Manage task sequences to automate tasks in Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Use task sequences to automate steps in your Configuration Manager environment. These steps can deploy an OS image to a destination computer, build and capture an OS image from a set of OS installation files, and capture and restore user state information. Task sequences are located in the Configuration Manager console. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and select Task Sequences. The Task Sequences node, including subfolders that you create, is replicated throughout the Configuration Manager hierarchy. For planning information, see Planning considerations for automating tasks.

Create task sequences

Create task sequences by using the Create Task Sequence Wizard. This wizard can create the following types of task sequences:

Task sequence type More information
Task sequence to install an OS This task sequence type creates the steps to install an OS. It also includes options to migrate user data, include software updates, and install applications.
Task sequence to upgrade an OS This task sequence type creates the steps to upgrade an OS. It also includes options to include software updates and install applications.
Task sequence to capture an OS This task sequence type creates the steps to build and capture an OS from a reference computer. You can include software updates and install applications on the reference computer before capturing the image.
Task sequence to capture and restore user state This task sequence provides the steps to add to an existing task sequence to capture and restore user state data.
Custom task sequence This task sequence type doesn't add any steps to the task sequence. After you create this task sequence, edit it, and add steps.

Return to previous page when a task sequence fails

You can return to a previous page when you run a task sequence and there's a failure. In prior versions of Configuration Manager, you had to restart the task sequence when there was a failure. Use the Previous button in the following scenarios:

  • When a computer starts in Windows PE, the task sequence bootstrap dialog might display before the task sequence is available. When you click Next in this scenario, the final page of the task sequence displays with a message that there are no task sequences available. Now, you can click Previous to search again for available task sequences. You can repeat this process until the task sequence is available.

  • When you run a task sequence, but dependent content packages aren't available yet on distribution points, the task sequence fails. If the missing content wasn’t distributed yet, distribute it now. Or wait for the content to be available on distribution points. Then click Previous to have the task sequence search again for the content.

Edit a task sequence

Modify a task sequence by adding or removing steps, adding or removing groups, or by changing the order of the steps. Use the following procedure to modify an existing task sequence:

Important

When you edit a task sequence that was created by using the Create Task Sequence Wizard, the name of the step can be the action or type of the step. For example, you might see a step that has the name "Partition disk 0", which is the action for a step of type Format and Partition Disk. All task sequence steps are documented by their type, not necessarily by the name of the step that's the editor displays.

To edit a task sequence

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequence list, select the task sequence that you want to edit.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Task Sequence group, click Edit, and then perform any of the following operations:

    • To add a task sequence step, click Add, select the type of the step, and then click the step to add. For example, to add the Run Command Line step click Add, select General, and then click Run Command Line.

    • To add a group to the task sequence, click Add, and then click New Group. After you add a group, you can then add steps to the group.

    • To change the order of the steps and groups in the task sequence, select the step or group that you want to reorder, and then use the Move Item Up or Move Item Down icons. You can move only one step or group at a time.

    • To remove a step or group, select the step or group and click Remove.

  5. Click OK to save the changes.

For a list of the available task sequence steps, see Task sequence steps.

Configure Software Center properties

Use the following procedure to configure the details for the task sequence displayed in Software Center. These details are for information only.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and select Task Sequences.

  2. Select the task sequence to edit, and click Properties.

  3. On the General tab, the following settings for Software Center are available:

    • Restart required: Lets the user know whether a restart is required during the installation.

    • Download size (MB): Specifies how many megabytes are displayed in Software Center for the task sequence.

    • Estimated run time (minutes): Specifies the estimated run time in minutes that's displayed in Software Center for the task sequence.

Configure advanced task sequence settings

Use the following procedure to configure the behavior of the task sequence on the Configuration Manager client.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and select Task Sequences.

  2. Select the task sequence to edit, and click Properties.

  3. On the Advanced tab, the following settings are available:

    • Run another program first: Select this option to run a program in another package before the task sequence runs. By default, this check box is cleared. You don't need to separately deploy the program that you specify to run first.

