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List Containers

Updated: February 26, 2015

The List Containers operation returns a list of the containers under the specified account.

The List Containers request may be constructed as follows. HTTPS is recommended. Replace myaccount with the name of your storage account:


Method Request URI HTTP Version




Note that the URI must always include the forward slash (/) to separate the host name from the path and query portions of the URI. In the case of the List Containers operation, the path portion of the URI is empty.

When making a request against the emulated storage service, specify the emulator hostname and Blob service port as, followed by the emulated storage account name:


Method Request URI HTTP Version



Note that emulated storage only supports blob sizes up to 2 GB.

For more information, see Using the Azure Storage Emulator for Development and Testing and Differences Between the Storage Emulator and Azure Storage Services.

The following additional parameters may be specified on the request URI.


Parameter Description


Optional. Filters the results to return only containers whose name begins with the specified prefix.


Optional. A string value that identifies the portion of the list to be returned with the next list operation. The operation returns a marker value within the response body if the list returned was not complete. The marker value may then be used in a subsequent call to request the next set of list items.

The marker value is opaque to the client.


Optional. Specifies the maximum number of containers to return. If the request does not specify maxresults, or specifies a value greater than 5,000, the server will return up to 5,000 items. If the parameter is set to a value less than or equal to zero, the server will return status code 400 (Bad Request).


Optional. Include this parameter to specify that the container's metadata be returned as part of the response body.

Note that metadata requested with this parameter must be stored in accordance with the naming restrictions imposed by the 2009-09-19 version of the Blob service. Beginning with this version, all metadata names must adhere to the naming conventions for C# identifiers.


Optional. The timeout parameter is expressed in seconds. For more information, see Setting Timeouts for Blob Service Operations.

The following table describes required and optional request headers.


Request Header Description


Required. Specifies the authentication scheme, account name, and signature. For more information, see Authentication for the Azure Storage Services.

Date or x-ms-date

Required. Specifies the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for the request. For more information, see Authentication for the Azure Storage Services.


Required for all authenticated requests. Specifies the version of the operation to use for this request. For more information, see Versioning for the Azure Storage Services.


Optional. Provides a client-generated, opaque value with a 1 KB character limit that is recorded in the analytics logs when storage analytics logging is enabled. Using this header is highly recommended for correlating client-side activities with requests received by the server. For more information, see About Storage Analytics Logging and Azure Logging: Using Logs to Track Storage Requests.

See the Sample Request and Response section later in this topic.

The response includes an HTTP status code, a set of response headers, and a response body in XML format.

A successful operation returns status code 200 (OK).

For information about status codes, see Status and Error Codes.

The response for this operation includes the following headers. The response also includes additional standard HTTP headers. All standard headers conform to the HTTP/1.1 protocol specification.


Response header Description


Standard HTTP/1.1 header. Specifies the format in which the results are returned. Currently, this value is application/xml.


This header uniquely identifies the request that was made and can be used for troubleshooting the request. For more information, see Troubleshooting API Operations.


Indicates the version of the Blob service used to execute the request. This header is returned for requests made against version 2009-09-19 and above.


A UTC date/time value generated by the service that indicates the time at which the response was initiated.

The format of the response body is as follows.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<EnumerationResults ServiceEndpoint="https://myaccount.blob.core.windows.net">
        <LeaseStatus>locked | unlocked</LeaseStatus>
        <LeaseState>available | leased | expired | breaking | broken</LeaseState>
        <LeaseDuration>infinite | fixed</LeaseDuration>      

LeaseStatus, LeaseState, and LeaseDuration only appear in version 2012-02-12 and later.

Beginning with version 2013-08-15, the AccountName attribute for the EnumerationResults element has been renamed to ServiceEndpoint. The URL element has also been removed from the Container element. For versions prior to 2013-08-15, the container's URL, as specified by the URL field, does not include the restype=container parameter. If you use this value to make subsequent requests against the enumerated containers, be sure to append this parameter to indicate that the resource type is a container.

The Prefix, Marker, and MaxResults elements are only present if they were specified on the URI. The NextMarker element has a value only if the list results are not complete.

The Metadata element is present only if the include=metadata parameter was specified on the URI. Within the Metadata element, the value of each name-value pair is listed within an element corresponding to the pair's name.

If a metadata name-value pair violates the naming restrictions enforced by the 2009-09-19 version, the response body indicates the problematic name within an x-ms-invalid-name element, as shown in the following XML fragment:

        <MyMetadata1>first value</MyMetadata1>
        <MyMetadata2>second value</MyMetadata2>

Beginning with version 2009-09-19, the response body for List Containers returns the container's last modified time in an element named Last-Modified. In previous versions, this element was named LastModified.

See the Sample Request and Response section later in this topic.

Only the account owner may call this operation.

If you specify a value for the maxresults parameter and the number of containers to return exceeds this value, or exceeds the default value for maxresults, the response body will contain a NextMarker element that indicates the next container to return on a subsequent request. To return the next set of items, specify the value of NextMarker as the marker parameter on the URI for the subsequent request.

Note that the value of NextMarker should be treated as opaque.

Containers are listed in alphabetical order in the response body.

The List Containers operation times out after 30 seconds.

The following sample URI requests the list of containers for an account, setting the maximum results to return for the initial operation to 3.

GET https://myaccount.blob.core.windows.net/?comp=list&maxresults=3 HTTP/1.1

The request is sent with these headers:

x-ms-version: 2013-08-15
x-ms-date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 22:08:44 GMT
Authorization: SharedKey myaccount:CY1OP3O3jGFpYFbTCBimLn0Xov0vt0khH/D5Gy0fXvg=

The status code and response headers are returned as follows:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: application/xml
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 22:08:54 GMT
x-ms-version: 2013-08-15
Server: Windows-Azure-Blob/1.0 Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0 

The response XML for this request is as follows. Note that the NextMarker element follows the set of containers and includes the name of the next container to be returned.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<EnumerationResults ServiceEndpoint="https://myaccount.blob.core.windows.net/">
        <Last-Modified>Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:39:39 GMT</Last-Modified>
        <Last-Modified>Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:39:39 GMT</Last-Modified>
        <Last-Modified>Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:39:39 GMT</Last-Modified>

The subsequent list operation specifies the marker on the request URI, as follows. The next set of results is returned beginning with the container specified by the marker.


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