Set a blob's access tier

You can set a blob's access tier in any of the following ways:

  • By setting the default online access tier (Hot or Cool) for the storage account. Blobs in the account inherit this access tier unless you explicitly override the setting for an individual blob.
  • By explicitly setting a blob's tier on upload. You can create a blob in the Hot, Cool, or Archive tier.
  • By changing an existing blob's tier with a Set Blob Tier operation, typically to move from a hotter tier to a cooler one.
  • By copying a blob with a Copy Blob operation, typically to move from a cooler tier to a hotter one.

This article describes how manage a blob in an online access tier (Hot or Cool). For more information about how to move a blob to the Archive tier, see Archive a blob. For more information about how to rehydrate a blob from the Archive tier, see Rehydrate an archived blob to an online tier.

For more information about access tiers for blobs, see Hot, Cool, and Archive access tiers for blob data.

Set the default access tier for a storage account

The default access tier setting for a general-purpose v2 storage account determines in which online tier a new blob is created by default. You can set the default access tier for a general-purpose v2 storage account at the time that you create the account or by updating an existing account's configuration.

When you change the default access tier setting for an existing general-purpose v2 storage account, the change applies to all blobs in the account for which an access tier has not been explicitly set. Changing the default access tier may have a billing impact. For details, see Default account access tier setting.

To set the default access tier for a storage account at create time in the Azure portal, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Storage accounts page, and select the Create button.

  2. Fill out the Basics tab.

  3. On the Advanced tab, under Blob storage, set the Access tier to either Hot or Cool. The default setting is Hot.

  4. Select Review + Create to validate your settings and create your storage account.

    Screenshot showing how to set the default access tier when creating a storage account.

To update the default access tier for an existing storage account in the Azure portal, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the storage account in the Azure portal.
  2. Under Settings, select Configuration.
  3. Locate the Blob access tier (default) setting, and select either Hot or Cool. The default setting is Hot, if you have not previously set this property.
  4. Save your changes.

Set a blob's tier on upload

When you upload a blob to Azure Storage, you have two options for setting the blob's tier on upload:

  • You can explicitly specify the tier in which the blob will be created. This setting overrides the default access tier for the storage account. You can set the tier for a blob or set of blobs on upload to Hot, Cool, or Archive.
  • You can upload a blob without specifying a tier. In this case, the blob will be created in the default access tier specified for the storage account (either Hot or Cool).

The following sections describe how to specify that a blob is uploaded to either the Hot or Cool tier. For more information about archiving a blob on upload, see Archive blobs on upload.

Upload a blob to a specific online tier

To create a blob in the Hot or Cool tier tier, specify that tier when you create the blob. The access tier specified on upload overrides the default access tier for the storage account.

To upload a blob or set of blobs to a specific tier from the Azure portal, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the target container.

  2. Select the Upload button.

  3. Select the file or files to upload.

  4. Expand the Advanced section, and set the Access tier to Hot or Cool.

  5. Select the Upload button.

    Screenshot showing how to upload blobs to an online tier in the Azure portal.

Upload a blob to the default tier

Storage accounts have a default access tier setting that indicates in which online tier a new blob is created. The default access tier setting can be set to either hot or cool. The behavior of this setting is slightly different depending on the type of storage account:

  • The default access tier for a new general-purpose v2 storage account is set to the Hot tier by default. You can change the default access tier setting when you create a storage account or after it is created.
  • When you create a legacy Blob Storage account, you must specify the default access tier setting as Hot or Cool when you create the storage account. You can change the default access tier setting for the storage account after it is created.

A blob that doesn't have an explicitly assigned tier infers its tier from the default account access tier setting. You can determine whether a blob's access tier is inferred by using the Azure portal, PowerShell, or Azure CLI.

If a blob's access tier is inferred from the default account access tier setting, then the Azure portal displays the access tier as Hot (inferred) or Cool (inferred).

Screenshot showing blobs with the default access tier in the Azure portal.

Move a blob to a different online tier

You can change the tier of an existing blob in one of two ways:

  • By calling the Set Blob Tier operation, either directly or via a lifecycle management policy, to change the blob's tier.
  • By calling the Copy Blob operation to copy a blob from one tier to another. In this case, the source blob remains in the original tier, and a new blob is created in the target tier.

For more information about each of these options, see Setting or changing a blob's tier.

Use PowerShell, Azure CLI, or one of the Azure Storage client libraries to move a blob to a different tier.

Change a blob's tier

When you change a blob's tier, you move that blob and all of its data to the target tier. Calling Set Blob Tier is typically the best option when you are changing a blob's tier from a hotter tier to a cooler one.

To change a blob's tier from Hot to Cool in the Azure portal, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the blob for which you want to change the tier.

  2. Select the blob, then select the Change tier button.

  3. In the Change tier dialog, select the target tier.

  4. Select the Save button.

    Screenshot showing how to change a blob's tier in the Azure portal

Copy a blob to a different online tier

When you copy a blob to a different tier, you move that blob and all of its data to the target tier. Calling Copy Blob is recommended for most scenarios where you are moving a blob from Cool to Hot, or rehydrating a blob from the Archive tier.

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