How to rename a windows device using Intune

You can easily rename windows devices using Intune admin center remotely. When you take this action, device name will change in Intune, Microsoft Entra ID and also on the device itself.

There are many use cases for this option:

  1. For example you are using autopilot deployment profile to configure device hostnames based on a specific template. After you have deployed devices via Auto-pilot, you can rename devices if you want.
  1. If there are special devices in your organization for specific purpose like Processing Batch Jobs or Running Specific Applications and you want to reflect the same in the name of the devices. You can rename it via Intune.

As of now you can rename following type of devices using Intune admin center:

  • Android Enterprise:
    • Corporate-owned work profiles
    • Dedicated devices
    • Fully managed
  • iOS/iPadOS supervised devices with iOS 9.3 and later
  • macOS 10 – Corporate-owned devices
  • Windows – Corporate-owned devices
  • Corporate-owned co-managed devices that are Azure AD joined.
Source: Microsoft

There are a number of ways to rename a windows device. However, today we are going to see the steps for option 1 and 2 which is by using Intune admin center and also manually from the device.

  1. Using Microsoft Intune admin center
  2. Rename a device hostname on the device itself
  3. Using Microsoft Entra admin center
  4. Using Powershell

Steps to rename a windows device using Intune admin center

Please follow below steps to rename a Windows device using Intune admin center.

  • Login on Microsoft Intune admin center
  • Click on Devices > All Devices
  • Search for the device you want to rename and click on it to manage.
Search for the device you want to rename and click on it
Search for the device you want to rename and click on it
  • After you click on the device, you will find information about the device for example: Device serial number, Primary User, Operating System etc.
  • You can click on three dots on the right [please refer to below screenshot] and then select Rename device to Rename this device. Make sure that the number of characters should be 15 or less. There are other guidelines when naming a windows device which are listed below:

Device Rename guidelines:

  • 15 characters or less
  • Letters (a-z, A-Z), numbers (0-9), and hyphens. Names must not contain only numbers.
  • No spaces or special characters. 

Tokens can be used to add device-specific values to the name:

  • Add {{serialnumber}} to add the device’s serial number to the name
  • Add {{rand:x}} to add a random string of numbers, where x equals the number of digits to add.
Rename a device using Intune admin center - Rename device option
Rename a device using Intune admin center – Rename device option
  • Enter a new name for the device. In my case. I am simply adding additional characters to the name of my desktop [please refer to screenshot] and making sure total number of characters are not more than 15 and device naming guidelines are followed.
  • I will be selecting Restart after rename as without restarting, device will not be renamed. You can select No to skip device restart after rename operation and later point of time you can manually restart the device yourself.
Rename device and Restart option on Intune admin center
Rename device and Restart option on Intune admin center
  • As you can see from below screenshot, A notification appears on the portal which confirms that restart has been initiated.
Restart of device Initiated via Intune admin center
Restart of device Initiated via Intune admin center

Intune Policy Refresh Cycle

The Device will Sync / Check in to start device rename process. It may take some time for the process to start. Therefore, if you are testing it on a test device, you can force initiate Intune refresh cycle on the device which will speed up this process. You can also use Powershell to force initiate Intune sync.

End User Experience

When device rename policy kicks in, user will see below pop-up message. “You’re about to be signed out, Your device administrator has scheduled a reboot“. This pop-up is because of the configuration when renaming the device which is “Restart after rename” to Yes.

You're about to be signed out, Your device administrator has scheduled a reboot.
You’re about to be signed out, Your device administrator has scheduled a reboot.

User will get around 2 minutes before the device will reboot.

Windows will shut down in 2 minutes pop-up message
Windows will shut down in 2 minutes pop-up message

Device Restarted.

Windows is restarting
Windows is restarting

After device is rebooted, you can login on the device and use below steps to check if the device hostname has been updated.

  • Press Win + R key together to open Run dialog box.
  • Type sysdm.cpl to open System Properties.
  • Check Full computer name to make sure its renamed.
Device renamed using Intune complete
Device renamed using Intune complete

Steps to rename a windows device manually

Use below steps to rename a Windows device manually.

  • Press Win + R key together to open Run dialog box.
  • Type sysdm.cpl to open System Properties.
  • Click on Change button under Computer name tab to rename a device. Make sure to follow the device renaming guidelines when renaming a device.
  • Restart the device to complete this change.

When you rename a device manually and restart the device, New device name should be automatically updated on Microsoft Entra ID and Intune admin center.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have seen how to rename a device using Intune admin center and also manually. Renaming a device via Intune remotely is a useful feature which will help IT administrators. There is no requirement of Powershell scripts or any complex procedure to rename a device. Rename option which is provided for Device management does the job for you.

READ NEXT