7 Ways to Manually Sync Intune Policies on Windows Devices

Explore multiple methods to sync the Intune enrolled devices you're using for work to get the latest updates, requirements, and communications from your organization.

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
Manually Sync Intune Policies on Windows Devices

In this article, we’ll explore different methods to manually sync Intune policies on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. Syncing forces your work device to connect with Microsoft Intune to get the latest updates, policies, requirements, and communications from your organization.

According to Microsoft, the Company Portal app regularly syncs devices with Intune as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. However, if you ever need to disconnect for an extended period of time, you can manually sync to get any updates you missed when you return.

Synchronizing policies between devices and Microsoft Intune is one of the most common tasks performed by Intune administrators following the deployment of a policy or app. This is true for application deployments, PowerShell script deployments, custom OMA-URI policy deployments, and various other scenarios. Even after you provision a Windows 11 device with Autopilot, the Intune sync is essential.

Also Read: 4 Ways to Rotate Local Admin Password using Intune

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What happens when you force a device to sync policies with Intune?

When you initiate a sync on a device, Intune notifies the device to check in to receive the latest updates and policies. Intune will attempt to check with this device. If successful, it will sync current actions or policies to the device.

For example, if you have deployed a Win32 app to a Windows device group, running a sync will force devices to check with Intune to see if there are any new deployments. In a nutshell, the sync action forces the devices to connect to the Intune service and get the most recent policies and deployments.

Performing Intune sync is very similar to running gpupdate on Windows devices managed in AD environment. The only difference here is that policy sync can be performed on devices that are enrolled in Intune.

Requirements for Syncing Intune Policies on Windows Devices

To perform a policy sync on Windows devices, the devices must be enrolled in Intune and should be online. If the Intune company portal app is installed on devices, it makes it even easier to synchronize the policies.

If you are new to Microsoft Intune, we recommend that you read the instructions below. They will walk you through enrolling Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices.

When should you manually sync policies for devices?

There are four situations when you should manually sync the Intune policies on enrolled devices in Microsoft Intune:

  1. When you want to test the Intune policies ASAP on the user’s device, you can force the policy update on devices.
  2. Manually syncing the policies is a common step in troubleshooting an issue on a user’s Intune-managed device.
  3. If you’re experiencing slow or unusual behavior while installing or using a work app, try syncing your device to see if an update or requirement is missing.
  4. Syncing can also help resolve work-related downloads or other processes that are in progress or stalled.

See Also: How to Manually Sync macOS device with Intune

Ways to Force Intune Sync Manually from Windows device

We will explore the following methods in this article to show you how to sync Intune policies on Windows devices:

  • Company Portal app
  • Desktop taskbar or Start menu
  • Using the Settings app
  • Sync Action in Intune Admin Center
  • Refresh Intune Policies on Cloud PCs and Windows devices using Bulk Device Actions
  • Use PowerShell to trigger Intune Policy Sync on a single Windows device and all Windows devices
  • Sync from Settings app (Microsoft HoloLens)

Intune Default Policy Sync Interval

Do you know how long it takes for devices to receive an Intune policy, profile, or app after they are assigned? The answer is 8 hours. This is known as the Intune Policy refresh cycle. Microsoft has already specified the default Intune policy time intervals for various device types.

The policy sync intervals for various devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and others, are listed in the table below.

Device TypeDefault Intune Policy Refresh Intervals
Windows 10/11 PCs enrolled as devicesEvery 8 Hours
AndroidEvery 8 Hours
macOSEvery 8 Hours
Windows 8.1Every 8 Hours
iOS/iPadOSEvery 8 Hours
Intune Default Policy Sync Interval

Note: The Intune management extension (IME) policy cycle is set to run every 60 minutes. If devices recently enroll in Intune, then the compliance, non-compliance, and configuration check-in runs more frequently.

Intune Policy Refresh Intervals for Recently Enrolled Devices

The table below shows the frequency of Intune device check-ins based on device type.

PlatformDevice Check-In Frequency
Windows 10/11 PCs enrolled as devicesEvery 3 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours
AndroidEvery 3 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours
macOSEvery 15 minutes for 1 hour, and then around every 8 hours
iOS/iPadOSEvery 15 minutes for 1 hour, and then around every 8 hours
Windows 8.1Every 5 minutes for 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes for 2 hours, and then around every 8 hours
Intune Policy Refresh Intervals for Recently Enrolled Devices

We will now look at different methods with which you can manually sync Intune policies on Windows devices.

