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Using Redgate Azure Explorer (free to download), we can browse data storage objects on Microsoft Azure and extract our virtual machines as .vhd files. It’s also handy for determining which of our Azure services are associated with a given storage object.

Azure Explorer looks just like our typical file browser. In order to connect it with a remote storage object, we first require the storage object’s name an its access key. This can be found by navigating to the object’s settings in the Azure Portal.


Click the ‘All settings‘ button, and select the ‘Keys‘ panel.


Then copy the Storage Account Name and the Primary Access Key. Both values are all that’s needed to create a new connection in Azure Explorer.


Once the settings are added and the connection was successful, the data object will be listed to the left of the Azure Explorer window. The VM images are listed under the ‘vhds‘ sub-directory as downloadable files.