How to sign up, purchase, upgrade, or activate Azure


If you need more help at any point in this article, please contact support to get your issue resolved quickly.

Azure provides various offers to suit your business needs and get started using Azure. Visit Azure Offers for a complete listing of all active offers with details on each offer about what they cover, benefits, and availability by countries/region.

Azure Offers - benefits and limits

The following table provides details on common offers:

Offer Detail
Free Trial Sign-up and step by step guide
Upgrade Free Trial to Pay-As-You-Go
Pay-As-You-Go Sign-up
MPN (Microsoft Partner Network) - Members receive monthly Azure credits at no charge Azure Benefits for partners
Enroll as a partner or Subscribe to Microsoft Action pack
• Use Azure credits - Access the MPN portal and verify your eligibility status and follow steps under Software Keys & benefits. If you cannot verify your eligibility, contact MPN support.
MSDN & Visual Studio subscriber MSDN Dev/Test Benefits
Visual Studio subscriber benefits
Activate Visual Studio subscriber Azure credit
Activate MSDN Azure benefits in three simple steps:
Log-on to MSDN account page and verify eligibility, click 'Activate Azure benefit'. If you cannot verify your eligibility, contact the MSDN Subscriptions Customer Service Centers.
BizSpark Benefits BizSpark. For more details, see Monthly Azure credit for Visual Studio Enterprise
Join BizSpark. If you encounter issues, please contact the BizSpark Team.
BizSpark Plus Learn about BizSpark Plus. For more details, see BizSpark Plus Benefits
Join BizSpark and then work with your partner contact to upgrade to BizSpark Plus. If you encounter issues, please contact the BizSpark Team.
Resellers (Open Volume License programs) Activate Online service Key - step by step guide
Purchase, Benefits, Activate
EA (Enterprise Agreement) Licensing Azure for the Enterprise
• To activate, contact your Microsoft Account Manager or Reseller to get started today

Sign up for an Azure Free Trial subscription

To sign up for an Azure Free Trial subscription, you must provide a phone number, a credit card, and a Microsoft Account. Your Microsoft account is the email address you use, along with your password, to sign in to any Windows Live program or service, such as Outlook, Hotmail, or OneDrive. You may set up a Microsoft account using any email address belonging to you, including your company email. See Microsoft account FAQ for more details.

See Troubleshoot Azure Sign-up Issues if you encounter any issues.


Your phone number and credit card details are used only to verify your identity. Although your credit card won’t be charged, Microsoft will place an authorization hold on it for a minimal amount to verify that the credit card is valid. The hold will be released within 3-5 business days, depending on your financial institution’s policies.

  1. Open the Azure free trial page, and then select Start now.
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft account or organizational account.
  3. In the About you section, enter your personal information. Learn more about entering your personal information accurately.

    Enter your personal information here


    The email address and country information that you provide when you sign up for an Azure subscription will always be associated with the subscription, and cannot be changed later.

  4. In the Verification by phone section, you must provide a phone number to receive a verification code that you can provide to complete the verification process.

    You can choose to receive the verification code either as a text message or through a voice call. Make your choice by selecting either Send text message or Call me. Select the international dialing code for your country in the first box, and enter your phone number in the second box. After you receive the verification code, enter it in the third box, and then select the Verify code button. See this article for more details.


    You cannot use a VOIP phone number for the phone verification process.

    Enter a valid phone number to verify your phone

    If you don't receive a text message or a call, try using a different phone number or contact Azure Support for help.

  5. In the Verification by card section, enter the details of a valid credit card. This information is collected only to verify your identity.

    If you receive an error after submitting your credit card information, see the article My credit card doesn’t go through when I try to sign up for Azure.

    You could also verify by card

  6. In the Agreement section, check the box if you agree to the subscription agreement, offer details, and privacy statement. Then select Sign up. The agreement form may vary by country.

    The English version of the agreement. The agreement form may vary by country.

    It can take a few minutes to set up your subscription. If the subscription setup does not complete in 15 minutes, contact Azure Support for assistance.


    If you get an error message, follow the steps in the message to resolve the issue. A typical error message is:

    Sorry, we could not complete the operation. Please try again later or reload the web page

    In this case, try using another browser to complete the sign-up process. If the issue still occurs, contact Azure Support for help.

  7. When the subscription is ready, select Start managing my service to begin.

    Welcome to your Azure subscription

Additional resources

Upgrade Azure Free Trial to Pay-As-You-Go

  1. Log on to the Azure Account Portal by using the Microsoft account or your organizational account that you used to sign up for the free trial.
  2. Select the subscription, and then select Upgrade

    Notice to upgrade from Free Trial to Pay-As-You-Go

  3. Select Yes, and then select Upgrade now.

    Confirmation for upgrading your subscription

When you upgrade from a Free Trial subscription to a Pay-As-You-Go subscription, any benefits left over from your free trial such as the 30-day limit or the $200 credit to use on Azure services will continue until one of them is exhausted. The subscription upgrade will happen afterwards.

Activate using an Online Service Activation Key

If you bought Azure in Open credits from a reseller and got an activation key (5x5 key), follow these steps to activate your subscription:

  1. Go to the subscription summary page.
  2. Select Azure in Open. In the Azure in Open License key page, select Activate a new subscription or existing subscription.
  3. Enter the product key, and then check the agreement option.

If you still have further questions, please contact support to get your issue resolved quickly.