In this blog post, we will see multiple ways to Initiate Intune Sync manually from a Windows 10 and Windows 11 device. Syncing forces your device to connect with Intune to get the latest updates, requirements, and communications from your organization.
You could either wait for the next Intune policy refresh cycle but this will mean that you would have to wait for a couple of hours before you know if the policy has been applied successfully or an app has been deployed on the device. This can delay your testing and app deployment.
According to Microsoft: “When you target a device or user with an action, then Intune immediately notifies the device to check in to receive these updates. For example, when a lock, passcode reset, app, or policy assignment action runs.”
In a Production scenario, you may not have to manually Initiate Intune sync, but this could be really useful when you have recently created an App deployment, Powershell script deployment, or a device configuration profile and you want to test and confirm if the deployment is succeeded ASAP.
Table of Contents
What happens when you force Intune device Sync?
When you manually force Initiate Intune sync, it forces the device to Immediately check in with Intune. Upon check-in, the device instantly receives any pending actions or policies that have been assigned to it. This feature is valuable for immediately validating and troubleshooting the policies you’ve assigned, eliminating the need to wait for the next scheduled check-in.
Requirements to Initiate Intune Device Sync
To Initiate Intune Device Sync from a Windows device, you must meet the below requirements:
- A Windows device must be enrolled into Intune
- Make sure your device is supported by Intune: Supported Windows OS List.
When should you manually sync Intune policies?
There can be multiple reasons for manually syncing Intune policies, Let’s check:
- During Testing of Intune Policies – When you have recently created any Intune policy, device configuration profile, or an app deployment, and you want to test it as soon as possible to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
- During Troubleshooting – When you are facing any issues with Intune deployment, you can force the Device check-in process with Intune to pull the latest updates and policies on the device.
- Device is Disconnected for an Extended Period of Time – When a device has been disconnected for an extended period, it is advisable to force initiate an Intune sync to ensure that all policies are refreshed, and the device receives the latest updates from Intune.
- Fix any Stalled App deployments – When there are stalled app deployments targeted to a Windows device, you can resolve this issue by force initiating a device check-in.
Different Ways to Manually Force Initiate Intune Sync
There are many methods to force Initiate Intune Sync Manually from a Windows device. Please find it below:
- Using the Settings App.
- Using the Company Portal App
- Using the Start Menu or Desktop taskbar
- Using Sync Action on Intune admin center
- Using Bulk Device Actions on Intune admin center
- Using Powershell
Intune Default Policy Sync Interval
The default Intune Policy Sync Interval on Windows devices is 8 hours. This is also applicable to other types of devices managed using Intune, such as macOS, Android, and iOS. Please find below table which shows the default Intune Policy Sync time Interval for all device types.
|Device Type||Default Policy Refresh Interval|
|iOS/iPadOS||~ 8 Hours|
|macOS||~ 8 Hours|
|Android||~ 8 Hours|
|Windows 10/11 PCs enrolled as devices||~ 8 Hours|
|Windows 8.1||~ 8 Hours|
The Intune Management Extension (IME) performs a sync with Intune to check for new policies, particularly those utilizing IME, such as PowerShell scripts and Win32 app deployments. The default sync interval for IME is set to 60 minutes.Note
Intune Policy Refresh Intervals for Recently Enrolled Devices
If you have recently enrolled an Intune device, then the Default Intune sync interval would be different. Refer to the below table to get this information:
|Device Type||Refresh Cycle / Frequency|
|iOS/iPadOS||Every 15 minutes for 1 hour, and then around every 8 hours|
|macOS||Every 15 minutes for 1 hour, and then around every 8 hours|
|Android||Every 3 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours|
|Windows 10/11 PCs enrolled as devices||Every 3 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours|
|Windows 8.1||Every 5 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours|
Now, let’s explore all the different methods to initiate Intune sync manually on Windows devices.
Method 1 – Manually Initiate Intune Sync using Settings App
You can force Initiate Intune sync manually using the Settings App on Windows 10/11. The steps for Windows 10 and Windows 11 will remain the same, I will provide the steps/screenshots from Windows 11.
- Press the Windows + I keys to open the Settings App.
- Go to Accounts > Access work or school.
- Click on “Connected to <user account>“. For example NestorW@cloudinfra.net
- Click on the Info button under Managed by <your organization name>. For example cloudinfra.net
- Scroll down to find the Sync button under Device sync status. Click on it to Initiate Device check-in process with Intune.
Method 2 – Sync Intune Policies using the Company Portal app
You can also force initiate Intune sync using the Company Portal app. If you haven’t deployed the Company Portal app on user’s devices yet, you can refer to the step-by-step guide here: Deploy Company Portal App On Windows Using Intune.
- Launch the Company Portal app on your Windows device.
- Click on Settings at the bottom of the app window.
- Click on the Sync button to Initiate the Device check-in process with Intune.
Method 3 – Using the Start Menu or Desktop Taskbar
This method also utilizes the Company Portal app to force initiate Intune sync. However, instead of initiating Intune sync from inside the Company Portal app, this time we will simply right-click on the Company Portal icon and click on the Sync option.
Method 4 – Using Sync Action on the Intune admin center
This option does not require access to the end-user device. You can remotely force initiate the Intune device check-in process from the Intune admin center. Let’s check the steps:
- Sign in to the Microsoft Intune Admin Center
- Click on Devices and then click on All Devices
- Search for the device and click on it to manage
- Click on the Sync button and then Click on Yes to confirm.
- Sync Initiated confirmation message.
Method 5 – Using Bulk Device Actions from the Intune admin center
You can also initiate the device check-in process on multiple devices at once directly from the Microsoft Intune admin center. The Sync action can be triggered for various operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS/iPadOS, Chrome OS, Android, and more using the “Bulk device action” option.
When using the Microsoft Intune admin center to bulk initiate sync on devices, you have the option to filter the list by operating system (OS) and then select the devices on which you want to initiate the sync. Let’s go through the steps:
- Login on Microsoft Intune admin center.
- Go to Devices > All Devices> Click on Bulk Device Actions.
- Select OS from the drop-down list. For example: Windows.
- Select Device action as Sync.
- On the Devices tab, click on + Select devices to include to select the devices on which you want to start the Sync action.
- On the Review + Create page, Review the Summary and click on Create.
Method 6 – Force Intune Sync using Powershell
If you prefer the command line over GUI then you can also utilize Windows PowerShell to force the Initiate device check-in process with Intune. You can either do this for one device or multiple devices at once.
To know the step-by-step process of Manually Initiating Intune sync using Powershell, you can check the guide at this link: How To Force Intune Sync Using Powershell.
Monitoring Intune Policy Sync Information in Event Viewer
You can also monitor the Event viewer after this Sync finishes. If you have applied any Policies or Device Configuration profile or deployed an application to this device, the status of each setting can be checked in the event viewer.
- Go to Start -> Search for Event Viewer and click on it to Launch Event Viewer MMC.
- Expand Application and Services logs -> Microsoft -> Windows.
- Find DeviceManagement-Enterprise-Diagnostics-Provider folder.
- Click on Admin and go through the logs to find the specific policy or application deployment status.