In order for Microsoft Intune to consistently manage devices, it needs to periodically check-in to see if any changes or updates are needed on each device. By default, these devices will check-in about every 8 hours as Microsoft mentions here. If you are like me and you are testing new applications or policies, you might need the device to check-in faster. If you have 1 device, you can easily run a manual sync from the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal (tutorial shown below). If you have a group of devices that you want to sync, Microsoft Intune provides an option to run a bulk action against these devices for a faster check-in.
Manual Device Sync
As I mentioned above, if you have just 1 device that you want to run a sync on, you can just run the sync manually like below and click the “Sync” button. Navigate to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal (endpoint.microsoft.com) and go to Devices and Windows devices and select the device you want to sync. Microsoft Intune will attempt to check-in with the device and evaluate its current state to see if any policy or app updates are needed.
Create Bulk Device Sync Action
If I have multiple devices I would like to sync, I can create a Bulk Device Action. To begin, I will navigate to to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal (endpoint.microsoft.com) and go to devices and Windows devices.
Next, I will click on the Bulk Device Actions button shown below.
This will take me to the wizard to create this bulk action. I can select an OS (Windows in this case) and then the specific bulk action I want, which is Sync.
As you can see below, it even confirms that “Intune will attempt to check with this device. If successful, it will sync current actions or policies to the device.”
Next, we need to select which devices we want to sync. I could select 1 device or more. In this case, I am just going to select 2 devices.
My devices I chose are shown and I am presented with an option to remove them if I wanted. I am going to leave them as is.
Finally I am presented with a summary screen to show my bulk action, the OS I want and which devices I am going to sync.
After I click create, the bulk action is run and you can see below I am given a notification to confirm this. If those devices are online, they will attempt to check-in with Microsoft Intune.
As you can see, its quite easy to do a bulk sync across your devices in Microsoft Intune. I use the manual sync or bulk sync quite often when I am pushing apps or policies to various test machines. If you want to take the bulk sync a step further, there are quite a few scripts out on GitHub which will run a sync on all devices. That can save you some time from manually picking devices in the portal.