Getting started with Azure Active Directory Premium

This article shows you how to get started with an Azure Active Directory Premium you have purchased through the Volume Licensing program. If you are not yet familiar with the different editions of Azure Active Directory, see Azure Active Directory editions.


Microsoft recommends that you manage Azure AD using the Azure AD admin center in the Azure portal instead of using the Azure classic portal referenced in this article.

To sign up for Active Directory Premium, you have several options:

Azure or Office 365 - As an Azure or Office 365 subscriber, you can buy Active Directory Premium online. For detailed steps, see How to Purchase Azure Active Directory Premium - Existing Customers or How to Purchase Azure Active Directory Premium - New Customers.

Enterprise Mobility + Security - Enterprise Mobility + Security (formerly Enterprise Mobility Suite) is a cost effective way for organizations to use the following services together under one licensing plan: Active Directory Premium, Azure Rights Management, Microsoft Intune. For more information, see the Enterprise Mobility + Security web site. To get e free 30-day trial, click here.

Microsoft Volume Licensing - Azure Active Directory Premium is available through a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (250 or more licenses) or the Open Volume License (5–250 licenses) program.


Azure Active Directory Premium and Basic editions are available for customers in China using the worldwide instance of Azure Active Directory. Azure Active Directory Premium and Basic editions are not currently supported in the Microsoft Azure service operated by 21Vianet in China. For more information, contact us at the Azure Active Directory Forum.

Step 1: Sign up for Active Directory Premium

To sign up, see How to purchase through Volume Licensing.

Step 2: Activate your license plan

Is this your first license plan purchase through the Enterprise Volume Licensing program from Microsoft? In this case, you get a confirmation email when your purchase has been completed. You need this email to activate your first license plan.

On any subsequent purchase for this directory, the licenses are automatically activated in the same directory.

To activate your license plan, perform one of the following steps:

  1. To start the activation, click either Sign In or Sign Up.

    Sign in

    • If you have an existing tenant, click Sign In to sign in with your existing administrator account. You need to sign in with the global administrator credentials from the directory where the licenses must be activated.

    • If you want to create a new Azure Active Directory tenant to use with your licensing plan, click Sign Up to open the Create Account Profile dialog.

      Create account profile

When you are done, the following dialog shows up as confirmation for the activation of the license plan for your tenant.


Step 3: Activate your Azure Active Directory access

If you have used Microsoft Azure before, you can proceed to Step 4.

When the licenses are provisioned to your directory, a Welcome email is sent to you. The email confirms that you can start managing your Azure Active Directory Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite licenses and features.

If you make an attempt to activate your access to Azure Active Directory prior to receiving the Welcome email, you get the following error message.

Access is not available

If you Please try again in a few minutes once you have received the email.

New administrators in your subscription can also activate their access to the Azure classic portal through this link.

To activate your Azure Active Directory access, perform the following steps:

  1. In your Welcome email, click Sign In.

    Welcome email

  2. When you have signed in successfully, you need to complete a second factor authentication in form of a mobile verification:

    Mobile verification

The activation can take a few minutes. Once your access is active, the brown bar disappears and you are able to click Portal.

Please wait while we set up

In this case, your Azure access is limited to Azure Active Directory.

Azure capabilities

You may already have had access to Azure from prior usage; in addition, you can upgrade your Access Azure Active Directory to full Azure access by activating additional Azure subscriptions. In these cases, the Azure classic portal has more capabilities.

Azure capabilities

Step 4: Assign license to user accounts

Before you can start using the plan you purchased, you need to manually assign licenses to user accounts within your organization so that they can use the rich features provided with Premium. Use the following steps to assign licenses to users so they can use Azure Active Directory Premium features.

To assign licenses to users, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign into the Azure classic portal as the global administrator of the directory you wish to customize.
  2. Click Active Directory, and then select the directory where you want to assign licenses.
  3. Select the Licenses tab, select Active Directory Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite, and then click Assign.

    License plans

  4. In the dialog box, select the users you want to assign licenses to, and then click the check mark icon to save the changes.

    Assign licenses

License restrictions

Some license plans are subsets or supersets of other license plans. Typically, a user cannot be assigned a license plan that has already been assigned to them. If it is your intention to assign a license plan that is a superset, you need to first remove the subset license plan.

License requirements

When you assign a license to a user, you can specify a primary usage location in the properties of their account. If a usage location is not specified, the tenant’s location is automatically assigned to the user.

User location

The availability of services and features for a Microsoft cloud service varies by country or region. A service, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), may be available in one country or region, and not available in another. Features within a service can be restricted for legal reasons in certain countries or regions. To see if a service or feature is available with or without restrictions, look for your country or region on license restrictions site of a service.

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