Upload a VHD file to a lab's storage account by using Storage Explorer

In Azure DevTest Labs, you can use VHD files to create custom images for provisioning virtual machines. This article describes how to use Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer to upload a VHD file to a lab's storage account. Once you upload the VHD file to DevTest Labs, you can create a custom image from the uploaded file. For more information about disks and VHDs in Azure, see Introduction to managed disks.

Storage Explorer supports several connection options. This article describes connecting to a storage account associated with your Azure subscription. For information about other Storage Explorer connection options, see Getting started with Storage Explorer.


  • Download and install the latest version of Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer.

  • Get the name of the lab's storage account by using the Azure portal:

    1. In the Azure portal, search for and select DevTest Labs, and then select your lab from the list.
    2. On the lab page, select Configuration and policies from the left navigation.
    3. On the Configuration and policies page, under Virtual machine bases, select Custom images.
    4. On the Custom images page, select Add.
    5. On the Custom image page, under VHD, select the Upload a VHD using PowerShell link. Screenshot that shows the Upload VHD using PowerShell link.
    6. On the Upload an image using PowerShell page, in the call to the Add-AzureVhd cmdlet, the Destination parameter shows the lab's storage account name in the following format: https://<STORAGE-ACCOUNT-NAME>.blob.core.windows.net/uploads/.
    7. Copy the storage account name to use in the following steps.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. When you open Storage Explorer, the left Explorer pane shows all the Azure subscriptions you're signed in to.

    If you need to add a different account, select the Account Management icon, and in the Account Management pane, select Add an account.

    Screenshot that shows Add an account in the Account Management pane.

    Follow the prompts to sign in with the Microsoft account associated with your Azure subscription.

  2. After you sign in, the Explorer pane shows the Azure subscriptions associated with your account. Select the dropdown arrow next to the Azure subscription you want to use. The left pane shows the storage accounts associated with the selected Azure subscription.

    Screenshot that shows the storage accounts for a selected Azure subscription.

  3. Select the dropdown arrow next to the lab storage account name you saved earlier.

  4. Expand the Blob Containers node, and then select uploads.

    Screenshot that shows the expanded Blob Containers node with the uploads directory.

  5. In the Storage Explorer right pane, on the blob editor toolbar, select Upload, and then select Upload Files.

    Screenshot that shows the Upload button and Upload Files.

  6. In the Upload Files dialog box, select ... next to the Selected files field, browse to the VHD file on your machine, select it, and then select Open.

  7. Under Blob type, change Block Blob to Page Blob.

  8. Select Upload.

    Screenshot that shows the Upload Files dialog box.

The Activities pane at the bottom shows upload status. Uploading the VHD file can take a long time, depending on the size of the VHD file and your connection speed.

Screenshot that shows the Activities pane with upload status.

Next steps