Require an Internet connection during device setup

This week I’m going to look at a well hidden configuration option that is recently introduced and can be really useful in specific scenarios. That configuration option is to require an Internet connection during the device setup. Requiring an Internet connection during device setup can be useful when trying to prevent users from resetting the device (either accidently or on purpose) and configuring it without an Internet connection, as configuring a device without Internet connectivity would enable a user to configure the device with a local user and without enrollment. In this blog post, I’ll start with a short introduction about why this configuration option would be useful and what the options are with this configuration option. Followed by the configuration steps and the end-user experience.

Introduction

Configuring a device without Internet connectivity would enable a user to configure the device with a local user and without an enrollment to Microsoft Intune (and Azure AD). That’s often what organizations want to prevent, as it disconnects a device from the organization. Minor detail, this configuration option must be configured once. Of course it would be great if this configuration option could be a Windows default, or available via the Windows Autopilot configuration. However, to my understanding this is currently not possible due to legal requirements. At this moment it’s simply legally not allowed to require an Internet connection on a device during the initial setup. Having said that, as this setting is configured via the TenantLockdown CSP, I can imagine that, in a Windows Autopilot for existing devices scenario, this can be configured as a Windows default, via PowerShell, by using the WMI Bridge Provider.

Configuration

Before looking at the configuration, let’s start with a few important requirements and limitations:

  • The device must run Windows 10, version 1809 or later;
  • The device must be configured once before the setting is applicable;

Now let’s continue by looking at the required configuration. The following four steps walk through the steps to get create a new device configuration profile and the specific configuration option. That device configuration profile can be assigned to an Azure AD group.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device configuration > Profiles to open the Device configuration – Profiles blade;
2 On the Device configuration – Profiles blade, select Create profile to open the Create profile blade;
3a On the Create profile blade, provide the following information and click Create;

  • Name: Provide a unique name for the device configuration profile;
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a description for the device configuration profile;
  • Platform: Select Windows 10 and later;
  • Profile type: Select Device restrictions;
  • Settings: See 3b;
3b On the Device restrictions blade, select General to open the General blade. On the General blade, select Require with Require users to connect to network during device setup and click OK to return to the Device restrictions blade. On the Device restrictions blade, click OK;
OOBE-Configure-Network

Note: This setting must be configured before it’s applicable. In other words, it’s not applicable during the initial out-of-box experience.

End-user experience

Let’s end this post by looking at the end-user experience. Once the configuration is in place and a reset is performed on the device, there will be an additional check during the device setup. When the device is not connected to the Internet, the end-user will receive a message as shown below. It requires the user to connect to the Internet. The user will not be able to continue without that connection. Once the user is connected to the Internet, the page below will show a Next button that can be used to continue with the device setup.

OOBE-Connect-Network

More information

For more information regarding the device configuration options and the TenantLockdown CSP, please refer to the following articles: