Azure Storage Explorer Troubleshooting Guide
Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a stand-alone app that enables you to easily work with Azure Storage data on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The app can connect to Storage accounts hosted on Azure, National Clouds, and Azure Stack.
This guide summarizes solutions for common issues seen in Storage Explorer.
Role-based Access Control Permission Issues
Role-based access control (RBAC) provides fine-grained access management of Azure resources by combining sets of permissions into roles. Here are some suggestions you can follow to get RBAC working in Storage Explorer.
What do I need to see my resources in Storage Explorer?
If you're having problems accessing storage resources using RBAC, it may be because you haven't been assigned the appropriate roles. The following sections describe the permissions Storage Explorer currently requires to access your storage resources.
Contact your Azure account administrator if you're unsure you have the appropriate roles or permissions.
Read: List/Get Storage Account(s)
You must have permission to list storage accounts. You can get this permission by being assigned the "Reader" role.
List Storage Account Keys
Storage Explorer can also use account keys to authenticate requests. You can get access to keys with more powerful roles, such as the "Contributor" role.
Access keys grant unrestricted permissions to anyone who holds them. Therefore, it's generally not recommended they be handed out to account users. If you need to revoke access keys, you can regenerate them from the Azure Portal.
You must be assigned at least one role that grants access read data from resources. For example, if you need to list or download blobs, you'll need at least the "Storage Blob Data Reader" role.
Why do I need a management layer role to see my resources in Storage Explorer?
Azure Storage has two layers of access: management and data. Subscriptions and storage accounts are accessed through the management layer. Containers, blobs, and other data resources are accessed through the data layer. For example, if you want to get a list of your storage accounts from Azure, you send a request to the management endpoint. If you want a list of blob containers in an account, you send a request to the appropriate service endpoint.
RBAC roles may contain permissions for management or data layer access. The "Reader" role, for example, grants you read-only access management layer resources.
Strictly speaking, the "Reader" role provides no data layer permissions and isn't necessary for accessing the data layer.
Storage Explorer makes it easy to access your resources by gathering the necessary information to connect to your Azure resources for you. For example, to display your blob containers, Storage Explorer sends a list containers request to the blob service endpoint. To get that endpoint, Storage Explorer searches the list of subscriptions and storage accounts you have access to. But, to find your subscriptions and storage accounts, Storage Explorer also needs access to the management layer.
If you don’t have a role granting any management layer permissions, Storage Explorer can’t get the information it needs to connect to the data layer.
What if I can't get the management layer permissions I need from my administrator?
We don't yet have an RBAC-related solution at this time. As a workaround, you can request a SAS URI to attach to your resource.
Error: Self-Signed Certificate in Certificate Chain (and similar errors)
Certificate errors are caused by one of the two following situations:
- The app is connected through a "transparent proxy", which means a server (such as your company server) is intercepting HTTPS traffic, decrypting it, and then encrypting it using a self-signed certificate.
- You're running an application that is injecting a self-signed SSL certificate into the HTTPS messages that you receive. Examples of applications that do inject certificates includes anti-virus and network traffic inspection software.
When Storage Explorer sees a self-signed or untrusted certificate, it can no longer know whether the received HTTPS message has been altered. If you have a copy of the self-signed certificate, you can instruct Storage Explorer trust it by doing the following steps:
- Obtain a Base-64 encoded X.509 (.cer) copy of the certificate
- Click Edit > SSL Certificates > Import Certificates, and then use the file picker to find, select, and open the .cer file
This issue may also be the result of multiple certificates (root and intermediate). Both certificates must be added to overcome the error.
If you're unsure of where the certificate is coming from, you can try these steps to find it:
- Install Open SSL
- Windows (any of the light versions should be sufficient)
- Mac and Linux: should be included with your operating system
- Run Open SSL
- Windows: open the installation directory, click /bin/, and then double-click openssl.exe.
- Mac and Linux: run openssl from a terminal.
s_client -showcerts -connect microsoft.com:443
- Look for self-signed certificates. If you're unsure of which certificates are self-signed, look for anywhere the subject
("i:")are the same.
