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Overview of Windows Autopilot

Windows Autopilot is a collection of technologies used to set up and pre-configure new devices, getting them ready for productive use. You can also use Windows Autopilot to reset, repurpose, and recover devices. This solution enables an IT department to achieve the above with little to no infrastructure to manage, with a process that's easy and simple.

Windows Autopilot simplifies the Windows device lifecycle, for both IT and end users, from initial deployment to end of life. Using cloud-based services, Windows Autopilot:

  • reduces the time IT spends on deploying, managing, and retiring devices.

  • reduces the infrastructure required to maintain the devices.

  • maximizes ease of use for all types of end users.

Process overview

When initially deploying new Windows devices, Windows Autopilot uses the OEM-optimized version of Windows 10. This version is preinstalled on the device, so you don't have to maintain custom images and drivers for every device model. Instead of re-imaging the device, your existing Windows 10 installation can be transformed into a “business-ready” state that can:

  • apply settings and policies

  • install apps

  • change the edition of Windows 10 being used (for example, from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise) to support advanced features.

Once deployed, you can manage Windows 10 devices with:

  • Microsoft Intune

  • Windows Update for Business

  • Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

  • other similar tools


Traditionally, IT pros spend significant time building and customizing images that will later be deployed to devices. Windows Autopilot introduces a new approach.

  • From the user's perspective, it only takes a few simple operations to make their device ready to use.

  • From the IT pro's perspective, the only interaction required from the end user is to connect to a network and to verify their credentials. Everything beyond that is automated.

Windows Autopilot enables you to:

  • Automatically join devices to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Active Directory (via Hybrid Azure AD Join).

  • Restrict the Administrator account creation.

  • Create and auto-assign devices to configuration groups based on a device's profile.

  • Customize OOBE content specific to the organization.

Existing device can also be quickly prepared for a new user with Windows Autopilot Reset. The Reset capability is also useful in break/fix scenarios to quickly bring a device back to a business-ready state.

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