Install and use Azure IoT explorer

The Azure IoT explorer is a graphical tool for interacting with and testing your IoT Plug and Play Preview devices. After installing the tool on your local machine, you can use it to connect to a device. You can use the tool to view the telemetry the device is sending, work with device properties, and call commands.

This article shows you how to:

  • Install and configure the Azure IoT explorer tool.
  • Use the tool to interact with and test your devices.


To use the Azure IoT explorer tool, you need:

  • An Azure IoT hub. There are many ways to add an IoT hub to your Azure subscription, such as Creating an IoT hub by using the Azure CLI. You need the IoT hub connection string to run the Azure IoT explorer tool. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

  • A device registered in your IoT hub. You can use the following Azure CLI command to register a device. Be sure to replace the {YourIoTHubName} and {YourDeviceID} placeholders with your values:

    az iot hub device-identity create --hub-name {YourIoTHubName} --device-id {YourDeviceID}

Install Azure IoT explorer

Go to Azure IoT explorer releases and expand the list of assets for the most recent release. Download and install the most recent version of the application.

Use Azure IoT explorer

For a device, you can either connect your own device, or use one of our sample simulated devices. Follow these instructions to run the simulated device sample.

Connect to your hub

The first time you run Azure IoT explorer, you're prompted for your IoT hub's connection string. After you add the connection string, select Connect. You can use the tool's settings to switch to another IoT hub by updating the connection string.

The model definition for an IoT Plug and Play device is stored in either the public repository, a company repository, or your connected device. By default, the tool looks for your model definition in the public model repository and your connected device. You can add and remove sources, or configure the priority of the sources in Settings:

To add a source:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select New and choose your source.
  3. If you're adding your company model repository, provide the connection string.

To remove a source:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Find the source you want to remove.
  3. Select X to remove it. You can't remove the public model repository because the common interface definitions come from this repository.

Change the source priorities:

You can drag and drop one of the model definition sources to a different ranking in the list. If there's a conflict, definition sources with higher rankings override sources with lower rankings.

View devices

After the tool connects to your IoT hub, it displays the Devices list page that lists the device identities registered with your IoT hub. You can expand any entry in the list to see more information.

On the Devices list page you can:

  • Select Add to register a new device with your hub. Then enter a device ID. Use the default settings to automatically generate authentication keys and enable the connection to your hub.
  • Select a device and then select Delete to delete a device identity. Review the device details before you complete this action to be sure you're deleting the right device identity.
  • Query by capabilityID and interfaceID. Add either your capabilityID or interfaceID as a parameter to query your devices.

Interact with a device

On the Devices list page, select a value in the Device ID column to view the detail page for the registered device. For each device there are two sections: Device and Digital Twin.


This section includes the Device Identity, Device Twin, Telemetry, Direct method and Cloud-to-device message tabs.

  • You can view and update the device identity information on the Device identity tab.
  • You can access the device twin information on the Device Twin tab.
  • If a device is connected and actively sending data, you can view the telemetry on the Telemetry tab.
  • You can call a direct method on the device on the Direct method tab.
  • You can send a cloud-to-device message on the Cloud-to-device messages tab.

Digital twin

You can use the tool to a view digital twin instance of the device. For an IoT Plug and Play device, all the interfaces associated with the device capability model are displayed in this section of the tool. Select an interface to expand its corresponding IoT Plug and Play primitives.


On the Interface page, you can view the JSON definition of the interface.


You can view the read-only properties defined in an interface on the Non-writeable properties page. You can update the writeable properties defined in an interface on the Writeable properties page:

  1. Go to the Writable properties page.
  2. Click the property you'd like to update.
  3. Enter the new value for the property.
  4. Preview the payload to be sent to the device.
  5. Submit the change.

After you submit a change, you can track the update status: synching, success, or error. When the synching is complete, you see the new value of your property in the Reported Property column. If you navigate to other pages before the synching completes, the tool still notifies you when the update is complete. You can also use the tool's notification center to see the notification history.


To send a command to a device, go to the Commands page:

  1. In the list of commands, expand the command you want to trigger.
  2. Enter any required values for the command.
  3. Preview the payload to be sent to the device.
  4. Submit the command.


To view the telemetry for the selected interface, go to its Telemetry page.

Next steps

In this how-to article, you learned how to install and use Azure IoT explorer to interact with your IoT Plug and Play devices. A suggested next step is to learn how to Install and use Azure CLI extension.