Active Directory & Office 365 Reporting Tool

Fix – Connect-AzureAD Not Recognized Error (How To Fix). Are you wondering how to fix the “Connect-AzureAD is not recognized as a name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or executable program” error message and why you received it? This article explains various reasons for this error and how to fix it.  

For our readers that require an overview of this cmdlet, we provided one in the first section. The overview section also explains possible reasons for this error. 

After that, the article discusses various ways to fix this annoying error message. Finally, after explaining how to fix the “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error, we demonstrate options for running the command correctly. 

What is the Connect-AzureAD Cmdlet and Why the "Not Recognized" Error?

The Connect-AzureAD cmdlet is part of the AzureAD module. It provides the cmdlets to interact with and manage Azure Active Directory using Windows PowerShell.

However, before running any other command in the AzureAD module, you must authenticate to the Azure AD tenant. The Connect-AzureAD command is used to authenticate to an Azure AD tenant. 

Like most PowerShell modules, to run command-lets (Cmdlets) in a PowerShell module, the module must be installed and imported on the local computer. Therefore, if you attempt to run the Connect-AzureAD command without installing the AzureAD module, you receive the “not recognized” error message. 

Another possible reason for this error is a corrupt module. So, if the AzureAD module is installed on your PC and you receive this error message, you may need to reinstall the module.

We explain the steps to uninstall and reinstall the AzureAD module later. 

So far, I have been discussing how to install the AzureAD module to fix the “not recognized” error message. But there is a way to run commands in this module without installing it – running commands in Azure Cloud Shell!

When you sign in to Azure Portal via a browser, Azure Cloudshell allows you to run PowerShell or Azure CLI commands without installing any modules on your computer. 

As part of our recommended fix for the “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error, we explore how to run AzureAD commands via Cloud Shell.

How to Fix term "Connect-AzureAD' is not recognized" Error

Method 1: Install the AzureAD PowerShell Module

If you receive the “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error, follow the steps below to install the AzureAD module:

1. Search “powershell” and click Run as Administrator. After that, you receive a prompt to allow the app make changes to your device.

Click Yes. 

2. When Windows PowerShell opens, run this command to modify the Execution Policy. The command changes the PowerShell execution policy for the current section to allow downloaded PowerShell modules to run. 

					powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

3. Once we’ve modified the execution policy, the next step is to verify if the AzureAD module is installed. The command below verifies if the module is installed on your PC. 

					Import-Module AzureAD

If the module is not installed, you receive the “The specified module ‘AzureAD’ was not loaded” message. 

4. If you received the above error message, run the Install-Module command to install it. 

					Install-Module -Name AzureAD -AllowClobber

After running the command, PowerShell takes some time to download and install the module. I included the AllowClobber parameter because I have installed the various versions of this module before and still have some of the cmdlets on my PC. 

When the module is installed, rerun the Import-Module command. Moreover, you may run the Get-Module command to display the module. 

					Import-Module AzureAD
					Get-Module AzureAD

After installing the AzureAD module, the Connect-AzureAD command runs without the “not recognized” error message! 

As shown in the screenshot, running this command without the Credential parameter displays a Microsoft sign-in page. 

Method 2: Uninstall and Reinstall the AzureAD PowerShell Module

Another potential cause of the “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error message is a corrupt module. So, if running the “Get-Module AzureAD” returns a result, but you still receive an error message when running the Connect-AzureAD command, try uninstalling and reinstalling the AzureAD module. 

Here are the steps:

1. Follow steps 1 to 3 in the previous method to open PowerShell and set the execution policy to RemoteSigned. 
2. Then, execute the command below to uninstall the module. 

					Uninstall-Module -Name AzureAD -Force

The command takes a while to run. When PowerShell uninstalls the module, run the Import-Module command to confirm that the module has been uninstalled. 

					Import-Module AzureAD

You should receive the “The specified module ‘AzureAD’ was not loaded because no valid module file was found in any module directory” error. 

After uninstalling the module, there is one more step – searching for and deleting all the folders for the module. To find and delete all AzureAD folders, run the script below in PowerShell ISE.

