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Prerequisites for Hybrid Azure AD

In a similar way to a user, a device is another core identity you want to protect and use it to protect your resources at any time and from any location. You can accomplish this goal by bringing and managing device identities in Azure AD using one of the following methods:

  • Azure AD join

  • Hybrid Azure AD join

  • Azure AD registration

By bringing your devices to Azure AD, you maximize your users' productivity through single sign-on (SSO) across your cloud and on-premises resources. At the same time, you can secure access to your cloud and on-premises resources with Conditional Access.

If you have an on-premises Active Directory (AD) environment and you want to join your AD domain-joined computers to Azure AD, you can accomplish this by doing hybrid Azure AD join. This article provides you with the related steps to implement a hybrid Azure AD join in your environment.


This article assumes that you are familiar with the Introduction to device identity management in Azure Active Directory.

The minimum required domain controller version for Windows 10 hybrid Azure AD join is Windows Server 2008 R2.

Plan your implementation

To plan your hybrid Azure AD implementation, you should familiarize yourself with:

  • Review supported devices

  • Review things you should know

  • Review controlled validation of hybrid Azure AD join

  • Select your scenario based on your identity infrastructure

  • Review on-premises AD UPN support for hybrid Azure AD join

Review supported devices

Hybrid Azure AD join supports a broad range of Windows devices. Because the configuration for devices running older versions of Windows requires additional or different steps, the supported devices are grouped into two categories:

Windows current devices

  • Windows 10

  • Windows Server 2016

    • Note: Azure National cloud customers require version 1809

  • Windows Server 2019

For devices running the Windows desktop operating system, supported version are listed in this article Windows 10 release information. As a best practice, Microsoft recommends you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.

Windows down-level devices

  • Windows 8.1

  • Windows 7 support ended on January 14, 2020. For more information, see Support for Windows 7 has ended.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2012

  • Windows Server 2008 R2. For support information on Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, see Prepare for Windows Server 2008 end of support.

As a first planning step, you should review your environment and determine whether you need to support Windows down-level devices.

Review things you should know

Unsupported scenarios

  • Hybrid Azure AD join is currently not supported if your environment consists of a single AD forest synchronizing identity data to more than one Azure AD tenant.

  • Hybrid Azure AD join is not supported for Windows Server running the Domain Controller (DC) role.

  • Hybrid Azure AD join is not supported on Windows down-level devices when using credential roaming or user profile roaming or mandatory profile.

  • Server Core OS doesn't support any type of device registration.

OS imaging considerations

  • If you are relying on the System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) and if you are using a pre-Windows 10 1809 image for installation, make sure that image is not from a device that is already registered with Azure AD as Hybrid Azure AD join.

  • If you are relying on a Virtual Machine (VM) snapshot to create additional VMs, make sure that snapshot is not from a VM that is already registered with Azure AD as Hybrid Azure AD join.

  • If you are using Unified Write Filter and similar technologies that clear changes to the disk at reboot, they must be applied after the device is Hybrid Azure AD joined. Enabling such technologies prior to completion of Hybrid Azure AD join will result in the device getting unjoined on every reboot

Handling devices with Azure AD registered state

If your Windows 10 domain joined devices are Azure AD registered to your tenant, it could lead to a dual state of Hybrid Azure AD joined and Azure AD registered device. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 1803 (with KB4489894 applied) or above to automatically address this scenario. In pre-1803 releases, you will need to remove the Azure AD registered state manually before enabling Hybrid Azure AD join. In 1803 and above releases, the following changes have been made to avoid this dual state:

  • Any existing Azure AD registered state for a user would be automatically removed after the device is Hybrid Azure AD joined and the same user logs in. For example, if User A had an Azure AD registered state on the device, the dual state for User A is cleaned up only when User A logs in to the device. If there are multiple users on the same device, the dual state is cleaned up individually when those users log in. In addition to removing the Azure AD registered state, Windows 10 will also unenroll the device from Intune or other MDM, if the enrollment happened as part of the Azure AD registration via auto-enrollment.

  • You can prevent your domain joined device from being Azure AD registered by adding the following registry value to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WorkplaceJoin: "BlockAADWorkplaceJoin"=dword:00000001.

  • In Windows 10 1803, if you have Windows Hello for Business configured, the user needs to re-setup Windows Hello for Business after the dual state clean up.This issue has been addressed with KB4512509

Note Even though Windows 10 automatically removes the Azure AD registered state locally, the device object in Azure AD is not immediately deleted if it is managed by Intune. You can validate the removal of Azure AD registered state by running dsregcmd /status and consider the device not to be Azure AD registered based on that.

Additional considerations

  • If your environment uses virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), see Device identity and desktop virtualization.

  • Hybrid Azure AD join is supported for FIPS-compliant TPM 2.0 and not supported for TPM 1.2. If your devices have FIPS-compliant TPM 1.2, you must disable them before proceeding with Hybrid Azure AD join. Microsoft does not provide any tools for disabling FIPS mode for TPMs as it is dependent on the TPM manufacturer. Please contact your hardware OEM for support.

  • Starting from Windows 10 1903 release, TPMs 1.2 are not used with hybrid Azure AD join and devices with those TPMs will be considered as if they don't have a TPM.

Review controlled validation of hybrid Azure AD join

When all of the pre-requisites are in place, Windows devices will automatically register as devices in your Azure AD tenant. The state of these device identities in Azure AD is referred as hybrid Azure AD join. More information about the concepts covered in this article can be found in the article Introduction to device identity management in Azure Active Directory.

Organizations may want to do a controlled validation of hybrid Azure AD join before enabling it across their entire organization all at once. Review the article controlled validation of hybrid Azure AD join to understand how to accomplish it.

Select your scenario based on your identity infrastructure

Hybrid Azure AD join works with both, managed and federated environments depending on whether the UPN is routable or non-routable. See bottom of the page for table on supported scenarios.

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