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By Scott Duffey | Intune Sr. PM

 

If you’ve worked with System Center Configuration Manager in the past, you’ll be familiar with the term “User Device Affinity”. In Intune we call this “Primary User” and it’s simply a mapping between an Intune device and a user. A device can have just one Primary User, but a User can have more than one device.


The point of having this relationship is to improve experiences for both end users and IT support. Here’s a few examples where this mapping is useful:

  • When a user opens the Company Portal app on their phone, they see a list of all their Intune-managed devices. In case they have an Intune-managed device that is lost or stolen, they can perform a reset for that device. This self-service reduces IT support cases as the end user can take care of the problem themselves. The list of all Intune managed devices is built from the Primary User relationship.
  • Another example is on the IT support side. When an IT admin uses the troubleshooting page in the admin portal, the first step is to supply a username. This name then enumerates all the user’s devices (along with policies, apps and other useful information). Again, this device list is built based on Primary User.

 

As an Intune IT admin, you can view the Primary User of a device by going to the device overview page in the admin portal.

 

primaryuser.png

 

What happens when the device doesn’t belong to anyone?
While most of the devices being managed by Intune today are single-user devices, there are some customer scenarios where this isn’t the case. For example, you might have Kiosks, First-line worker devices or Windows 10 PC’s being used by multiple users in a classroom or call center. We call those shared devices. These devices typically have a different set of end-users and self-service based requirements in the Company Portal.

 

thisdeviceshared.png

 

Moving forward, and based on many customer requests, you’ll start to see improvements in the shared device scenario.

  • In an upcoming release of the Company Portal app for Windows (we're planning on a release shortly), shared devices (ones without any primary user assigned) will now be able to be used for each Intune user who signs into Windows and opens the app. Each user will be able to install Available apps that have been assigned to their user account. There is also a label to help identify a shared device vs a single user device and importantly, end-users won’t be allowed to perform any device actions (like removing it from management or factory resetting it) via the Company Portal app.
  • In future releases, we’ll be building out some additional changes that customers have been asking for including the ability to add or change a primary user through the admin portal, or seamlessly inherit Primary User from other sources (such a SCCM).

 

For more detailed information on how to configure and use the Intune Primary User, we’ve posted updates to the documentation page here: https://aka.ms/primary_user_intune.

10 Comments
Contributor
Great! Thanks for the update/letting us know Scott, this is going to be quite helpful :)
Deleted
Not applicable

Thanks for updating us, Scott. This is a great improvement tp the Company Portal app and Microsoft Intune!

 

I have one question though. Regarding "shared devices (ones without any primary user assigned) will now be able to be used for each Intune user". Could you please clarify if each Intune user will also be able to install available apps through the Company Portal app, on Shared Devices that do have a Primary User assigned? For instance where these were setup with a Device Enrollment Manager?

 

Regular Contributor

Way to bury the lede there @Intune Support Team !  I'm thrilled to hear that we will finally be able to assign a device to a different user without having to completely start over and re-enroll it.  

 

I was so excited that I tried telling others about it by clicking the Share button at the bottom of this article, but the button seems to be broken.  It takes me to a page at addthis.com with no content, just a header, search bar, and footer.  You might want to have someone check on that.  Meanwhile, I'll tweet the URL the old fashioned way.  :)

New Contributor

@Intune Support Team.. does this only work if Azure AD join (Autopilot self-deploying mode) based on what I am reading in the support document below.  So no shared devices for Hybrid Joined enrollments.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/find-primary-user#who-is-assigned-as-the-primary-user

 

 

@Steve Whitcher  - thanks for pointing this out along with the share! We reached out to the TechCommunity team regarding the share issue, and they responded back that this can sometimes occur when cookies aren’t accepted or are in In-Private browser. If you continue to have issues in the future, please let us know. 

New Contributor

@Intune Support Team - thanks for the response.   Checking UserVoice I do not see much mention on Shared Devices and support for Hybrid AADJ.   Curious if there is anything on the roadmap for this.  I plan on submitting a request in UserVoice in the meantime.

Hi @Miguel Sanabia, appreciate the feedback to improve the Intune service!

 

In addition, here are a few links that may help to keep up to date with what's new with Intune:

Microsoft 365 roadmap | aka.ms/UEMroadmap
In Development | aka.ms/UEMfirstlook
What's New | aka.ms/intunenew
EMS Blogs | aka.ms/UEMblog

Visitor

Hello,

 

can i change primary user of device in case someone left and i dont want to redeploy that device?

Thank you 

Occasional Visitor

Would be good to know how you can change this.

 

My admin account is registered as the primary user beceuse I setup peoples pc

can't seem to find a place to just change the value !