Tutorial: Return Azure Data Box

This tutorial describes how to return Azure Data Box and the data is erased once the device is received at the Azure data.

In this tutorial, you will learn about topics such as:

  • Prerequisites
  • Prepare to ship
  • Ship Data Box to Microsoft
  • Erasure of data from Data Box


Before you begin, make sure:

Prepare to ship

Final step is to prepare the device to ship. In this step, all the device shares are taken offline. The shares cannot be accessed once you start this process. You can also choose to clean up device whereby the local data on the device is erased permanently. Once the step is complete, your e-ink display will show the return shipping label.


  • You can choose to erase the data on the device permanently in this step and clean up the device. The data in your Azure Storage account will stay and accrue charges. We recommend that you delete this data only after you have verified that data copy to an on-premises data server is complete.
  1. Go to Prepare to ship and select Start preparation.

    Prepare to ship 1

  2. The prepare to ship starts and the device shares go offline. By default, the device clean up is performed and Data Box erases the data on its disks.

    Prepare to ship 2

    You can opt out of the cleanup procedure by unchecking the combo box. In this case, the device data is erased later at the datacenter.

    Prepare to ship 3

  3. Once the Prepare to ship starts, you will see a progress notification with a progress bar.

    Prepare to ship 4

  4. After the prepare to ship and the device cleanup (if selected) is complete, the E-ink display on your device will also display the return the shipping label.

    You also see a completion reference number which is used for different things depending on the country in which you are located. You can also view the instructions for return shipment. Depending on the type of shipping you chose, Microsoft managed or self managed, the instructions will vary.

    Prepare to ship 5

  5. Shut down the device. Locate the power button on the front operating panel of the device. Turn off the device.

    Data Box power button

  6. Remove the cables. The next step is to ship the device to Microsoft.

The next steps are determined by where you are returning the device.

Ship Data Box back

Ensure that the data copy from the device is complete and Prepare to ship run is successful. Based on the region where you're shipping the device, the procedure is different.

Take the following steps if returning the device in US, Canada, or Europe.

  1. Make sure that the device is powered off and cables are removed.

  2. Spool and securely place the power cord that was provided with device in the back of the device.

  3. Ensure that the shipping label is displayed on the E-ink display, and schedule a pickup with your carrier. If the label is damaged or lost or isn't displayed on the E-ink display, contact Microsoft Support. If Support suggests, then you can go to Overview > Download shipping label in the Azure portal. Download the shipping label and affix it on the device.

  4. Schedule a pickup with UPS if returning the device. To schedule a pickup:

    • Call the local UPS (country/region-specific toll free number).
    • In your call, quote the reverse shipment tracking number as shown in the E-ink display or your printed label. If you don't quote the tracking number, UPS will require an additional charge during pickup.
    • If any issues come up while you're scheduling a pickup, or you're asked to pay additional fees, contact Azure Data Box Operations. Send email to adbops@microsoft.com.

    Instead of scheduling the pickup, you can also drop off the Data Box at the nearest drop-off location.

  5. Once the Data Box is picked up and scanned by your carrier, the order status in the portal updates to Picked up. A tracking ID is also displayed.

Erasure of data from Data Box

Once the device reaches Azure datacenter, the Data Box erases the data on its disks as per the NIST SP 800-88 Revision 1 guidelines.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned about topics such as:

  • Prerequisites
  • Prepare to ship
  • Ship Data Box to Microsoft
  • Erasure of data from Data Box

Advance to the next article to learn how to manage your Data Box.