI. The service endpoint for the type of resource you're attaching should autofill. If you're using a custom endpoint, it's possible it might not. Select Next.

  4. Review the connection summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, use the Back button to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree automatically goes to the node that represents the connection. If it doesn't go to that node, look under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts > (Attached Containers) > the service node for the type of container you attached. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the troubleshooting guide.

Use a name and key

  1. Open the Connect dialog box by selecting the Connect button on the vertical toolbar on the left:

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a storage account name and key, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection.

  4. Enter your storage account name and either of its access keys.

  5. Choose the Storage domain to use and then select Next.

  6. Review the connection summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, use the Back button to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree automatically goes to the node that represents the connection. If it doesn't go to that node, look under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the troubleshooting guide.

Attach to a local emulator

Storage Explorer currently supports two official Storage emulators:

If your emulator is listening on the default ports, you can use the Emulator - Default Ports node (found under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts) to quickly access your emulator.

If you want to use a different name for your connection, or if your emulator isn't running on the default ports, follow these steps:

  1. Start your emulator. When you do, make a note of the ports the emulator is listening on for each service type.

    Important

    Storage Explorer doesn't automatically start your emulator. You must start it manually.

  2. Open the Connect dialog box by selecting the Connect button on the vertical toolbar on the left:

    Connect to Azure storage option

  3. Select Attach to a local emulator, and then select Next.

  4. Choose a display name for your connection and enter the ports your emulator is listening on for each service type. The text boxes will start with the default port values for most emulators. The Files port box is left blank, because neither of the official emulators currently support the Files service. If the emulator you're using does support Files, you can enter the port that's being used. Then, select Next.

  5. Review the connection summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, use the Back button to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree automatically goes to the node that represents the connection. If it doesn't go to that node, look under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the troubleshooting guide.

Connect to an Azure Cosmos DB account by using a connection string

As an alternative to managing Azure Cosmos DB accounts through an Azure subscription, you can also connect to Azure Cosmos DB by using a connection string. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the left side of the resource tree, expand Local and Attached, right-click Azure Cosmos DB Accounts, and select Connect to Azure Cosmos DB.

    Connect to Azure Cosmos DB by connection string

  2. Select the Azure Cosmos DB API, enter your Connection String data, and then select OK to connect the Azure Cosmos DB account. For information about how to retrieve the connection string, see Get the connection string.

    Connection string

Connect to Azure Data Lake Store by URI

If you want to access a resource that's not in your subscription, you'll need someone who can access that resource to give you the resource URI. After you sign in, you can connect to Data Lake Store by using the URI. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Storage Explorer.

  2. In the left pane, expand Local and Attached.

  3. Right-click Data Lake Store. From the shortcut menu, select Connect to Data Lake Store.

    Connect to Data Lake Store context menu

  4. Enter the URI. The tool goes to the location of the URL that you just entered.

    Connect to Data Lake Store context dialog box

    Connect to Data Lake Store result

Generate a SAS in Storage Explorer

Account level SAS

  1. Right-click the storage account you want share, and then select Get Shared Access Signature.

    Get SAS context menu option

  2. In the Generate Shared Access Signature dialog box, specify the time frame and permissions you want for the account, and then select Create.

    Get SAS dialog box

  3. You can now copy either the Connection string or the raw Query string to your clipboard.

Service level SAS

How to get a SAS for a blob container in Storage Explorer

Search for storage accounts

If you need to find a storage resource and don't know where it is, you can use the search box at the top of the left pane to search for the resource.

As you type in the search box, the left pane displays all resources that match the search value you've entered up to that point. For example, a search for endpoints is shown in the following screenshot:

Storage account search

Note

To speed up your search, use the Account Management panel to deselect any subscriptions that don't contain the item you're searching for. You can also right-click a node and select Search From Here to start searching from a specific node.

Next steps