Azure AD Access Review description fields

By Robert Dyjas on  • Edit this post

With the Access Reviews, you might have issues understanding some of the fields. I explain the name, description, and additional context fields below.

In this article, we're going to talk about the three types of description fields available for an Azure Active Directory Access Review. We're going to talk about how to use them to improve the experience of reviewers


Just so you know – the article doesn't require any setup from you. It describes the text fields within an Access Review. If you want to test it yourself, look at the license requirements.

Types of descriptions available for Azure AD Access Review

When configuring the access review in Azure Active Directory, we have three text fields available.


In the article, we're going to refer to the types using the numbers from the list below.

  1. Additional content for reviewer email (in the Settings section)
  2. Review name (in the Review + Create section)
  3. Description (in the Review + Create section)

The image below shows these three fields in the New access review wizard:

Three types of description in the new access review wizard

Additional context for reviewer email

The first field is easy to understand. Based on its name we know it'll land in the email sent to the reviewer. Our guess is correct - we can see the text in the email:

20221202 171107 LMrwINpq7R

However, there's another place to see the content of that field. When we check the access review setting in the Azure Portal, we'll see it has a different name.

To check the settings of the access review, you can go to the Azure portal. When we search for access review in the top bar, we should get the Identity Governance icon:

Entering Identity Governance in the Azure portal

In the Identity Governance blade, the Access Reviews option is in the left menu:

Accessing access reviews from the Identity Governance blade

From the list, we click on the name of our access review:

Entering the access review details blade

When we click the Settings option from the left menu, we will see the descriptions we set. The one marked with number 1, is named there as Additional content for reviewer email. Note that in this view it's called Friendly description:

Access review settings view

Quite strange, isn't it? It took me a bit to realize that the friendly description and additional context for reviewer email are two names for the same fields.

Review name

Ok, we now know about the friendly description. How about the review name? Where can reviewers see it?

First of all, the name is in the email. See the icon with number 2 below:

The name of the review in the email sent to the reviewer

The name is also visible on the list after clicking the Start review button. Note that each resource (in our case, each group) has a separate entry on the list:

Entries visible on the access reviews page

In the detailed view for a single resource, the name is visible at the top of the page:

20221203 212245 y59D49Tcc2

Finally, let's look at the Access review details page. The review name is at the top, where it should be:

Access review settings view

Review description

We talked about two out of the three text fields. Let's look at the review description. Where is it?

If we take a look at the email sent to reviewers, it's not there:

The email sent to reviewers doesn't contain the review description

It's also not visible in the review list:

The review list without the description

Let's dig deeper and check the view of a single review. Spoiler alert - it's not there, too:

The single review view without the description

But it's getting warmer and warmer. Let's click the Show details button and tada, we got it:

The details section contains the description

Fortunately, in the admin view, we don't need to play hide and seek. The description is visible in the editing view. It's in the same view as the others (this one is marked with the 3 icon):

Access review settings view


Text fields for Access Review might benefit from a slightly better user experience. While you cannot guarantee whether Microsoft improves that in the future, you can help others by sharing this article with them.

Is something still unclear? Let me know in the comments below!