      Important

      This setting applies only to task sequences that run in the full OS. If you start the task sequence by using PXE or boot media, Configuration Manager ignores this setting.

      • Package: Browse for the package that contains the program to run before this task sequence.

      • Program: Select the program to run before this task sequence.

        Note

        If the selected program fails to run on a client, the task sequence doesn't run. If the selected program runs successfully, it doesn't run again, even if the task sequence is rerun on the same client.

    • Disable this task sequence on computers where it is deployed: If you select this option, Configuration Manager temporarily disables all deployments that contain this task sequence. It also removes the task sequence from the list of deployments available to run. The task sequence doesn't run until you enable it. By default, this option is cleared.

    • Maximum allowed run time: Specifies the maximum time in minutes that you expect the task sequence to run on the destination computer. Use a whole number equal to or greater than zero. By default, this value is 120 minutes.

      Important

      If you're using maintenance windows for the collection to which you deploy this task sequence, a conflict might occur if the Maximum allowed run time is longer than the scheduled maintenance window. If you set the maximum run time to 0, the task sequence starts during the maintenance window. It continues to run until it completes or fails after the maintenance window is closed. As a result, task sequences with a maximum run time set to 0 might run past the end of their maintenance windows. If you set the maximum run time to a specific period (non-zero) that exceeds the length of any available maintenance window, then that task sequence doesn't run. For more information, see How to use maintenance windows.

      If you set the value as 0, Configuration Manager evaluates the maximum allowed run time as 12 hours (720 minutes) for monitoring progress. However, the task sequence starts as long as the countdown duration doesn't exceed the maintenance window value.

      Note

      When it reaches the maximum run time, if you set the option to Run with administrative rights, and don't set the option to Allow users to interact with this program, then Configuration Manager stops the task sequence. If the task sequence itself isn't stopped, Configuration Manager stops monitoring the task sequence after it reaches the maximum allowed run time.

    • Use a boot image: Use the selected boot image when the task sequence is run. Click Browse to select a different boot image. Clear this option to disable the use of the selected boot image when the task sequence runs.

    • This task sequence can run on any platform: If you select this option, Configuration Manager doesn't check the platform type of the destination computer when the task sequence runs. This option is selected by default.

    • This task sequence can only run on the specified client platforms: This option specifies the processors, OS versions, and service packs on which this task sequence can run. When you select this option, select at least one platform from the list. By default, no platforms are selected. Configuration Manager uses this information when is evaluates which destination computers in a collection receive the deployed task sequence.

      Note

      When you run a task sequence from boot media or PXE, Configuration Manager ignores this option. The task sequence runs as though the option This program can run on any platform is selected.

Configure high-impact task sequence settings

Configure a task sequence as high-impact and customize the messages that users receive when they run the task sequence.

Set a task sequence as a high-impact task sequence

Use the following procedure to set a task sequence as high-impact.

Note

Any task sequence that meets certain conditions is automatically defined as high-impact. For more information, see Manage high-risk deployments.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and select Task Sequences.

  2. Select the task sequence to edit, and click Properties.

  3. On the User Notification tab, select This is a high-impact task sequence.

Create a custom notification for high-risk deployments

Use the following procedure to create a custom notification for high-impact deployments.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and select Task Sequences.

  2. Select the task sequence to edit, and click Properties.

  3. On the User Notification tab, select Use custom text.

    Note

    You can only set user notification text when you select the option, This is a high-impact task sequence.

  4. Configure the following settings:

    Note

    Each text box has a maximum limit of 255 characters.

    User notification headline text: Specifies the blue text that displays on the Software Center user notification. For example, in the default user notification, this section contains "Confirm you want to upgrade the operating system on this computer."

    User notification message text: There are three text boxes that provide the body of the custom notification. All text boxes require that you add text.

