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Getting started with Azure AD Premium

Published: April 3, 2014

Updated: May 29, 2014

Applies To: Azure

When you purchase a Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium license plan, your organization gains access to our top-tier identity and access management features with an unlimited amount of usage, based on the terms you purchased, for all users who’ve been assigned a license in your directory. For a detailed list of the features included with Premium, see Azure Active Directory Premium.

Azure AD Premium is not currently supported in China. Please contact us at the Azure Active Directory Forum for more information.

Azure AD Premium is also included in the Enterprise Mobility Suite. Enterprise Mobility Suite is a cost effective way for organizations to use Windows Intune, Azure Rights Management and the Active Directory Premium services together under one licensing plan. For more information, see the Enterprise Mobility Suite web site.

To start using Azure Active Directory Premium features today, follow the steps below:

The Azure AD Premium licensing plan is currently only available through Microsoft’s Enterprise Volume Licensing Programs. When you sign up for the Premium license plan, you get a certain allotment of licenses and get to keep those licenses for a specific period of time based on the volume licensing agreement you have in place.

To sign up, see the Volume Licensing web site.

If this is the first time you have purchased a license plan through Microsoft’s Enterprise Volume Licensing program, you will need to first activate your license plan before you can start assigning licenses from within your Azure AD directory. To do this, you must click on either the Sign In or Sign Up link found in the confirmation email (see below) you will receive after your very first license plan purchase has been completed. On any subsequent purchase for this directory the licenses will automatically be activated in the same directory.


If you have an existing tenant selecting the Sign In link will prompt you to sign in with your existing administrator account. It’s important that you sign in with the global administrator credentials from the directory where the licenses must be activated.

If you want to create a new Azure AD tenant to use with your licensing plan then you should select the Sign Up link which will take you to the following screen.

Account profile

Once you are done with either the sign up process or the sign in process that was initiated from the email, you will see the following screen confirming that the license plan is being activated for your tenant.


Once the licenses are provisioned to your directory you will be receive a Welcome email (see below) that confirms you can start managing your Azure AD Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite licenses and features. If you have used Microsoft Azure before, you can proceed to to assign the new licenses (see Step 4 below for further instructions). If you are new to Microsoft Azure, selecting the Sign In link on the email, or going to the Access to Azure Active Directory activation page will take you through a series of steps to help you access your directory through the Azure Management Portal.

Azure AD Email

Once you have signed in successfully, you will need to complete a 2nd factor authentication screen (below) by providing a mobile phone number and validating it. After this you will be able to activate your access to Azure AD by selecting Sign Up.

Sign Up

The activation may take a few minutes, as illustrated below, once your access is active the brown bar will disappear and you will be able to click the Portal link in the top right corner or navigate to to access the Azure AD management portal.


In this case your Azure access will be limited to Azure AD.


You may already have had access to Azure from prior usage, in addition you can upgrade your Access Azure AD to full Azure Access by activating additional Azure subscriptions. In these cases the Azure Management portal will have more capabilities as in the following.


If you attempt to activate your access to Azure AD prior to receiving the Welcome email above you may experience the following error message. Please try again in a few minutes once you have received the email.

Sign Up

New administrators in your subscription can also activate their access to the Azure AD management portal through this link.

Before you can start using the plan you purchased, you’ll need to manually assign licenses to user accounts within your organization so that they can use the rich features provided with Premium. Use the following steps to assign licenses to users so they can use AD Premium features.

  1. Sign into the Azure Management Portal as the global administrator of the directory you wish to customize.

  2. Click on Active Directory, and then select the directory where you want to assign licenses.

  3. Select the Licenses tab, select Active Directory Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite, and then click Assign.

    Contoso license plans
  4. In the dialog box, select the users you want to assign licenses to, and then click the check mark icon to save the changes.

    Assign licenses

Some license plans are sub-sets or supersets of other license plans. In most cases a user cannot be assigned a license plan that has already been assigned to them. If it’s your intention to assign a license plan that is a superset, you’ll need to first remove the sub-set license plan.

When you assign a license to a user, you can specify a primary usage location in the properties of their account as shown below. If a usage location is not specified, the tenant’s location is automatically assigned to the user.

Usage location

The availability of services and features for a Microsoft cloud service varies by country or region. A service, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), may be available in one country or region, and not available in another. Features within a service can be restricted for legal reasons in certain countries or regions. To see if a service or feature is available with or without restrictions, look for your country or region on the service’s license restrictions site.

See Also

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