The following steps are for manually preparing a VM that has a Microsoft Windows client operating system, prior to installing the agents. You perform these steps using the Microsoft Azure portal and connecting into the new VM.

At a high-level, the steps to prepare the VM prior to actually installing the agents are:

  1. Set the VM's local administrator account properties to Password never expires. By default, the created VM's local security policy has accounts set to a maximum password age of 42 days. Preventing this local administrator account's password from expiring prevents the possibility of not being able to use this local account at a later time. The Horizon Cloud image publishing workflow uses the VM's local administrator account and removes the resulting sealed VM from the domain. If you allow the account's password to expire, at a future point in time you might encounter issues when publishing the image.
  2. Download the Horizon Agents Installer to the VM.


Complete the steps in Create the Virtual Machine Manually in Your Pod in Microsoft Azure. If you are using a base VM that you created in Microsoft Azure outside of those documented steps, ensure your base VM meets the criteria as listed in Manually Build and Import a Virtual Machine from Microsoft Azure into Horizon Cloud.

Caution: Ensure that the VM was created with Storage - Use managed disk set to Yes and with the correct virtual network and subnet, as described in Manually Build and Import a Virtual Machine from Microsoft Azure into Horizon Cloud. Otherwise, this VM will be unusable in Horizon Cloud even after you configure it and install the agent-related components, and then you will have to recreate it from scratch.

To verify the VM meets that criteria before you spend time configuring it, log in to Horizon Cloud and navigate to the Inventory VMs page to see if the VM is listed. If it is listed, then the VM meets the above criteria and you can safely proceed with further configuration.


  1. Connect to the VM and log in to the Windows system.
    One method to do this is to go to the VM's details page in the Microsoft Azure portal and use the portal's Connect action.
    Because this login is the first login to the operating system, Windows displays a Networks prompt question on the right-hand side. The prompt asks about automatically finding PCs, devices, and other items on the network. We usually close this prompt by clicking No.
  2. In the VM, set the VM's local administrator account password to Password never expires.
    One way to set the local administrator account password is to open Local Users and Groups by running lusrmgr.msc and updating the account properties.

What to do next

To install the agent-related software components, complete the steps described in the topic that applies to your pod manifest version:

Note: If you want to be able to log in to the VM using a domain account, you can optionally join the VM to your Active Directory domain. Otherwise you use the local administrator account to log in to the VM when installing the agent software and customizing the VM.