Windows Autopilot registration overview

Applies to:

  • Windows 11
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Holographic, version 2004

Before deploying a device using Windows Autopilot, the device must be registered with the Windows Autopilot deployment service.

Successful registration requires that two processes are complete:

  1. The device's unique hardware identity (known as a hardware hash) is captured and uploaded to the Autopilot service.
  2. The device is associated to an Azure tenant ID.

Ideally, both of these processes are performed by the OEM, reseller, or distributor from which the devices were purchased. An OEM or other device provider uses the registration authorization process to perform device registration on your behalf.

Registration can also be performed within your organization by collecting the hardware identity from new or existing devices and uploading it manually. If devices meet certain requirements, they can also be configured for automatic registration with Windows Autopilot. For more information about the ways in which devices can be registered with Windows Autopilot, see the following overview topics:

When you register an Autopilot device, it automatically creates an Azure AD object. The Autopilot deployment process needs this object to identify the device before the user signs in. If you delete this object, the device can fail to enroll through Autopilot.

Note

Don't register to Autopilot the following types of devices:

These options are intended for users to join personally-owned devices to their organization's network.

Once a device is registered in Autopilot if a profile is not assigned, it will receive the default Autopilot profile. If you do not want a device to go through Autopilot, you must remove the Autopilot registration.

Terms

The following terms are used to refer to various steps in the registration process:

Term Definition
device registration Device registration happens when a device's hardware hash is associated with the Windows Autopilot service. This process can be automated for new enterprise devices manufactured by OEMs that are Windows Autopilot partners.
add devices Adding a device is the process of registering a device with the Windows Autopilot service, (if it is not already registered) and associating it to a tenant ID.
import devices Importing devices is the process of uploading a comma-separated-values (CSV) file that contains device information such as the model and serial number in order to manually add devices.
enroll devices Enrolling a device is the process of adding devices to Intune.

Device identification

To identify a device with Windows Autopilot, the device's unique hardware hash must be captured and uploaded to the service. As previously mentioned, this step is ideally done by the hardware vendor (OEM, reseller, or distributor) automatically associating the device with an organization. It's also possible to do identify a device with a harvesting process that collects the device's hardware hash from within a running Windows installation.

The hardware hash contains details about the device, such as:

  • manufacturer
  • model
  • device serial number
  • hard drive serial number
  • details about when the ID was generated
  • many other attributes that can be used to uniquely identify the device

The hardware hash changes each time it's generated because it includes details about when it was generated. When the Windows Autopilot deployment service attempts to match a device, it considers changes like that. It also considers large changes such as a new hard drive, and is still able to match successfully. But large changes to the hardware, such as a motherboard replacement, wouldn't match, so a new hash would need to be generated and uploaded.

For more information about device IDs, see the following topics:

Windows Autopilot devices

Devices that have been registered with the Windows Autopilot service are displayed in the admin center under Devices > Enroll devices | Windows enrollment > Windows Autopilot Deployment Program > Devices:

Autopilot devices

Note

Devices that are listed in Intune under Devices > Windows | Windows devices are not the same as Windows Autopilot devices (Devices > Enroll devices | Windows enrollment > Windows Autopilot Deployment Program | Devices). Windows Autopilot devices are added to the list of Windows devices when both of the following are complete:

  • The Autopilot registration process is successful.
  • A licensed user has signed in on the device.

Register devices manually