Log on to a Windows virtual machine using the Azure portal

In the Azure portal, you use the Connect button to start a Remote Desktop session and log on to a Windows VM.

Do you want to connect to a Linux VM? See How to log on to a virtual machine running Linux.


Azure has two different deployment models for creating and working with resources: Resource Manager and Classic. This article covers using the Classic deployment model. Microsoft recommends that most new deployments use the Resource Manager model. For information about how to log on to a VM using the Resource Manager model, see here.

Connect to the virtual machine

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Click on the virtual machine that you want to access. The name is listed in the All resources pane.


  3. Click Connect on the command bar atop the virtual machine dashboard.

    Connect icon for the virtual machine

Log on to the virtual machine

  1. Clicking Connect creates and downloads a Remote Desktop Protocol file (.rdp file). Click Open to use this file.
  2. You will get a warning that the .rdp is from an unknown publisher. This is normal. In the Remote Desktop window, click Connect to continue.

    Screenshot of a warning about an unknown publisher.

  3. In the Windows Security window, type the credentials for an account on the virtual machine and then click OK.

    Local account - this is usually the local account user name and password that you specified when you created the virtual machine. In this case, the domain is the name of the virtual machine and it is entered as vmname\username.

    Domain joined VM - if the VM belongs to a domain, enter the user name in the format Domain\Username. The account also needs to either be in the Administrators group or have been granted remote access privileges to the VM.

    Domain controller - if the VM is a domain controller, type the user name and password of a domain administrator account for that domain.

  4. Click Yes to verify the identity of the virtual machine and finish logging on.

    Screenshot showing a message abut verifying the identity of the VM.

Next steps

  • If the Connect button is inactive or you are having other problems with the Remote Desktop connection, try resetting the configuration. click Reset remote access from the virtual machine dashboard.


  • For problems with your password, try resetting it. Click Reset password along the left edge of virtual machine dashboard, under Support + Troubleshooting.


If those tips don't work or aren't what you need, see Troubleshoot Remote Desktop connections to a Windows-based Azure Virtual Machine. This article walks you through diagnosing and resolving common problems.