					$PSModulePaths = $Env:PSModulePath -split ";"
ForEach ($PSModulePath in $PSModulePaths)  {
Get-ChildItem -Path $PSModulePath -Recurse -Directory -Filter "AzureAD" | Remove-Item -Force -Recurse 

3. Finally, run these commands to reinstall the AzureAD PowerShell module. 

					Install-Module -Name AzureAD -AllowClobber

4. After re-installing the module, re-run the Import-Module and Get-Module commands

					Import-Module AzureAD
					Get-Module AzureAD

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Method 3: Use Azure Cloud Shell to Run AzureAD Commands

I admit this is not a fix for the “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error message. Instead, it is a walk-around.

However, it introduces you to another method of running the AzureAD commands without installing the AzureAD module first.  

Follow these steps to access the Azure Cloud Shell and run the commands in the AzureAD module without installing the module.

1. Sign in to portal.azure.com, and click the Azure Cloud Shell icon. 

2. If it is the first time you’re launching Cloud Shell, Azure will prompt you to create an Azure Storage account. Click Create storage

If you receive error message, click the “Show advanced settings” link. 

3. Once the advanced settings page opens, enter the required details and click the Create storage button again. 

4. When Azure finishes creating the Cloud Shell, it automatically authenticates to the Azure AD account you signed in to via the browser. After that, it displays a prompt. 

Run Azure PowerShell commands. However, if you prefer running Azure CLI (Bash), click the drop-down and select Bash – see the second screenshot below. 

5. After opening the Azure Cloud Shell, run the Connect-AzureAD command. 

Note: maximize the shell by clicking the button highlighted in the screenshot. 

6. Finally, once you’ve run the  Connect-AzureAD command, execute other commands in the AzureAD module. I have run the Get-AzureADDomain command – part of the AzureAD module – as an example. 

Different Ways to Run the Connect-AzureAD Cmdlet

Before running any command that includes “UserName@DomainName.com,” remember to change it to your Azure login email address. 

Earlier, I mentioned that running the Connect-AzureAD command without the Credential parameter opens a Microsoft login pop-up page. 

To avoid this interactive logon, specify the Credential parameter as shown in this command. 

					Connect-AzureAD -Credential (Get-Credential username@domainname.com)

When you run the command, PowerShell displays a prompt requesting the password for the specified account. Enter it and click OK. 

Another way to run the Connect-AzureAD command is to save your Azure login credentials in a variable. Then, specify the variable in the Credential parameter of the Connect-AzureAD command. Here are the sample commands.

					$Credential = Get-Credential username@domainname.com
Connect-AzureAD -Credential $Credential

Finally,  run the Connect-AzureAD command using an encrypted XML file for the Credential parameter. This method is a 3-step process. 

This method is helpful in a scripting scenario. 

The first step is to pipe Get-Credential to Export-CliXml. Here is a sample command. 

					Get-Credential UserName@DomainName.com | Export-CliXml -Path D:\PowerShellCred\AzureADCred.xml

When you run the command, PowerShell requests the account’s password. Enter the password and click OK. 

After the command runs, it creates an XML file in the path specified. To use this XML in the Connect-AzureAD command, it must be imported using the Import-Clixml. 

Here is a sample command that saves the XML file in the AzureADCred variable. 

					$AzureADCred = Import-Clixml D:\PowerShellCred\AzureADCred.xml

Finally, to use the saved credential, specify the variable in the last command as shown in this command. 

					Connect-AzureAD -Credential $AzureADCred

Once again, the Connect-AzureAD command successfully authenticates to Azure Active Directory!

Fix - Connect-AzureAD Not Recognized Error (How To Fix) Conclusion

The “Connect-AzureAD not recognized” error message be triggered if you run the command without installing the AzureAD module. However, if this module is installed and you still receive this error, the module is likely corrupted.

Based on these, the fix to this error message is to install or reinstall the module. In addition to these two possible solutions, this article proposed a third solution – running the Connect-AzureAD command from the Azure Cloud Shell. 

Finally, we explored various ways to run the Connect-AzureAD command, which is a prerequisite command to running any other command in the AzureAD module. 


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Victor Ashiedu

Victor Ashiedu

Victor is an IT pro based in Manchester, UK. With over 22 years of experience managing Windows Server, Active Directory, and Powershell, and 7 years of expertise in Azure AD and Office 365, he's a seasoned expert in his field. When he's not working, he loves spending time with his family - a wife and a 5-year-old. Victor is passionate about helping businesses succeed in today's fast-changing tech landscape.

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