- When you have found any self-signed certificates, for each one, copy and paste everything from and including -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- to -----END CERTIFICATE----- to a new .cer file.
- Open Storage Explorer, click Edit > SSL Certificates > Import Certificates, and then use the file picker to find, select, and open the .cer files that you created.
If you can't find any self-signed certificates using the preceding steps, contact us through the feedback tool for more help. You can also choose to launch Storage Explorer from the command line with the
--ignore-certificate-errors flag. When launched with this flag, Storage Explorer will ignore certificate errors.
Blank Sign-in Dialog
Blank sign-in dialogs are most often caused by ADFS asking Storage Explorer to perform a redirect, which is unsupported by Electron. To work around this issue, you can attempt to use Device Code Flow for sign-in. To do so, complete the following steps:
- Menu: Preview -> "Use Device Code Sign-In".
- Open the Connect Dialog (either via the plug icon on the left-hand vertical bar, or "Add Account" on the account panel).
- Choose what environment you want to sign in to.
- Click the "Sign In" button.
- Follow the instructions on the next panel.
If you find yourself having issues signing into the account you want to use because your default browser is already signed into a different account, you can either:
- Manually copy the link and code into a private session of your browser.
- Manually copy the link and code into a different browser.
Reauthentication loop or UPN change
If you're in a reauthentication loop, or have changed the UPN of one of your accounts, try the following steps:
- Remove all accounts and then close Storage Explorer
- Delete the .IdentityService folder from your machine. On Windows, the folder is located at
C:\users\<username>\AppData\Local. For Mac and Linux, you can find the folder at the root of your user directory.
- If you're on Mac or Linux, you'll also need to delete the Microsoft.Developer.IdentityService entry from your OS' keystore. On Mac, the keystore is the "Gnome Keychain" application. For Linux, the application is usually called "Keyring", but the name may be different depending on your distribution.
Conditional Access isn't supported when Storage Explorer is being used on Windows 10, Linux, or macOS. This is because of a limitation in the AAD Library used by Storage Explorer.
Mac Keychain errors
The macOS Keychain can sometimes get into a state that causes issues for Storage Explorer's authentication library. To get the keychain out of this state, try the following steps:
Close Storage Explorer.
Open keychain (cmd+space, type in keychain, hit enter).
Select the "login" keychain.
Click the padlock icon to lock the keychain (the padlock will animate to a locked position when complete, it may take a few seconds depending on what apps you have open).
Launch Storage Explorer.
A pop-up should appear saying something like "Service hub wants to access the keychain". When it does, enter your Mac admin account password and click Always Allow (or Allow if Always Allow isn't available).
Try to sign in.
General sign-in troubleshooting steps
- If you're on macOS, and the sign-in window never appears over the "Waiting for authentication..." dialog, then try these steps
- Restart Storage Explorer
- If the authentication window is blank, wait at least one minute before closing the authentication dialog box.
- Ensure that your proxy and certificate settings are properly configured for both your machine and Storage Explorer.
- If you're on Windows and have access to Visual Studio 2019 on the same machine and sign in, try signing in to Visual Studio 2019. After a successful sign-in to Visual Studio 2019, you can open Storage Explorer and see your account in the account panel.
If none of these methods work open an issue on GitHub.
Missing subscriptions and broken tenants
If you're unable to retrieve your subscriptions after you successfully sign in, try the following troubleshooting methods:
- Verify that your account has access to the subscriptions you expect. You can verify your access by signing into portal for the Azure environment you're trying to use.
- Make sure that you've signed in using the correct Azure environment (Azure, Azure China 21Vianet, Azure Germany, Azure US Government, or Custom Environment).
- If you're behind a proxy, make sure that you've configured the Storage Explorer proxy properly.
- Try removing and readding the account.
- If there's a "More information" link, look and see what error messages are being reported for the tenants that are failing. If you'ren't sure what to do with the error messages you see, then feel free to open an issue on GitHub.
Can't remove attached account or storage resource
If you're unable to remove an attached account or storage resource through the UI, you can manually delete all attached resources by deleting the following folders:
Close Storage Explorer before deleting the above folders.
