Activate Free Azure Cloud Credits - Visual Studio Dev Essentials

In today’s article, we talk about Visual Studio(VS). VS is not only a tool(well, it was once a tool), now it’s a complete suite of things. As the suite goes, Visual Studio Dev Essentials. These are the essentials of what a dev need to get started – the cloud, the tool and how to do it. In other terms, Azure credits, useful tools and trainings. It is all available for free.

Free? Really?

Yeah. Really* 😉 * = If you need unrestricted access, more powerful tools and every training Microsoft has to offer, then you’ll need a more powerful subscription – namely MSDN or VS that comes with MSDN.

What am I signing up for?

Well, $25 (USD) of Azure credits allowing you to subscribe to Azure services(check out my article here), tools(like Parallels for Mac, Windows tools, Power BI visualization tools), Plural Sight training, Xamarin University training(the select mobile portion). If you’re not looking for ninja Level 400 trainings, MVA that comes with VS Dev Essentials will already be sufficient.

How do I activate the cloud?

Step 1: Go to and join the program.

Step 2: Sign in to your microsoft account (if you don’t have one, create here – you can use gmail or your own domain as well)

Step 3: Wait for the subscription to finish provision and accept the terms to begin. After you’re done, you’ll be able to see the dashboard.

Step 4: Click Active Azure as shown in the screenshot below:-


Step 5: Fill up the form like one showed below:-


Step 6: A couple of tips when you fill up.

1.About you part

Make sure you put the correct country. If not you will have problem verifying your bank card. Work phone can be your mobile number. Must put in country code. 65 something, 60 something, 44 something etc.

2.Identification by phone part

The verification code to phone may take a bit of time. If after 10mins and you still stuck at this step, use your friend’s mobile number. This number is just to receive a code to active the subscription.

3.Payment information part

Best is to use a credit card, some debit card works too. Your card must be tied to an active bank account. Microsoft WILL NOT charge you anything at the end of the day. However, we do charge 1USD to make sure the card is a legit one. The refund will take place in 1-few days depending on bank. Microsoft will not charge you if you exceed $25. All service will stop. Service will resume the next month. What happen if you want your services to be up and running? (Enable Pay as you go upon credit depletion).


Agree with the privacy statement. If you don’t want to receive mails from Microsoft, don’t check the second box.

Step 7: Click Purchase and wait for your account to be provisioned. When it’s done, click on ‘Get Started with your Azure Subscription’ as shown below:-


Step 8: Done! Now you’re at – your candy store where you can provision microsoft cloud services. Check out my article in what you can do 😊


Final notes:

To confirm the subscription is correctly provisioned, check your Billing. It should say ‘Developer Benefits’ like the screenshot below:-


Welcome to the family 😊 xx