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How can IT use Windows Autopilot to manage Windows 10 PCs?

Deploying Windows 10 devices can be a pain, especially when pre-installed PCs don't have the right applications or policies. Learn how Windows Autopilot can solve those issues.

There are many ways to deploy Microsoft Windows 10 devices, but Windows Autopilot can streamline the process for IT.

In most organizations, IT pros create and maintain an image file, and use that to deploy Windows onto a new machine with a tool such as the Windows Deployment Workbench. This process works well, but it is tedious and time consuming to create a deployment and maintain the image over time.

When an organization purchases a new PC, Windows is almost always pre-installed. The problem is that the OEM Windows installation is unlikely to meet the organization's requirements. The operating system probably has plenty of pre-installed bloatware, for example, and is most likely missing the patches, drivers, policies and applications used within an organization. This is where Windows Autopilot comes into play.

Windows Autopilot is an online service that automates the Windows provisioning process. It prevents IT professionals from needing to create and maintain deployment images. When an organization purchases new PCs, the vendor provides the organization with a list of ID numbers to uniquely identify the new machines. Then, IT logs into the Autopilot website and enters these identification numbers. This allows Autopilot to recognize the PCs when they are powered on.

IT can use the Autopilot portal to create a profile that outlines how to configure new PCs for their organization. This profile might specify which Windows edition, drivers or policy settings to enable.

Then, the IT department does not have to worry about deploying Windows when it acquires a new PC. Instead, it gives the PC directly to the end user. The end user powers up the PC, and after a few clicks, the PC is provisioned according to the IT department's specifications.

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