In this guide we discuss Microsoft Learn SandBox
Most of the Microsoft Learn content involves exercise units where students create real things in Azure, such as virtual machines or Azure functions, to practice what they’re learning. You use the sandbox to complete these lessons without a paid Azure subscription.
Most of the lessons don’t require you to install any local development tools. You can build apps that utilize Azure services right in the Microsoft Learn sandbox.
Absolutely. The sandbox works independently from your regular subscriptions.
While you’re practicing and learning with Microsoft Learn, you can use the sandbox.
When you’re ready to create real resources, you can use your Azure subscription.
The sandbox is available in every module that contains a hands-on Azure exercise.
Each unit includes a prompt at the top of the page to indicate the sandbox status. It initially looks like this:
Activate Sandbox prompt that is displayed in each module
Selecting the Activate Sandbox button starts the activation process. If this is the first time you’ve activated a sandbox in Microsoft Learn, a second prompt asks you to accept the license terms. To accept the terms, you need to sign in with your Microsoft account, such as an Office 365 or Outlook.com account. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free.
The system then creates a new sandbox for you. It takes a few minutes.
“Provisioning sandbox” loading screen
After the sandbox is activated, you’ll see a prompt that says you have access to a sandbox.
“You now have access to a sandbox” notification
The system should create the sandbox in a few minutes.
If it takes more than five minutes, or if you get an error, you can refresh the browser page to reconnect.
The first time you activate a sandbox and accept the terms, your Microsoft account is associated with a new Azure directory named Microsoft Learn Sandbox, and you’re added to a special subscription named Concierge Subscription.
Each time you activate a sandbox, a single resource group is created for you. You can use it to create and manage all the resources (for example, virtual machines, storage accounts, and app services) that you need for a module.
Subscription drop-down menu with “Concierge Subscription” selected
No. Sandbox is not available on mobile, you cannot activate or use the sandbox on mobile.
Please use desktop for the best sandbox user experience.
You can use your own subscription to go through the modules, but you’ll have to pay for the resources that you create and remember to clean them up when you’re finished to avoid being charged.
In addition, Microsoft Learn won’t be able to verify that you have completed the exercises, and you won’t receive credit. We highly recommend that you use the sandbox environment.
Any unit that uses the Azure portal will always have a link in the instructions to make sure you’re in the sandbox.
You should always use this link to open the portal, because it will put you in the right directory and subscription.
When you’re prompted for a username and password, be sure to use the same account that you used to activate the sandbox.
You can tell whether you’re in the sandbox by looking at the directory listed under your name in the upper-right corner.
It should say Microsoft Learn Sandbox.
“Microsoft Learn Sandbox” shown in the upper-right corner under your name
If you sign in to the portal and are in your own subscription (or you sign in to your subscription and end up in the sandbox), one of two things might be wrong. Either you have not activated the sandbox or your Azure settings put you in a default directory. You can change the directory by selecting the Directory and Subscription filter button on the toolbar along the top.
“Directory and Subscription filter” button on the toolbar
The button opens a drop-down list where you can select the correct directory. You can also change the Set your default directory setting to the directory that you work in most often.
Settings menu for “Directory + subscription,” where you can select your default directory
When you activate the new sandbox, the old sandbox environment is destroyed, along with any resources created in it.
No. Each module gives you a new sandbox so you’re always starting in a clean environment. The system detects when you move from one module to the next, and it prompts you to activate a new sandbox. The prompt looks like this:
Notification that a different sandbox is active, with a button to activate a new sandbox.
I’m seeing resource groups named [Sandbox resource group] in the instructions. What does that mean?" >}} This means you haven’t activated the sandbox for the current module. When you activate the sandbox environment, those placeholder items are replaced with the name of the resource group created for you.
If the sandbox times out while you’re in the middle of the lesson, you will lose all work up to that point. You will have to reactivate the environment and go back to the beginning of the module to start over.
Can I use the sandbox from Visual Studio, VS Code, or my favorite Azure tool?" >}}
Yes, many of the modules available in Microsoft Learn work with developer tools such as Visual Studio. These tools will work fine if you sign in with the same account that you used to activate the sandbox. Keep in mind that the sandbox is meant to be used with the training content provided in the Microsoft Learn portal. We don’t support any other use.
Limitations to how you can use the sandbox include:
You can create only certain resources (based on the module you’re in). The sandbox is limited to specific SKUs for some services. You can use only specific regions (locations). You also can’t create resource groups. Instead, the sandbox provides a single resource group for you to work with.