Does renaming Windows locally update AAD?

Aaron Seet 716 Reputation points

In my previous test runs with AAD + Intune MDM, I've always renamed Windows 10 from the Intune side, which will shortly prompt the target device client OS to restart for the rename to take effect. The device name is thereon rename in Intune and AAD.

However today I tested renaming an AAD-joined computer at the client OS side (not exactly managed by Intune because it has a "corrupted" record of it, while AAD thinks it's actually managed by Intune. More details of that particular problem here). After the OS restart, naturally it shows up with the new name. However, AAD side it still lists with its original random DESKTOP-******* moniker.

Shouldn't a client OS inform its host domain that its name has changed? If it's supposed to, what can cause that flow of information to halt? Or is that some long lag time to sync?

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Azure Active Directory
An Azure enterprise identity service that provides single sign-on and multi-factor authentication.
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  1. Aaron Seet 716 Reputation points

    Last night I tested renaming another computer locally (which was properly AAD-joined and Intune-enrolled), and it new name did flow to AAD and Intune subsequently.

    Suppose something from the mess-up of the failure enrollment attempt (as indicated above, because Intune subscription was not active during that time) prevents AAD or Intune from picking up the name change from client side. Suspect it cannot synchronise a truck load more of device management data as well because of this.

    Even if Intune enrollment was messed up, I'd at least expected the computer to continue syncing with AAD since it was properly joined to it. But that does not seem to be the case with this example.

    From the IT administrator side, there's no means from the portal UIs to try and "repair" these corrupted records; the only visible course of actions are to just delete them cleanly off Intune and AAD, and start all over again with Windows Autopilot or manual AAD join + enroll.

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  1. KAREDD-MSFT 391 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Aaron Seet If you are on Windows 10 1903 or above renaming a device locally will update the device object in AAD as well.

    For earlier versions, you have to re-register the device again after unregistering the device from Azure AD.

  2. Aaron Seet 716 Reputation points

    The computer's already operating Windows 10 1909 build 18363.535.

    When we rename via Intune, it would take several minutes for Intune and AAD to reflect the name change. But that was it - several minutes; not hours.

    Right now AAD still shows the old device name. Also it thinks the computer's versioned as 10.0.18363.0. I would guess the synchronisation action to update device name is separate from the action to update OS version.

    Any further clues where the data flow fell off?