Get started with Storage Explorer

Overview

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a standalone app that makes it easy to work with Azure Storage data on Windows, macOS, and Linux. In this article, you'll learn several ways of connecting to and managing your Azure storage accounts.

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

Prerequisites

The following versions of Windows support Storage Explorer:

  • Windows 10 (recommended)
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

For all versions of Windows, Storage Explorer requires .NET Framework 4.6.2 or later.

Download and install

To download and install Storage Explorer, see Azure Storage Explorer.

Connect to a storage account or service

Storage Explorer provides several ways to connect to storage accounts. In general you can either:

Sign in to Azure

Note

To fully access resources after you sign in, Storage Explorer requires both management (Azure Resource Manager) and data layer permissions. This means that you need Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) permissions, which give you access to your storage account, the containers in the account, and the data in the containers. If you have permissions only at the data layer, consider adding a resource through Azure AD. For more information about the specific permissions Storage Explorer requires, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide.

  1. In Storage Explorer, select View > Account Management or select the Manage Accounts button.

    Manage Accounts

  2. ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT now displays all the Azure accounts you've signed in to. To connect to another account, select Add an account.

  3. In Connect to Azure Storage, select an Azure cloud from Azure environment to sign in to a national cloud or an Azure Stack. After you choose your environment, select Next.

    Option to sign in

    Storage Explorer opens a page for you to sign in. For more information, see Connect storage explorer to an Azure Stack subscription or storage account.

  4. After you successfully sign in with an Azure account, the account and the Azure subscriptions associated with that account appear under ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT. Select All subscriptions to toggle your selection between all or none of the listed Azure subscriptions. Select the Azure subscriptions that you want to work with, and then select Apply.

    Select Azure subscriptions

    EXPLORER displays the storage accounts associated with the selected Azure subscriptions.

    Selected Azure subscriptions

Attach a specific resource

There are several ways to attach to a resource in Storage Explorer:

Add a resource via Azure AD

  1. Select the Connect symbol to open Connect to Azure Storage.

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. If you haven't already done so, use the Add an Azure Account option to sign in to the Azure account that has access to the resource. After you sign in, return to Connect to Azure Storage.

  3. Select Add a resource via Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), and then select Next.

  4. Select an Azure account and tenant. These values must have access to the Storage resource you want to attach to. Select Next.

  5. Choose the resource type you want to attach. Enter the information needed to connect.

    The information you enter on this page depends on what type of resource you're adding. Make sure to choose the correct type of resource. After you've entered the required information, select Next.

  6. Review the Connection Summary to make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, select Back to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree goes to the node that represents the connection. The resource appears under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts > (Attached Containers) > Blob Containers. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide.

Use a connection string

  1. Select the Connect symbol to open Connect to Azure Storage.

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a connection string, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection and enter your connection string. Then, select Next.

  4. Review the Connection Summary to make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, select Back to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree goes to the node that represents the connection. The resource appears under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide.

Use a shared access signature URI

  1. Select the Connect symbol to open Connect to Azure Storage.

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a shared access signature (SAS) URI, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection and enter your shared access signature URI. The service endpoint for the type of resource you're attaching should autofill. If you're using a custom endpoint, it's possible it might not. Select Next.

  4. Review the Connection Summary to make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, select Back to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree goes to the node that represents the connection. The resource appears under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts > (Attached Containers) > the service node for the type of container you attached. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide. See the troubleshooting guide if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection.

Use a name and key

  1. Select the Connect symbol to open Connect to Azure Storage.

    Connect to Azure storage option

  2. Select Use a storage account name and key, and then select Next.

  3. Choose a display name for your connection.

  4. Enter your storage account name and either of its access keys.

  5. Choose the Storage domain to use and then select Next.

  6. Review the Connection Summary to make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, select Back to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree goes to the node that represents the connection. The resource appears under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide.

Attach to a local emulator

Storage Explorer currently supports two official Storage emulators:

If your emulator is listening on the default ports, you can use the Emulator - Default Ports node to access your emulator. Look for Emulator - Default Ports under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts.

If you want to use a different name for your connection, or if your emulator isn't running on the default ports, follow these steps:

  1. Start your emulator. Enter the command AzureStorageEmulator.exe status to display the ports for each service type.

    Important

    Storage Explorer doesn't automatically start your emulator. You must start it manually.

  2. Select the Connect symbol to open Connect to Azure Storage.

    Connect to Azure storage option

  3. Select Attach to a local emulator, and then select Next.

  4. Choose a display name for your connection and enter the ports your emulator is listening on for each service type. Attach to a Local Emulator suggests the default port values for most emulators. Files port is blank, because neither of the official emulators currently support the Files service. If the emulator you're using does support Files, you can enter the port to use. Then, select Next.

  5. Review the Connection Summary and make sure all the information is correct. If it is, select Connect. Otherwise, select Back to return to the previous pages to fix any incorrect information.

After the connection is successfully added, the resource tree goes to the node that represents the connection. The node should appear under Local & Attached > Storage Accounts. If Storage Explorer couldn't add your connection, or if you can't access your data after successfully adding the connection, see the Azure Storage Explorer troubleshooting guide.

Connect to an Azure Cosmos DB account by using a connection string

Instead of managing Azure Cosmos DB accounts through an Azure subscription, you can connect to Azure Cosmos DB by using a connection string. To connect, follow these steps:

  1. Under EXPLORER, expand Local & Attached, right-click Cosmos DB Accounts, and select Connect to Azure Cosmos DB.

    Connect to Azure Cosmos DB by connection string

  2. Select the Azure Cosmos DB API, enter your Connection String data, and then select OK to connect the Azure Cosmos DB account. For information about how to retrieve the connection string, see Manage an Azure Cosmos account.

    Connection string

Connect to Azure Data Lake Store by URI

You can access a resource that's not in your subscription. You need someone who has access to that resource to give you the resource URI. After you sign in, connect to Data Lake Store by using the URI. To connect, follow these steps:

  1. Under EXPLORER, expand Local & Attached.

  2. Right-click Data Lake Storage Gen1, and select Connect to Data Lake Storage Gen1.

    Connect to Data Lake Store context menu

  3. Enter the URI, and then select OK. Your Data Lake Store appears under Data Lake Storage.

    Connect to Data Lake Store result

This example uses Data Lake Storage Gen1. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 is now available. For more information, see What is Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1.

Generate a shared access signature in Storage Explorer

Account level shared access signature

  1. Right-click the storage account you want share, and then select Get Shared Access Signature.

    Get shared access signature context menu option

  2. In Shared Access Signature, specify the time frame and permissions you want for the account, and then select Create.

    Get a shared access signature

  3. Copy either the Connection string or the raw Query string to your clipboard.

Service level shared access signature

You can get a shared access signature at the service level. For more information, see Get the SAS for a blob container.

Search for storage accounts

To find a storage resource, you can search in the EXPLORER pane.

As you enter text in the search box, Storage Explorer displays all resources that match the search value you've entered up to that point. This example shows a search for endpoints:

Storage account search

Note

To speed up your search, use Account Management to deselect any subscriptions that don't contain the item you're searching for. You can also right-click a node and select Search From Here to start searching from a specific node.

Next steps