Windows Local Administrator Password Solution in Azure AD (preview)
Every Windows device comes with a built-in local administrator account that you must secure and protect to mitigate any Pass-the-Hash (PtH) and lateral traversal attacks. Many customers have been using our standalone, on-premises Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) product for local administrator password management of their domain joined Windows machines. With Azure AD support for Windows LAPS, we're providing a consistent experience for both Azure AD joined and hybrid Azure AD joined devices.
Azure AD support for LAPS includes the following capabilities:
- Enabling Windows LAPS with Azure AD - Enable a tenant wide policy and a client-side policy to backup local administrator password to Azure AD.
- Local administrator password management - Configure client-side policies to set account name, password age, length, complexity, manual password reset and so on.
- Recovering local administrator password - Use API/Portal experiences for local administrator password recovery.
- Enumerating all Windows LAPS enabled devices - Use API/Portal experiences to enumerate all Windows devices in Azure AD enabled with Windows LAPS.
- Authorization of local administrator password recovery - Use role based access control (RBAC) policies with custom roles and administrative units.
- Auditing local administrator password update and recovery - Use audit logs API/Portal experiences to monitor password update and recovery events.
- Conditional Access policies for local administrator password recovery - Configure Conditional Access policies on directory roles that have the authorization of password recovery.
Windows LAPS with Azure AD is not supported for Windows devices that are Azure AD registered.
Local Administrator Password Solution isn't supported on non-Windows platforms.
To learn about Windows LAPS in more detail, start with the following articles in the Windows documentation:
- What is Windows LAPS? – Introduction to Windows LAPS and the Windows LAPS documentation set.
- Windows LAPS CSP – View the full details for LAPS settings and options. Intune policy for LAPS uses these settings to configure the LAPS CSP on devices.
- Microsoft Intune support for Windows LAPS
- Windows LAPS architecture
Supported Azure regions and Windows distributions
This feature is now available in the following Azure clouds:
- Azure Global
- Azure Government
- Azure China 21Vianet
Operating system updates
This feature is now available on the following Windows OS platforms with the specified update or later installed:
- Windows 11 22H2 - April 11 2023 Update
- Windows 11 21H2 - April 11 2023 Update
- Windows 10 20H2, 21H2 and 22H2 - April 11 2023 Update
- Windows Server 2022 - April 11 2023 Update
- Windows Server 2019 - April 11 2023 Update
LAPS is supported on Azure AD joined or hybrid Azure AD joined devices only. Azure AD registered devices aren't supported.
LAPS is available to all customers with Azure AD Free or higher licenses. Other related features like administrative units, custom roles, Conditional Access, and Intune have other licensing requirements.
Required roles or permission
Other than the built-in Azure AD roles of Cloud Device Administrator, Intune Administrator, and Global Administrator that are granted device.LocalCredentials.Read.All, you can use Azure AD custom roles or administrative units to authorize local administrator password recovery. For example,
Custom roles must be assigned the microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/password/read permission to authorize local administrator password recovery. During the preview, you must create a custom role and grant permissions using the Microsoft Graph API or PowerShell. Once you have created the custom role, you can assign it to users.
You can also create an Azure AD administrative unit, add devices, and assign the Cloud Device Administrator role scoped to the administrative unit to authorize local administrator password recovery.
Enabling Windows LAPS with Azure AD
To enable Windows LAPS with Azure AD, you must take actions in Azure AD and the devices you wish to manage. We recommend organizations manage Windows LAPS using Microsoft Intune. However, if your devices are Azure AD joined but you're not using Microsoft Intune or Microsoft Intune isn't supported (like for Windows Server 2019/2022), you can still deploy Windows LAPS for Azure AD manually. For more information, see the article Configure Windows LAPS policy settings.
Sign in to the Azure portal as a Cloud Device Administrator.
Browse to Azure Active Directory > Devices > Device settings
Select Yes for the Enable Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) setting and select Save. You may also use the Microsoft Graph API Update deviceRegistrationPolicy.
Configure a client-side policy and set the BackUpDirectory to be Azure AD.
- If you're using Microsoft Intune to manage client side policies, see Manage Windows LAPS using Microsoft Intune
- If you're using Group Policy Objects (GPO) to manage client side policies, see Windows LAPS Group Policy
Recovering local administrator password and password metadata
To view the local administrator password for a Windows device joined to Azure AD, you must be granted the microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/password/read action.
To view the local administrator password metadata for a Windows device joined to Azure AD, you must be granted the microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/standard/read action.
The following built-in roles are granted these actions by default:
|Built-in role||microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/standard/read and microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/password/read||microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/standard/read|
|Cloud Device Administrator||Yes||Yes|
|Intune Service Administrator||Yes||Yes|
Any roles not listed are granted neither action.
You can also use Microsoft Graph API Get deviceLocalCredentialInfo to recover local administrative password. If you use the Microsoft Graph API, the password returned is in Base64 encoded value that you need to decode before using it.
List all Windows LAPS enable devices
To list all Windows LAPS enabled devices in Azure AD, you can browse to Azure Active Directory > Devices > Local administrator password recovery (Preview) or use the Microsoft Graph API.
Auditing local administrator password update and recovery
To view audit events, you can browse to Azure Active Directory > Devices > Audit logs, then use the Activity filter and search for Update device local administrator password or Recover device local administrator password to view the audit events.
Conditional Access policies for local administrator password recovery
Conditional Access policies can be scoped to the built-in roles like Cloud Device Administrator, Intune Administrator, and Global Administrator to protect access to recover local administrator passwords. You can find an example of a policy that requires multifactor authentication in the article, Common Conditional Access policy: Require MFA for administrators.
Other role types including administrative unit-scoped roles and custom roles aren't supported
Frequently asked questions
Is Windows LAPS with Azure AD management configuration supported using Group Policy Objects (GPO)?
Yes, for hybrid Azure AD joined devices only. See see Windows LAPS Group Policy.
Is Windows LAPS with Azure AD management configuration supported using MDM?
Yes, for Azure AD join/hybrid Azure AD join (co-managed) devices. Customers can use Microsoft Intune or any other third party MDM of their choice.
What happens when a device is deleted in Azure AD?
When a device is deleted in Azure AD, the LAPS credential that was tied to that device is lost and the password that is stored in Azure AD is lost. Unless you have a custom workflow to retrieve LAPS passwords and store them externally, there's no method in Azure AD to recover the LAPS managed password for a deleted device.
What roles are needed to recover LAPS passwords?
The following built-in roles Azure AD roles have permission to recover LAPS passwords: Global Administrator, Cloud Device Administrator, and Intune Administrator.
What roles are needed to read LAPS metadata?
The following built-in roles are supported to view metadata about LAPS including the device name, last password rotation, and next password rotation: Global Administrator, Cloud Device Administrator, Intune Administrator, Helpdesk Administrator, Security Reader, Security Administrator, and Global Reader.
Are custom roles supported?
Yes. If you have Azure AD Premium, you can create a custom role with the following RBAC permissions:
- To read LAPS metadata: microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/standard/read
- To read LAPS passwords: microsoft.directory/deviceLocalCredentials/password/read
What happens when the local administrator account specified by policy is changed?
Because Windows LAPS can only manage one local admin account on a device at a time, the original account is no longer managed by LAPS policy. If policy has the device back up that account, the new account is backed up and details about the previous account are no longer available from within the Intune admin center or from the Directory that is specified to store the account information.
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