After you’ve created some VMs in Azure the next thing you’ll need to do is put your applications and data on those VMs. However, unless you’ve setup a site-to-site VPN to Azure then your Azure VMs won’t be accessible from your local network. If you’re just getting started with Azure it’s unlikely that you have a working site-to-site VPN. So how can you transfer files to Azure VMs? One easy way is to use Azure’s Remote Desktop Connections feature to share your local drives with your new Azure VMs.

First, use your browser connect to the Azure management portal at http://portal.azure.com/.  Then display your Azure VMs and select the VM that you want to have access your local drives. Use the Connect to VM option that you can see in Figure 1.

This will prompt you to Open or Save an RDP file that will allow a remote connection to Azure. Save the RDP file to your local system then right-click on it and select the option to Edit the RDP file’s settings. Select the Local Resources tab and then click the More button that you can see in Figure 2.

This will display the Local devices and resource dialog that you can see in Figure 3.

Expanding the Drives node in the navigation tree will display the local drives that can be made available to the Azure VM. Check the drives you want the Azure VM to access then click OK and Connect to launch your Azure RDP session. Once the Azure RDP connection has opened you can use File Explorer to open the local drive and free drag-and-drop file between the local drive and the drives configured in the Azure VM.