Assign a Managed Service Identity (MSI) access to a resource using PowerShell

Managed Service Identity is a public preview feature of Azure Active Directory. Make sure you review the known issues before you begin. For more information about previews, see the Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews.

Once you've configured an Azure resource with an MSI, you can give the MSI access to another resource, just like any security principal. This example shows you how to give an Azure virtual machine's MSI access to an Azure storage account, using PowerShell.


If you're not familiar with the Managed Service Identity feature, see this overview. If you don't have an Azure account, sign up for a free account before you continue.

Also, install Azure PowerShell version 4.3.1 if you haven't already.

Use RBAC to assign the MSI access to another resource

After you've enabled MSI on an Azure resource, such as an Azure VM:

  1. Sign in to Azure using the Connect-AzureRmAccount cmdlet. Use an account that is associated with the Azure subscription under which you have configured the MSI:

  2. In this example, we are giving an Azure VM access to a storage account. First we use Get-AzureRMVM to get the service principal for the VM named "myVM", which was created when we enabled MSI. Then, we use New-AzureRmRoleAssignment to give the VM "Reader" access to a storage account called "myStorageAcct":

    $spID = (Get-AzureRMVM -ResourceGroupName myRG -Name myVM).identity.principalid
    New-AzureRmRoleAssignment -ObjectId $spID -RoleDefinitionName "Reader" -Scope "/subscriptions/<mySubscriptionID>/resourceGroups/<myResourceGroup>/providers/Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/<myStorageAcct>"


If the MSI for the resource does not show up in the list of available identities, verify that the MSI has been enabled correctly. In our case, we can go back to the Azure VM in the Azure portal and:

  • Look at the "Configuration" page and ensure MSI enabled = "Yes."
  • Look at the "Extensions" page and ensure the MSI extension deployed successfully.

If either is incorrect, you may need to redeploy the MSI on your resource again, or troubleshoot the deployment failure.

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