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Bulk device actions within the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal

So a couple of days ago I posted a post on how to bulk rename devices in Intune using the Graph API (https://msendpointmgr.com/2020/03/02/how-to-rename-windows-10-devices-in-intune-using-powershell/), today though marks the availability of something very cleaver indeed, with the addition of bulk actions from within the Endpoint Manager portal.

This is a feature that Intune admins around the globe have been calling out for, so lets look over some of the capabilities in Windows and Android in this post. For clarity, actions are available for the following;

  • Android (Device Administrator / Full Managed / Work Profile)
  • iOS / iPadOS
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Windows Mobile
  • Windows Holographic 

Windows Bulk Device Actions

At the time of writing, bulk actions to undertake the following actions are available: Delete, Retire, Wipe, Autopilot Reset, Restart, and Rename;

This covers most of the bases, it would be nice of course to have a bulk sync option, but for now lets look at performing three of these actions. You can see the full list of options by going into the Devices section of the admin console;

Windows Device Rename

The ability to bulk rename has been something that has been something that has been mentioned to me on a number of occasions when working with clients, and of course it makes sense as naming conventions change, and proof of concepts often become full production. So as we previously covered this has been possible through Graph, but now we have this ability through the console, making things much easier.

In the below screenshot we can see two virtual machines running with the default naming convention applied;


So lets quickly step through how to rename both of these devices.

  • Open the Microsoft Endpoint Management portal 
  • Click on Devices and go to All Devices
  • You should now have a new “Bulk Device Action” button as below;

  • On the next page you have operating system options, in this example we are going to select “Windows
  • Now we will select “Rename

  • Now we can enter a preferred naming convention. Here just like the post on Graph, we will use the built in random character option, along with a prefix for the machine type;

  • Now we will select the machines we wish to rename;

  • Continuing through the review process we then click on “Create

Once the task has been created, we can go back and shortly afterwards we can verify the rename action by re-opening the System properties;

Windows Device Restart Action

At this point we have renamed two devices using the bulk device actions function, now lets go ahead and restart those same devices in order for the device names to be updated to their new format.

  • Go back to “Bulk Device Actions
  • Once again select the platform as “Windows
  • Select the “Restart” option

  • Select the devices you wish to restart
  • Validate and create the action as before
  • You should shortly afterwards receive visual confirmation of the restart requirement;

  • In the console we now see visual confirmation that the machine name in this example has changed to “DT-1713” and that the last action was “Restart”

Windows Device Wipe

Lets now take an example where you want to perform a full wipe of multiple devices as part of a refresh scenario.

  • Go back to “Bulk Device Actions
  • Once again select the platform as “Windows
  • Select the “Wipe” option
  • Step through, select the devices, validate and create
  • Your devices will restart once the task has been received;

So we now have two devices performing a full wipe of multiple devices.

Android (Work Profile) Actions

In this example we will run through how an action can be initiated to send a custom notification to Android work profile enrolled devices. This might be used to bulk notify staff of issues with internal IT infrastructure etc.

  • Going back to the Bulk Actions page we this time select Android (Work Profile)
  • Select “Send custom notification
  • Enter a subject and message in the dialogue box that appears;

  • Select the devices you wish to push the notification to, review and create
  • Within a few minutes your devices will receive a push notification;

Aside from push notifications you can also retire or delete the device at will, or perhaps on orders from HR..

Auditing

Every device action is of course registered for auditing purposes and can be viewed either in the device actions or audit logs;

So, until the next time, thanks for reading.

(1716)

Maurice Daly

Maurice has been working in the IT industry for the past 20 years and currently working in the role of Senior Cloud Architect with CloudWay. With a focus on OS deployment through SCCM/MDT, group policies, active directory, virtualisation and office 365, Maurice has been a Windows Server MCSE since 2008 and was awarded Enterprise Mobility MVP in March 2017. Most recently his focus has been on automation of deployment tasks, creating and sharing PowerShell scripts and other content to help others streamline their deployment processes.

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