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How to move a snapshot to another region?

move snapshot to another azure region 2022

In the last post, I showed how to replace disks in Azure Virtual Machines using the PowerShell script. You only need a disk image and you can quickly perform the replacement. Today’s post will complement the previous one and will show you how to create a disk image and move it to any location (region). We will take a snapshot of the VM (virtual machine) disk and move it to another region.


Snapshot, that is, simply speaking, a copy of the disk made at a given moment. You can do it at any time, even using the portal, finding the disk and clicking on ‘Create snapshot‘.

azure create snapshot

Now the stairs are just beginning. You can create a snapshot by Azure portal only in the subscription in which your disk is located, and only in the region where it is located. This has the consequence that you will not be able to use it so easily in a different location (region) or subscription.

azure create snapshot basics

When you create snapshot, you will not be able to transfer it via the portal to other region.

azure search snapshot
azure disk backup snapshot

However, not all is lost. As long as you cannot easily transfer your snapshot using the portal, it is not a problem using PowerShell.

Copying the snapshot

First you need to have a disk snapshot created, this can be done via the portal as shown in the example above. When you have created a snapshot, you can log in to your Azure subscription from your computer using PowerShell:


You can also use Cloud Shell:

azure cloud shell

Before running the script below, you need to correct the variable names in it.

Enter the name of the snapshot you want to move and its resource group.

The destination will be Storage Account. We give its name, the name of the BLOB to which the disk image will go, and the name of the resource group in which it is located. Finally, the name of the created disk image.

If you do not have a Storage Account created in the target location, you need to create it.

$SnapshotResourceGroup = "ResourceGroupNAME1"
$SnapshotName = "SnapshotName"

$StorageAccount = "StorageAccountNAME"
$StorageAccountBlob = "StorageAccountBlobNAME"
$storageaccountResourceGroup = "ResourceGroupNAME2"
$vhdname = "disk_image_name"

$StorageAccountKey = (Get-AzStorageAccountKey -Name $StorageAccount -ResourceGroupName $StorageAccountResourceGroup).value[0]
$snapshot = Get-AzSnapshot -ResourceGroupName $SnapshotResourceGroup -SnapshotName $SnapshotName

$snapshotaccess = Grant-AzSnapshotAccess -ResourceGroupName $SnapshotResourceGroup -SnapshotName $SnapshotName -DurationInSecond 3600 -Access Read -ErrorAction stop 
$DestStorageContext = New-AzStorageContext –StorageAccountName $storageaccount -StorageAccountKey $StorageAccountKey -ErrorAction stop

Write-Output "START COPY"
Start-AzStorageBlobCopy -AbsoluteUri $snapshotaccess.AccessSAS -DestContainer $StorageAccountBlob -DestContext $DestStorageContext -DestBlob "$($vhdname).vhd" -Force -ErrorAction stop
Write-Output "END COPY"

Create a disk

When you have move the snapshot to a new location (region), you can easily create a disk using the portal. When you creating a disk as a source, select “Storage blob” and select the image you have just created. Please note that the created disk cannot be smaller than a snapshot.

azure search and add disk
azure create managed disk
azure storage account add disk
azure storage account containers image disk

You can learn how to replace the disk itself in a virtual machine from the previous article:

Of course, you can automate everything. I gave a simple example that you can move a snapshot to another region. You might as well create a more complicated script that, after specifying the source disk name, resource group, and target location:

  • create a Storage Account in the target location,
  • create a snapshot,
  • move the snapshot to the target location,
  • create a snapshot disk at the target location,
  • delete unnecessary snapshot,
  • remove unnecessary Storage Account.

It all depends mainly on our ingenuity, remember that. If you made it to the end and would like more advanced stuff, leave comments and I will try to do a more advanced post.

Another way to move the disk

By the way, there are other ways that you can move the drive to another region without even using PowerShell. Assuming that we have a VM in region A that we want to copy to region B, we can, for example … Create a new resource group in region A. Copy the VM to it and move the entire resource group (containing a copy of our VM) to a new location, region B. This operation can be performed entirely via the portal, but for me it is more time consuming and I do not use it;)

Moving Azure VMs to another Azure region: link with documentation.

18 thoughts on “How to move a snapshot to another region?”

  1. It’s a shame that we can’t view the copy status. Can you provide an update to that?


  2. This worked for a 30gb snapshot file I had, but a larger one (250gb) failed.

    1. Maybe the connection was unstable or it was broken. It also worked for me with disks larger than 30gb.
      When I have more free time, I will check the transfer of larger files, maybe something has changed.

    2. the credentials per the script are only valid for 3600s which probably isnt long enough to copy 250GB across regions. try bumping it up to a few hours and try the copy again!

  3. To view the copy status based on the original code provided:

    Get-AzureStorageBlobCopyState -Container $StorageAccountBlob -Blob “$($vhdname).vhd” -Context $DestStorageContext -WaitForComplete

  4. Thanks ! this worked fine 🙂

    to check the status of the copy you may modify the code like this :

    Write-Output “START COPY”
    $destBlob = Start-AzStorageBlobCopy -AbsoluteUri $snapshotaccess.AccessSAS -DestContainer $StorageAccountBlob -DestContext $DestStorageContext -DestBlob “$($vhdname).vhd” -Force -ErrorAction stop
    while (($destBlob | Get-AzStorageBlobCopyState).status -eq “Pending”) {
    Write-Host “Copy pending”
    Start-Sleep 30
    Write-Output “END COPY”

  5. Gabisile Gabisile

    Does this work for a full snapshot or only for incremental snapshots

  6. Dean Suckling

    Great help… managed to copy the snapshot over to the newly created Storage Account in the required Region and create the disk.
    Every day is a learning day! 🙂

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