1. Manually Sync Intune Policies from Device Taskbar or Start menu

On a Windows device, you can manually sync Intune policies from the Taskbar or Start Menu. Click Start and type “Company Portal” in the search box. Right-click the Company Portal app and select “Sync this device“.

The Sync this device action should be available for the company portal app installed on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. If the company portal app is pinned to the taskbar, you won’t get the sync device action.

Manually Sync Intune Policies from Device Taskbar or Start menu
Manually Sync Intune Policies from Device Taskbar or Start menu

The Company Portal app opens to the Settings page and initiates the policy sync with Microsoft Intune. If the Intune Policy sync is successful, you should see the message “Sync Successful” on the same screen.

Manually Sync Intune Policies from Device Taskbar or Start menu
Manually Sync Intune Policies from Device Taskbar or Start menu

2. Intune Sync via Company Portal

End users can quickly initiate the Intune Sync via the Company Portal app. To accomplish that, click on your Start Menu (or press the button on your keyboard) and then open the Company Portal app. Once the Company Portal has loaded, select the Settings icon from the left-hand navigation bar, and then click the Sync button.

Sync Intune Policies from Company Portal App
Sync Intune Policies from Company Portal App

The Company Portal app initiates the sync. It takes a while to synchronize the latest Intune policies. The line “Last Sync on Date Time was successful” confirms the policy synchronization is successfully completed.

Sync Intune Policies from Company Portal App
Sync Intune Policies from Company Portal App

3. Manually Sync a device from Intune Admin Center

In the Intune admin center, the Sync device action forces the selected Windows device to immediately check in with Intune. When a device checks in, it immediately receives any pending actions or policies that have been assigned to it.

Tip: The Sync device action is also available for cloud PCs. With Cloud PC Remote Actions, you can remotely manage Cloud PCs in Intune just like any other managed device.

Intune currently supports the following device types for the Sync device action:

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Android (Device administrator and Android for Work only)

To sync a remote Windows device from Intune, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.
  • Select Devices > Windows > All Devices.
  • In the list of devices you manage, select a device to open its Overview pane, and then select Sync. To confirm Sync, select Yes.
Manually Sync a device from Intune Admin Center
Manually Sync a device from Intune Admin Center

A message box appears when you initiate a device sync from the Intune admin center. Intune will attempt to check in with this device. If successful, it will sync current actions or policies to the device. Would like to continue. Select Yes.

4. Perform Intune Policy Sync using Settings App

You can manually sync to refresh Intune policies on Windows devices using the Settings App. On your device, select Start > Settings. Select Accounts. Under Accounts, select Access Work or School. Select the account that has a briefcase icon next to it. Click Info.

Perform Intune Policy Sync using Settings App
Perform Intune Policy Sync using Settings App

Under Device Action Status, select Sync. This will sync the latest security policies, network profiles and managed applications from Intune.

Perform Intune Policy Sync using Settings App
Perform Intune Policy Sync using Settings App

5. Force Intune Policy Sync using PowerShell

You can use Microsoft Graph and PowerShell to force Intune policy sync on Windows devices. With PowerShell, you can choose to refresh Intune policies on a single Windows device or on all Windows devices. We will look at both examples in this article. The below commands are taken from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK documentation.

Step 1: Install Microsoft Graph Intune Module

In this step, we will install Microsoft.Graph.Intune PowerShell module. Launch PowerShell as an administrator and enter the below PS command.

Install-Module -Name Microsoft.Graph.Intune
Install Microsoft Graph Intune Module
Install Microsoft Graph Intune Module

Step 2: Connect to Microsoft Graph

Once you have installed the Intune PowerShell SDK, we will use it to perform some basic tasks. The Connect-MgGraph cmdlet is used to connect to Microsoft Graph via PowerShell.

Connect-MgGraph

You’ll need to sign in with an admin account to consent to the required scopes. On the resulting web page, sign in to your tenant with a user account that has the appropriate read and write permissions. We are using a global administrator account in this example.

Connect to Microsoft Graph
Connect to Microsoft Graph

Step 3: Connect to Device Management scopes

Run the below PowerShell command to connect to the required device management scopes. This is required to read the properties of the objects managed by Intune. You’ll need to sign in with an admin account to consent to the required scopes.

