Demystifying Microsoft Autopilot

25th January 2021
Microsoft Autopilot Intune deployment

Autopilot remains mysterious for many IT administrators to this day. So, let’s demystify this for you. There are several diagnostic tools that have been outlined in this post that will help you answer several questions about it.

What does Autopilot mean for businesses?

Many businesses are currently using old processes to set up their new PC’s. However, with Autopilot, this allows you to achieve zero touch deployment which will help your IT department reduce their manual workload.

With Microsoft Autopilot deployment, you can send out new devices to your employees whether they are working from home or in the office, without the need to build, maintain or apply custom operation systems as you can do it all from a touch of a few buttons.

What Does the Autopilot Require?

Windows Autopilot is a collection of technologies that can set up and pre-configure new devices. The protocols basically get them ready for productive use. Other uses of the autopilot program include resetting, repurposing, and recovering devices.

This is a solution that enables IT departments to achieve all of this without the prerequisite of infrastructure to manage. It’s a process which is very easy and simple to implement. It reduces the time IT departments spend on deployment, management, and retirement of old devices, and maximizes efficiency.

Requirements to deploy a Windows Autopilot include:

A supported version of Windows 10 semi-annual channel

There are also various networking, configuration and licensing requirements that you can look up. 

The autopilot applies to Windows 10 devices with Microsoft Intune, Windows Update for Business, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, etc.

Applications of Microsoft Autopilot Deployment

You can automatically join any device you need to the Azure Active Directory or Active Directory via the Hybrid Azure AD Join. You can also automatically enroll devices into MDM services like Microsoft Intune.

You can restrict the creation of Administrator Accounts and create and auto assign devices to configuration groups.

Autopilot with Microsoft Intune

Here’s a basic deployment run through with Microsoft Intune.

  • Go to Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center and choose Groups > New Groups
  • Search for Group type > Security
  • Type a Group name and Group description
  • For Membership type, choose either Dynamic Device or Assigned

For the Assigned option, choose Members in the Group and add the autopilot devices to the group. If you’ve chosen Dynamic Devices, then choose Dynamic Device Members and type the following code in the Advanced rule box:

  • To create a group that includes all the autopilot devices: (device.devicePhysicalIDs -any (_ -contains “[ZTDId]”))
  • To create a group to include all autopilot devices with a specific group tag: (device.devicePhysicalIds -any (_ -eq “[OrderID]:179887111881”))
  • To create a group to include all autopilot devices with a specific Purchase Order ID: (device.devicePhysicalIds -any (_ -eq “[PurchaseOrderId]:76222342342”))
  • After that, choose Save.
  • Then choose Create.

And that’s it. You’ve created an Autopilot device group with Intune.

For Editing the same group, you can:

  • Go to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center and choose Devices>Windows>Windows Enrollment > Devices.
  • Then select the device you want to edit.
  • On the right of the pane you can edit:
  • Device Name:
  • Group Tag
  • User Friendly Name
  • Then click Save.

Microsoft Autopilot is a time saver for you to manage several devices at once. It not only saves time, but also money and resources, which is the key to any successful organization.

Know that the Microsoft Windows Autopilot is supported by the following editions:

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Pro Education
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC
  • Windows Holographic, version 2004 or later