In this blog post, I will demonstrate the steps to perform Windows Autopilot Reset. We will remotely trigger Windows Autopilot reset using Intune admin center to reset a Windows 11 device.
When a user leaves the organization and you want to repurpose/reassign the laptop to another user, you can perform an Autopilot Reset on the device. This process will remove the current user’s personal files, apps, and settings and reapply the device’s original settings, maintaining its connection with Entra ID and Intune.
If you haven’t set up Windows Autopilot yet, go through this comprehensive guide titled “Step-by-Step Windows Autopilot Setup Guide.” You may encounter an error during Autopilot Reset. To resolve the error, you can refer to the article: Fix: Windows Autopilot Reset Error Code 0x80070032
Table of Contents
What is Windows Autopilot Reset?
Windows Autopilot Reset restores the device to a business-ready state, enabling the next user to sign in and become productive quickly. If the device is enrolled and managed through Intune, you can reset it to its original settings remotely via the Intune admin center.
What happens during Autopilot Reset?
When you initiate the Autopilot reset, a new OS of the same version is applied using the WinSxS store. During this process, certain information is permanently removed, while some information is preserved. Let’s delve into the details below:
Information Removed during the Autopilot Reset process
- Removes personal files, any third-party apps, and settings.
- The device’s Primary user is removed, and the next user who signs in will become the primary user.
- Reapplies a device’s original settings.
- Sets the region, language, and keyboard to the original values.
- All existing user profiles and associated data are deleted.
Information Kept after Autopilot Reset process
- Maintain Device Identity connection with Entra ID.
- Maintains Device management connection with Intune.
- Wi-Fi connection details.
- Provisioning packages previously applied to the device.
- Microsoft Entra device membership and MDM enrollment information.
- A provisioning package present on a USB drive when the reset process is started.
- SCEP certificates.
A user is blocked from accessing the desktop until the Windows Autopilot reset process is completed and all information is restored. This includes reapplying any packages assigned to the desktop via Intune. Additionally, the user must wait for the MDM sync to be completed before regaining access.
Please note that Windows Autopilot Reset will also remove the primary user of the device, and the next user who signs in on the device will become the new primary user.
Autopilot Reset for Microsoft Entra hybrid joined devices
Autopilot reset is not supported for Microsoft Entra hybrid joined devices. A complete device wipe is necessary. When a hybrid device undergoes a full device reset, it may take up to 24 hours for it to be ready for redeployment. To expedite this process, you can re-register the device.
Only Microsoft Entra Join devices are supported for Windows Autopilot Reset.
Ways to Perform Windows Autopilot Reset
There are two methods for initiating Windows Autopilot Reset. Let’s explore them below:
- Trigger Windows Autopilot Reset Remotely – An Intune administrator can utilize Intune admin center to execute the Autopilot Reset on the device. This is my recommended option, which is easier than the local reset option.
- Trigger Windows Autopilot Reset Locally – IT admins also have the option to perform Windows Autopilot Reset if they have access to the device.
My preferred option is to utilize the Intune admin center. This is advantageous as it eliminates the need to access the device directly for the Autopilot Reset process.
Windows Autopilot Reset requirements
- Microsoft Entra ID joined Device.
- The device must be Intune Enrolled.
- WinRE must be Enabled on the device.
- For Local Windows Autopilot Reset: A local administrator account is required to perform the local Windows Autopilot Reset.
- For Remote Windows Autopilot Reset: Intune administrator role is required.
Method 1 – Initiate Windows Autopilot Reset from Intune Admin Center
To initiate Windows Autopilot Reset on an Intune-managed device from Intune admin center, follow the below steps:
- Sign in to the Intune admin center.
- Go to Devices > Windows > Windows devices.
- Click on the Device from the list on which you want to perform Autopilot Reset.
- Click on the “Autopilot Reset” option.
- After selecting the Autopilot Reset option, you will encounter a prompt with the following message, offering the choices of Yes and No. Go for Yes to proceed with the Autopilot Reset.
Windows Autopilot Reset quickly removes personal files, apps, and settings. It resets Windows 10 devices from the lock screen, and applies original management settings from Azure Active Directory and Intune device management. This returns the device to a fully configured or known IT-approved state. (If an enrollment status page wasn’t configured for this device during initial device enrollment, the device will go straight to the desktop after sign-in. It might take up to eight hours to sync and appear compliant in Intune.)About Autopilot Reset option
- After clicking the Yes button, the Autopilot Reset process will be initiated, and a status message will be displayed on the Intune portal: “Autopilot Reset pending…“
- After a few minutes, you will notice that the Autopilot Reset status has changed to Active. The next time a user reboots their device, it will enter the Autopilot reset state, and the device will undergo the reset process.
- If Autopilot Reset is not initiated after waiting some time on the desktop, a reboot may kickstart the device reset process. The screenshot below shows that the device reset is in progress.
- After resetting the PC, the reset process will initiate Windows installation on the device. At this stage, your device may reboot several times to complete the installation process.
- The Reset process will check for the latest updates.
- Your device may restart, and you may see the Windows lock screen. If this device is reassigned to a new user, that user can now log in to the device and will become the new primary user of this device.
- Login using the organization-provided username and password.
- Preparing your desktop and setting up your Windows profile may take some time. Please wait.
- Finally, logged on to the Windows device successfully; your device is ready for use.
- As an administrator, you can check the status of Autopilot reset from the Intune admin center. Click on the device on which you performed the Autopilot Reset and check the status. It shows Autopilot Reset: Completed, along with the date/time stamp.
- If you have noticed that the device name has been changed, the previous device name was Cloudinfra-W-92, and the new device name is Cloudinfra-W-38. This change is due to the Autopilot deployment profile configured in my tenant, which has a device naming template of Cloudinfra-W-%RAND:2%.
- Therefore, every time I perform an Autopilot Reset or use the Autopilot process, the Autopilot deployment profile assigned to the device is utilized, and the device will be renamed according to this template.
- To avoid this issue, select “Apply device name template: No.” In this case, it will pick up whatever default name has been assigned or a consistent device name template. The second option is to provide a device name template that remains consistent, for example, “Cl-%serial%.” As the serial number of the device will remain the same, the device name will not change.
- The following screenshot shows the device status from the Entra admin center. The device name is consistent with Intune, and its status remains “Microsoft Entra joined.” The new primary user will be displayed under the “Owner” column.
Method 2 – Initiate Local Windows Autopilot Reset
You can also perform a Windows Autopilot Reset from a Windows device locally. Once the process is initiated, it will restore the device to its last known good configuration and prepare it for the next user.
You can follow the below process to trigger a Local Windows Autopilot Reset:
- Press the keys Ctrl + Windows key + R on the Windows device lock screen.
- You will find a sign-in page. Enter the local administrator credentials to begin the Autopilot Reset process.
To read more about Microsoft Autopilot Reset, go through this MS Docs link: Windows Autopilot Reset.