Connect-MgGraph -scope DeviceManagementManagedDevices.PrivilegedOperations.All, DeviceManagementManagedDevices.ReadWrite.All,DeviceManagementManagedDevices.Read.All
Connect to Device Management scopes
Connect to Device Management scopes

Step 4: Check Last Sync Date and Time of Windows Device

Before invoking an Intune policy on a Windows device, run the following command to determine when the device was last synced.

Get-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice -Filter "contains(deviceName,'CLOUDVM1')" | fl lastsyncdatetime
Check Last Sync Date and Time of Windows Device
Check Last Sync Date and Time of Windows Device

Step 5: Invoke Intune Sync on a single Windows Device

The Get-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice cmdlet lets you read properties and relationships of the managed device object in Microsoft Intune. In this step, we will run the following PowerShell command to invoke Intune sync on a given Windows device.

Sync-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice -ManagedDeviceId deviceID

Step 6: Invoke Intune Policy Sync on all Windows Devices

In this step, we will run the following PowerShell script to invoke Intune sync on all Windows devices.

$Windowsdevices = get-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice | Where-Object {$_.OperatingSystem -eq "Windows"}

Foreach ($device in $Windowsdevices) {
    Sync-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice -ManagedDeviceId $device.id
    write-host "Sending device sync request to" $device.DeviceName -ForegroundColor red
}
Invoke Intune Policy Sync on all Windows Devices
Invoke Intune Policy Sync on all Windows Devices

Step 7: Run Intune Policy Sync on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android devices using PowerShell

If you want to sync Intune policies on all devices that are enrolled in Intune (Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Android), you can run the below PowerShell script.

$Alldevices = get-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice -All

Foreach ($device in $Alldevices) {
    Sync-MgDeviceManagementManagedDevice -ManagedDeviceId $device.id
    write-host "Sending device sync request to" $device.DeviceName -ForegroundColor yellow
}
Run Intune Policy Sync on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android devices using PowerShell
Run Intune Policy Sync on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android devices using PowerShell

6. Use Bulk Device Actions to Force Intune Policy Sync

This method uses the bulk device action to sync Intune policies on multiple Windows devices. If you want to trigger policy sync on multiple Windows PCs in your organization, bulk device actions should be used. You can initiate the policy sync on numerous physical Windows devices, including Windows 365 cloud PCs.

In the Intune Admin Center, go to Devices > Windows > Windows Devices. Select Bulk Device Actions.

Use Bulk Device Actions in Intune Admin Center
Use Bulk Device Actions in Intune Admin Center

On the Basics tab, select the following:

  • OS: Windows
  • Device type: Physical devices or Cloud PCs
  • Device action: Sync.

Click Next.

Use Bulk Device Actions to Force Intune Policy Sync
Use Bulk Device Actions to Force Intune Policy Sync

On the Devices tab, click on the option “Select devices to include” and choose the Windows devices on which you want to manually sync Intune policies. Click Next.

Select Windows Devices for Sync
Select Windows Devices for Sync

On the Review + Create tab, select Create. On selected Windows devices, the latest policies are now synchronized with Intune.

Use Bulk Device Actions to Force Intune Policy Sync
Use Bulk Device Actions to Force Intune Policy Sync

7. Sync Microsoft HoloLens with Intune

Sync HoloLens running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later from the system settings app.

  • Open the Settings app on your device.
  • Select Accounts and then select Work Access.
  • Find your connected account, and then select Sync.

Monitor Intune Policy Sync in Event Viewer

Either of these things can happen when you perform an Intune policy sync on a Windows device. The policy sync is either successful or unsuccessful.

The deployment of a configuration profile, a Win32 app, or a script to your Windows devices may fail. The Event Viewer lets you troubleshoot issues related to company portal sync.

Launch the Event Viewer and go to Application and Services Logs. Select Microsoft > Windows > DeviceManagement-Enterprise-Diagnostics-Provider > Admin. Review each event to identify the cause of Intune policy sync failures.

Monitor Intune Policy Sync in Event Viewer
Monitor Intune Policy Sync in Event Viewer

Intune also allows you to collect diagnostic logs from Windows devices for troubleshooting common issues. The log collection procedure varies for macOS devices, and you can read the guide on how to collect Intune logs from macOS devices for more information.

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Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
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Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.
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