The club was founded in 1930 and was known as Avangard (1930–1948, 1953–1957), Zenit (1944–1946), Mashinostroitel (1958–1959), and Uralmash (1949–1952, 1960–2002). The club is currently named after the Russian region of Ural, where Yekaterinburg is the capital.
The club participated in the Soviet championships beginning in 1945. They mostly played in the higher leagues, with the exception of the 1969 season spent in the lowest league. They were the easternmost Russian SFSR club to compete in the third Soviet division (the easternmost Soviet club overall was FC Kairat from Alma-Ata, Kazakh SSR).
Uralmash reached the quarterfinals of the Soviet Cup in 1965/66, 1967/68, and 1990/91.
After the dissolution of the USSR, Uralmash were entitled to enter the Russian Top Division and played there for five seasons, from 1992 to 1996. Their best result was eighth position in 1993 and 1995. Despite reaching the semifinal of the Intertoto Cup in 1996, Uralmash finished 16th out of 18 in the league and were relegated. In 1997 another relegation followed, now to the Second Division. From 1998 to 2002 Uralmash played in the Second Division. After winning promotion, the club was renamed Ural. In 2003, the team were relegated from the Russian First Division, but were promoted again after the 2004 season. The team's best finish in the First Division was third in 2006.