Visual Studio Online Quickstart

Welcome to Visual Studio Online! We're glad you're here.

Visual Studio Online provides cloud-powered development environments for any activity - whether it's a long-term project, or a short-term task like reviewing a pull request. You can work with these environments from Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio (sign up for the Private Preview), or a browser-based editor that's accessible anywhere! You can even connect your own self-hosted environments to Visual Studio Online at no cost.

Additionally, Visual Studio Online brings many of the benefits of DevOps, like repeatability and reliability, which have typically been reserved for production workloads, to development environments. However, Visual Studio Online is also personaliazable to allow developers to leverage the tools, processes and configurations that they have come to love and rely on - truly the best of both worlds!

Ready to get going? This document will walk you through how to install VS Online, create a cloud-hosted environment, connect to it, run and debug the environment's application, disconnect and delete the environment.


A Microsoft Account and Azure Subscription are required for this quickstart. You can sign up for both, as well as receive various Azure incentives at

1. Sign In

To sign into VS Online, browse to the login page and click the Sign in button.

Sign In to Visual Studio Online

Follow the prompts in the pop-up dialog to complete sign in.

2. Create a plan

A VS Online plan is required to create VS Online environments. To create a new plan and either use the blue Create new plan button, or by click the Create new plan in the Plan Selector menu in the header bar.

Create Visual Studio Online plan

Fill in the form with the following information:

  • Subscription: Choose any existing Azure subscription you'd like.
  • Resource Group: Choose any existing Azure resource group you'd like.
  • Region: Choose the supported regions geographically closest to you. Supported regions are:
    • East US
    • Southeast Asia
    • West Europe
    • West US 2
  • Plan Name: My-VSO-Plan

Once a plan is created, it will be the selected plan in the Plan Selector.


More information about plans and pricing is available on the VS Online pricing page.

3. Create an Environment

To create a new cloud-hosted environment in VS Online select the Create environment button in the VS Online management portal.

Create environment in Visual Studio Code

Complete the form with the following values:

  • Environment Name: My Quick Environment
  • Git Repository: microsoft/vsonline-quickstart
  • Put environment to sleep after...: 30 minutes
  • Instance Type: Standard Environment (Linux)

Create environment in Visual Studio Code

A card with the name My Quick Environment will appear in the management portal with a status badge of Creating.

4. Connect To and Use the Environment

Once the green Available status badge appears on the environment card, click My Quick Environment to connect.

Once connected, open from File Explorer, and then press [ctrl]+[shift]+[V] to render the markdown file.

Follow the instructions in, and return to this document when complete.

5. Deleting the Environment

To delete the newly created environment, click the context menu on the My Quick Environment card and select Delete.

Delete in Visual Studio Online

Next Steps

That's it! You've quickly spun up an environment, used the integrated terminal, edited code, debugged and ran it, then disconnected and deleted the environment.

If you'd like to learn more details, check out the VS Online Overview or VS Online for VS Code how-to documentation.