If you have ever imported any SSL certificates then backup the contents of the
certs directory. Later, you can use the backup to reimport your SSL certificates.
First, make sure that the following information you entered are all correct:
- The proxy URL and port number
- Username and password if required by the proxy
Storage Explorer doesn't support proxy auto-config files for configuring proxy settings.
If you're still experiencing issues, try the following troubleshooting methods:
- If you can connect to the Internet without using your proxy, verify that Storage Explorer works without proxy settings enabled. If this is the case, there may be an issue with your proxy settings. Work with your proxy administrator to identify the problems.
- Verify that other applications using the proxy server work as expected.
- Verify that you can connect to the portal for the Azure environment you're trying to use
- Verify that you can receive responses from your service endpoints. Enter one of your endpoint URLs into your browser. If you can connect, you should receive an InvalidQueryParameterValue or similar XML response.
- If someone else is also using Storage Explorer with your proxy server, verify that they can connect. If they can connect, you may have to contact your proxy server admin.
Tools for diagnosing issues
If you have networking tools, such as Fiddler for Windows, you can diagnose the problems as follows:
- If you have to work through your proxy, you may have to configure your networking tool to connect through the proxy.
- Check the port number used by your networking tool.
- Enter the local host URL and the networking tool's port number as proxy settings in Storage Explorer. When done correctly, your networking tool starts logging network requests made by Storage Explorer to management and service endpoints. For example, enter https://cawablobgrs.blob.core.windows.net/ for your blob endpoint in a browser, and you'll receive a response resembles the following, which suggests the resource exists, although you can't access it.
Contact proxy server admin
If your proxy settings are correct, you may have to contact your proxy server admin, and
- Make sure that your proxy doesn't block traffic to Azure management or resource endpoints.
- Verify the authentication protocol used by your proxy server. Storage Explorer doesn't currently support NTLM proxies.
"Unable to Retrieve Children" error message
If you're connected to Azure through a proxy, verify that your proxy settings are correct. If you're granted access to a resource from the owner of the subscription or account, verify that you have read or list permissions for that resource.
Connection String doesn't Have Complete Configuration Settings
If you receive this error message, it's possible that you don't have the needed permissions to obtain the keys for your Storage account. To confirm if this is the case, go to the portal and locate your Storage account. You can quickly do this by right-clicking on the node for your Storage account and clicking "Open in Portal". Once you do, go to the "Access Keys" blade. If you don't have permissions to view keys, then you will see a page with the message "You don't have access". To work around this issue, you can either obtain the account key from someone else and attach with name and key, or you can ask someone for a SAS to the Storage account and use it to attach the Storage account.
If you do see the account keys, file an issue on GitHub so we can help you resolve the issue.
Issues with SAS URL
If you're connecting to a service using a SAS URL and experiencing this error:
- Verify that the URL provides the necessary permissions to read or list resources.
- Verify that the URL has not expired.
- If the SAS URL is based on an access policy, verify that the access policy has not been revoked.
If you accidentally attached using an invalid SAS URL and are unable to detach, follow these steps:
- When running Storage Explorer, press F12 to open the developer tools window.
- Click the Application tab, then click Local Storage > file:// in the tree on the left.
- Find the key associated with the service type of the problematic SAS URI. For example, if the bad SAS URI is for a blob container, look for the key named
- The value of the key should be a JSON array. Find the object associated with the bad URI and remove it.
- Press Ctrl+R to reload Storage Explorer.
Storage Explorer as provided in the .tar.gz download is only supported for Ubuntu distributions. Other distributions have not been verified and may require alternative or additional packages.
These packages are the most common requirements for Storage Explorer on Linux:
- .NET Core 2.0 Runtime
Storage Explorer version 1.7.0 and earlier require .NET Core 2.0. If you have a newer version of .NET Core installed then you will need to patch Storage Explorer. If you're running Storage Explorer 1.8.0 or greater then you should be able to use up to .NET Core 2.2. Versions beyond 2.2 have not been verified to work at this time.