Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

In this post we will be taking a look at steps on configuring client settings in configuration manager 2012 R2. In System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, you can specify client settings at a collection level, allowing you to define different settings as necessary. We have the flexibility to create multiple client device or client user settings and apply it to different collections as per our requirement. When you create a client setting a priority is assigned to it, those with a higher priority win over settings with a lower priority. Note that the default client settings has the priority of 10000, which means you can have 9999 client settings that would have higher priority over the default client settings.

All client settings in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager are managed in the Configuration Manager console from the Client Settings node in the Administration workspace. A set of default settings is supplied with Configuration Manager 2012. When you modify the default client settings, these settings are applied to all clients in the hierarchy. You can also configure custom client settings, which override the default client settings when you assign these to collections. We will configure few of the client settings in this post. If you are looking for default client settings information you can go through this post.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Launch the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 console, click on Administration. Right click Client Settings and click Create Custom Client Device Settings.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

In this example we will select Client Policy, Compliance Settings, Computer Agent, Computer Restart, Remote Tools and Software Deployment.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Client Policy – Client Policy polling interval specifies how frequently client computers download client policy from management point. Select Client Policy from the left pane, Set Client Policy Polling to interval to 5 minutes.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Compliance Settings – If compliance settings are enabled or compliance evaluation on client is set to yes, then compliance evaluation happens on clients.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Computer Agent – Computer Agent allows you to define settings related to software distribution on the Configuration Manager client. These include specifying the notification interval for deployments, the default Application Catalog website point, Organization name that will be displayed in software center, displaying notifications for new deployments and more.

Select Computer Agent, to set the default Application Catalog website point click “Set Website”. Select use Intranet FQDN. click OK. Set “Add Default Application catalog website to IE trusted site zones” to Yes. Specify the Organization Name to be displayed in Software center. Rest of the settings remain unchanged.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Computer Restart – Computer restart device settings allow you to specify the countdown interval for ConfigMgr-initiated restarts. Ensure that the intervals specified are shorter in duration than the shortest maintenance window applied to your client, so the computer restarts during the window. We will change the temporary notification that’s displayed to user to 60 minutes.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Remote Tools – You can use Remote Tools for remote management of client desktops for troubleshooting purposes, Remote Tools uses the RDP functionality provided by the Windows OS and you can use this feature to take over desktop using Remote Desktop or assisting the end user using the Remote Assistance functionality, where both the end user and help desk look at the same desktop.

Click on Remote Tools on the left Pane, we will enable Remote Control on clients. To do so click on configure. check Enable Remote Control on Client Computers. Choose Domain, Private and Public. Click OK.

To set Permitted Viewers for remote connection and remote assistance click “Set Viewers“. For example you can add a group which consists of users from IT team who would take a remote control for troubleshooting purpose.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Software Deployment – Software Deployment settings allow you to specify when software deployments are re-evaluated. By default re-evaluation for deployments occurs every 7 days, you can change the default value by clicking on Schedule and set it to your requirement. In this example I have set it for evaluate for every 2 days. Click OK.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

You can also create Custom User Settings as we did for Device settings in the above steps. We will create Custom user device settings and allow users to define their primary device. Right click Client Settings and click Create Custom Client User Settings.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

User and Device Affinity – The User and Device Affinity settings for users allow you to specify whether you want to enable a user to define their primary device. You can see this setting when you create custom client device settings and custom client user settings.

Configuring Client Settings in Configuration Manager 2012 R2

We have got the client device and client user settings ready, we can apply these once we deploy the configuration manager client to the machines. You create separate client device settings and apply it for different collections as per your requirement.


  1. There is no “client settings” under “Site Configuration”. Only “Sites” and “Servers and Site System Roles”.

  2. Avatar photo Karim Slaoui says:

    I just would like to specify that although the default client settings priority is set at 10000, you cannot have more than 999 (not 9999) client settings.
    This is a hard coded limitation (according to MS Premier Support).
    If you create a client setting package and give it a priority over 999, you will not be able to create additional packages until all client setting packages have a priority under 999.
    Hope this helps someone…

  3. Avatar photo Miriam Samayoa says:

    hi, just a question: do you need to purchase client licenses to be able to do this? lets say i have 250 clients do i need licenses for the server and then individual lic for each client?

  4. First let me say your SCCM 2012 guides have been a lifesaver for me as I am very by the book since all of my SCCM education has come from MS training and books and trial and error. I am looking for some guidance. I deployed a custom client settings to All Systems collection which worked perfectly. I have now created a second “test” client settings with SCEP and applied it to a specific device collection for testing. The collection and individual devices show the new settings but it is priority 2 so the new settings are not applying and therefore not attempting to install SCEP not surprised. I have considered changing the test settings priority to 1 but I do not want to have an adverse affect on my remaining 1700 computers. Simple version can you change the priority of a test client settings from 2 to 1 without affecting computers not running the test settings?

  5. when I launch Applications Catalog website, I get an error message.

    Cannot connect to the application server? The website cannot communicate with the server. This might be a temporary problem. Try again to see if the problem has been corrected.

    I am able to access the Software Center with no problem.

      1. Tried the following suggestion and same error message appeared.

        When I checked the logs? I did however get error stating WCF is not activated? Activate WCF and try again?

  6. Hi,
    But For the ORGANIZATION NAME, I don’t know if it is per design, but if I don’t change the name inside the DEFAULT Client Settings, the name isn’t displayed correctly.
    I wanted the “custom” (as the name says) to have a different Organization Name.
    I’m working on SCCM CB (1602)

    1. So is the Org name not reflected when you change it under client device settings ?. What do you see as Org name then ?.

      1. I’ve setup the “COMPANY NAME” inside the “Default Client Settings”.
        Now I’m testing something, and created a “Custom Policy”, and set the name as: “TEST”, deployed to the testcollection, but when I open SoftwareCenter on the testcomputer, I see: “COMPANY NAME” not “TEST”

        1. That means the custom client device settings are not at all applied. Can you confirm is it only the Org name or any setting that you define inside custom policy are not getting applied ?.

          1. The Org name is not applied.
            I’ve enabled “Software Updates” on custom client settings, and that’s working.
            Other strange thing is that when I check (on computer object – resultant client settings) under “Comptuer Agent” I see the correct name (test).
            But not when I open software Center

              1. Yes, also I’ve enabled the new software center ONLY in the Custom Client Setting…

                1. Avatar photo Rafael Lima says:

                  Any solution to this problem?

              2. Avatar photo Rafael Lima says:

                Any solution to this problem?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *