How to manage collections in Configuration Manager

Applies to: Configuration Manager (current branch)

Use the overview information in this article to help you run management tasks for collections in Configuration Manager.

For information about how to create Configuration Manager collections, see How to create collections.

Collection actions

In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Assets and Compliance workspace. Select Device Collections or User Collections, select the collection to manage, and then select a management task.

Manage device collections

Show Members

Displays all of the resources that are members of the selected collection in a temporary node under the Devices node.

Add Selected Items

Provides the following options:

  • Add Selected Items to Existing Device Collection: Opens the Select Collection window. Select the collection to which you want to add the members of the selected collection. The selected collection is included in this collection by using an Include Collections membership rule.

  • Add Selected Items to New Device Collection: Opens the Create Device Collection Wizard where you can create a new collection. The selected collection is included in this collection by using an Include Collections membership rule.

For more information, see How to create collections.

Install Client

Opens the Install Client Wizard. This wizard uses client push installation to install a Configuration Manager client on all computers in the selected collection. For more information, see Client push installation.

Run Script

Opens the Run Script wizard to run a PowerShell script on all of the clients in the collection. For more information, see Create and run PowerShell scripts.

Start CMPivot

Opens CMPivot for this collection. Use CMPivot to query device information and take action in real time. For more information, see CMPivot for real-time data.

Manage Affinity Requests

Opens the Manage User Device Affinity Requests dialog box. Approve or reject pending requests to establish user device affinities for devices in the selected collection. For more information, see Link users and devices with user device affinity.

Clear Required PXE Deployments

Clears any required PXE boot deployments from all members of the selected collection. For more information, see Use PXE to deploy Windows over the network.

Update Membership

Evaluates the membership for the selected collection. For collections with many members, this update might take some time to finish. Use the Refresh action to update the display with the new collections members after the update is completed.

Synchronize Membership

If you configured this collection for cloud sync, synchronize the current membership with an Azure Active Directory group. For more information, see Create collections.

Add Resources

Opens the Add Resources to Collection window. Search for new resources to add to the selected collection. The icon for the selected collection displays an hourglass symbol while the update is in progress.

Client Notification

For more information, see Client notifications.

Client Diagnostics

Displays the following options:

  • Enable verbose logging
  • Disable verbose logging
  • Collect client logs

For more information, see Client diagnostics.

Endpoint Protection

For more information, see Client notifications: Endpoint protection.

Export

Opens the Export Collection Wizard that helps you export this collection to a Managed Object Format (MOF) file. You can then archive this file, or import it to another Configuration Manager site. When you export a collection, referenced collections aren't exported. A referenced collection is referenced by the selected collection through the use of an Include or Exclude rule.

Copy

Creates a copy of the selected collection. The new collection uses the selected collection as a limiting collection.

Refresh

Refresh the view.

Delete

Deletes the selected collection. You can also delete all of the resources in the collection from the site database.

You can't delete the collections that are built into Configuration Manager. For a list of the built-in collections, see Introduction to collections.

Simulate Deployment

Opens the Simulate Application Deployment Wizard. This wizard lets you test the results of an application deployment without installing or uninstalling the application. For more information, see How to simulate application deployments.

Deploy

Displays the following options:

  • Application: Opens the Deploy Software Wizard. Select and configure an application deployment to the selected collection. For more information, see How to deploy applications.

  • Program: Opens the Deploy Software Wizard. Select and configure a package and program deployment to the selected collection. For more information, see Packages and programs.

  • Configuration Baseline: Opens the Deploy Configuration Baselines window. Configure the deployment of one or more configuration baselines to the selected collection. For more information, see How to deploy configuration baselines.

  • Task Sequence: Opens the Deploy Software Wizard. Select and configure a task sequence deployment to the selected collection. For more information, see Deploy a task sequence.

  • Software Updates: Opens the Deploy Software Updates Wizard. Configure the deployment of software updates to resources in the selected collection. For more information, see Deploy software updates.

View Relationships

For more information, see View collection relationships.

Move

Move the selected collection to another folder in the Device Collections node.

Properties

For more information, see Collection properties.

Manage user collections

The following actions are available on user collections. The behaviors are the same as with device collections, other than they apply to user collections and the users within. For more information, see the corresponding action under Manage device collections.

  • Show Members
  • Add Selected Items
    • Add Selected Items to Existing User Collection
    • Add Selected Items to New User Collection
  • Manage Affinity Requests
  • Update Membership
  • Synchronize Membership
  • Add Resources
  • Export
  • Copy
  • Refresh
  • Delete
  • Simulate Deployment
  • Deploy
    • Application
    • Program
    • Configuration Baseline
  • View Relationships
  • Move
  • Properties

Collection properties

When you view properties for a collection, you can view and configure the following options:

View collection relationships

Starting in version 2010, you can view dependency relationships between collections in a graphical format. It shows limiting, include, and exclude relationships.

View collection dependency relationships in a graphical format

If you want to change or delete collections, view the relationships to understand the impact of the proposed change. Before you create a deployment, look at the potential target collection for any include or exclude relationships that might affect the deployment.

When you select the View Relationships action on a device or user collection:

  • To view the relationships with parent collections, select Dependency.

  • To view the relationships with child collections, select Dependent.

For example, if you select the All Systems collection to view its relationships, the Dependency node will be 0 as it has no parent collections.

Use the following tips to navigate the relationship viewer:

  • Select the plus (+) or minus (-) icons next to the collection name to expand or collapse members of a node.

  • The number in parentheses after the collection name is the number of relationships. If the number is 0, then that collection is the final or leaf node in that relationship tree.

  • The style and color of the line between the collections determines the type of relationship:

    Collection dependency relationship line style legend

    If you hover over a specific line, a tooltip shows the relationship type.

  • The maximum number of child nodes displayed depends upon the level of the graph:

    • First level: five nodes
    • Second level: three nodes
    • Third level: two nodes
    • Fourth level: one node

    If there are more objects than the graph can display at that level, you'll see the More icon.

  • When the width of the tree is larger than the window, use the green arrows to the right or the left to view more.

  • When a node of the relationship tree is larger than the available space, select More to change the view to just that node.

  • To navigate to a prior view, select the Back arrow in the upper right corner. Select the Home icon to return to the main page.

  • Use the Search box in the upper right corner to locate a collection in the current tree view.

  • Use the Navigator in the lower right corner to zoom and pan around the tree. You can also print the current view.

  • You can only see relationships between collections to which you have permission:

    • If you have permission for All Systems or All Users and User Groups, then you'll see all relationships.

    • If you don't have permission for a specific collection, you don't see it in the graph, and can't view its relationships.

PowerShell

You can also use PowerShell to manage collections. For more information, see the following articles:

Next steps

Client notifications