Useful PowerShell Azure Connect CLI Options with Az Module Version 1.0

Recently, Microsoft Azure team release the new version of the AzureRM Module can be install in both Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core. Now, with the new version renamed from AzureRM to ‘Az‘, Microsoft is encouraging everyone to download and start using this refreshed module moving forward. Just make sure to keep reporting any issues on this module.

Don’t forget to check out the recent blog about the Azure PowerShell ‘Az’ Module version 1.0.

One of the most important fix was the issue experiencing with the TokenCache Initialization when using the cmdlet Import-AzContext. This issue was causing many DevOps to go back and use older version of the AzureRM module to get their script to work again.

The “TokenCache initialization” issue was reported in Github for some time, and finally it has been fixed.

Now, let’s take a look on how to connect to Azure.

Azure Connection CLI options

The following cmdlets can assist you with Azure connectivity:

  • Connect-AzAccount
  • Save-AzContext
  • Import-AzContext
  • Enable-AzContextAutoSave
  • Disable- AzContextAutoSave

All of these cmdlets belongs to the “Az.Account” module which is included in the Az Module. Here’s where you can use find different ways to connect to Azure.

Below is the full list of all Az modules installed from the PowerShell Gallery:

PS [118] > Get-Module -ListAvailable Az.* | Select Name, Version

Name Version
---- -------
Az.Accounts 1.0.0
Az.Aks 1.0.0
Az.AnalysisServices 1.0.0
Az.ApiManagement 1.0.0
Az.ApplicationInsights 1.0.0
Az.Automation 1.0.0
Az.Batch 1.0.0
Az.Billing 1.0.0
Az.Cdn 1.0.0
Az.CognitiveServices 1.0.0
Az.Compute 1.0.0
Az.ContainerInstance 1.0.0
Az.ContainerRegistry 1.0.0
Az.DataFactory 1.0.0
Az.DataLakeAnalytics 1.0.0
Az.DataLakeStore 1.0.0
Az.DevTestLabs 1.0.0
Az.Dns 1.0.0
Az.EventGrid 1.0.0
Az.EventHub 1.0.0
Az.HDInsight 1.0.0
Az.IotHub 1.0.0
Az.KeyVault 1.0.0
Az.LogicApp 1.0.0
Az.MachineLearning 1.0.0
Az.MarketplaceOrdering 1.0.0
Az.Media 1.0.0
Az.Monitor 1.0.0
Az.Network 1.0.0
Az.NotificationHubs 1.0.0
Az.OperationalInsights 1.0.0
Az.PolicyInsights 1.0.0
Az.PowerBIEmbedded 1.0.0
Az.RecoveryServices 1.0.0
Az.RedisCache 1.0.0
Az.Relay 1.0.0
Az.Resources 1.0.0
Az.ServiceBus 1.0.0
Az.ServiceFabric 1.0.0
Az.SignalR 1.0.0
Az.Sql 1.0.0
Az.Storage 1.0.0
Az.StreamAnalytics 1.0.0
Az.TrafficManager 1.0.0
Az.Websites 1.0.0

PS [169] >

There’s a total of 45 ‘Az‘ modules are installed in your system.

Simple Connection

First time connecting to your Azure subscription, you’ll use the “Connect-AzAccount” cmdlet. This cmdlet will asked you to open a browser, then copy/paste a URL and a code that will authorized your device to connect to azure.

So, after the device has been authorized, you can start start working with Azure commands from any of the PowerShell Consoles.

Now, using this cmdlet will create the “.Azure” folder under the user profile directory containing the following files:


But, using the Connect-AzAccount cmdlet, the connection only last while your PowerShell session is active. So, as soon as you close the console, and you’ll have to repeat the whole process to connect to Azure again.

Reusing Azure Authentication

We can reuse Azure Authentication in order to avoid the steps of re-opening the browser. Using the following cmdlets: Save-AzContext and Import-AzContext. These two cmdlets are very useful, as the Import-AzContext loads Azure authentication information from a JSON previously saved when using the Save-AzContext cmdlet.

So, as soon as initially set the connection with the Connect-AzAccount and setup all the necessary configuration (resource groups, storage accounts, Availability Sets…), proceed to use the Save-AzContext to save the Azure Authentication information to a folder location of your choosing.

Then, after exiting your PowerShell session, in order to reconnect again, just use the Import-AzContext cmdlet. I’m sure this one of the way many Azure DevOps are using the Import-AzContext to automate script in PowerShell.

Just make sure to occasionally refresh the file as you’ll be making changes the Azure account(s) by adding/removing resources.

Staying Connected to Azure Account

Now, this has been available for awhile using the cmdlets: Enable-AzContextAutoSave, and Disable-AzContextAutoSave. So, if you want to stay connected to your Azure Account, every time you close and reopen a PowerShell Console, you can start working with Azure cmdlets without any delays.

And, because you probably have been working with the Azure modules for some time, just execute the Enable-AzContextAutoSave cmdlet.

That’s it!

Now, you can close and re-open PowerShell Console and immediately start working with Azure.  This will make you feel like you are using the Cloud Shell on your desktop.

Just remember, in order to disable this functionality, just run the Disable-AzContextAutoSave cmdlet and exit the PowerShell Console.


As you can see, there are many ways to get connected from any system cross-platform to your Azure Account(s) to suit your need. This will work from anywhere from any system!

Just go ahead, experiment and find your own way to work proactive with Azure.

PowerShell Preview.3 Not Starting after upgrading from previous version

Just in case you haven’t try to install PowerShell Core Preview.3, in Windows, which became available on the evening of the 10th of December. If are doing a clean installation, meaning that it was previously manually uninstall, or that this is your first installation, then you are fine.

The issue with installing PowerShell Core Preview.3 is when you do an upgrade over a previous version: either Preview.1 or Preview.2.

Fail To Start

Simple! Although the installation will complete without any failures, PowerShell Core will fail to start.

Even if you try to execute PowerShell Core Preview.3 from DOS command prompt executing “pwsh.exe from the installed location, will give the following error:

C:\Program Files\PowerShell\6-preview>pwsh
An assembly specified in the application dependencies manifest (pwsh.deps.json) was not found:
package: 'System.Private.ServiceModel', version: '4.5.3'
path: 'runtimes/win/lib/netstandard2.0/System.Private.ServiceModel.dll'
Error starting PowerShell Core Preview.3 from DOS Command prompt

What is the Workaround?

This issue is when upgrading from previous version prior Preview.3. So, there are only two ways to fix it:

  1. Using the Control Panel,”Add/Remove Programs”, uninstalling then reinstalling PowerShell Core.
  2. Or, run again the Preview.3 installation, but select “Repair”.
Run the PowerShell Core Preview.3 installation again then select the “Repair” option

Either options seems to fix the issue of PowerShell Core Preview.3 not to start.

Read the Release Notes

PowerShell Core Version 6.2.0 Preview.3 – Release Notes. This release includes the “Experimental Features”. Go ahead, try it!  Be ahead of everyone with this new version.

For more information about PowerShell Core Experimental Features, check the PowerShell-RFC0029 document.

Please, any PowerShell Core issues can be reported in Github.