    • First text box: Specifies the main body of text, typically containing instructions for the user. For example, in the default user notification, this section contains "Upgrading the operating system takes time and your computer might restart several times."

    • Second text box: Specifies the bold text under the main body of text. For example, in the default user notification, this section contains "This in-place upgrade installs the new operating system and automatically migrates your apps, data, and settings."

    • Third text box: Specifies the last line of text under the bold text. For example, in the default user notification, this section contains "Click Install to begin. Otherwise, click Cancel."

Example

Let's say you configure the following custom notification in properties.

Customized User Notification tab of task sequence properties

The following notification message displays when the end user opens the installation from Software Center.

Customized task sequence notification to the end user from Software Center

Distribute content referenced by a task sequence

Before clients run a task sequence that references content, distribute that content to distribution points. At any time, you can select the task sequence and distribute its content to build a new list of reference packages for distribution. If you make changes to the task sequence with updated content, redistribute the content before it's available to clients. Use the following procedure to distribute the content that is referenced by a task sequence.

To distribute referenced content to distribution points

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequence list, select the task sequence that you want to distribute.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click Distribute Content to start the Distribute Content Wizard.

  5. On the General page, verify that the correct task sequence is selected for distribution. Then click Next.

  6. On the Content page, verify the content to distribute, such as the boot image referenced by the task sequence, and then click Next.

  7. On the Content Destination page, specify the collections, distribution point, or distribution point group where you want to distribute the task sequence contents. Then click Next.

    Important

    If the task sequence that you selected references content that's already distributed to a specific distribution point, the wizard doesn't list that distribution point.

  8. Complete the wizard.

You can also prestage the content referenced in the task sequence. Configuration Manager creates a compressed, prestaged content file that contains the files, associated dependencies, and associated metadata for the content that you select. Then you manually import the content at a site server, secondary site, or distribution point. For more information about how to prestage content files, see Prestage content.

Deploy a task sequence

Use the following procedure to deploy a task sequence to the computers in a collection.

Warning

You can manage the behavior for high-risk task sequence deployments. A high-risk deployment is a deployment that is automatically installed and has the potential to cause unwanted results. For example, a task sequence that has a purpose of Required that deploys an OS is considered a high-risk deployment. For more information, see Settings to manage high-risk deployments.

Note

The status messages for the task sequence deployment are displayed in the message window on a primary site, but they aren't displayed on a central administration site.

To deploy a task sequence

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequence list, select the task sequence that you want to deploy.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click Deploy.

    Note

    If Deploy isn't available, the task sequence has a reference that's not valid. Correct the reference and then try to deploy the task sequence again.

  5. On the General page, specify the following information, and then click Next.

    • Task sequence: Specify the task sequence to deploy. By default, this box displays the selected task sequence.

    • Collection: Select the collection that contains the computers to run the task sequence.

      Don't deploy a task sequence that installs an OS to inappropriate collections, such as a collection of all your data center servers. Be sure that the selected collection contains only those computers that you want to run the task sequence.

      Note

      When you deploy a high-risk deployment, such as an OS, the Select Collection window displays only the custom collections that meet the deployment verification settings that are configured in the site's properties. High-risk deployments are always limited to custom collections, collections that you create, and the built-in Unknown Computers collection. When you create a high-risk deployment, you can't select a built-in collection such as All Systems. Uncheck Hide collections with a member count greater than the site's minimum size configuration to see all custom collections that contain fewer clients than the configured maximum size. For more information, see Settings to manage high-risk deployments.

      The deployment verification settings are based on the current membership of the collection. After you deploy the task sequence, Configuration Manager doesn't reevaluate the collection membership for the high-risk deployment settings.

      For example, let's say you set Default size to 100 and the Maximum size to 1000. When you create a high risk deployment, the Select Collection window only displays collections that contain fewer than 100 clients. If you clear the Hide collections with a member count greater than the site's minimum size configuration setting, the window displays collections that contain fewer than 1000 clients.

      When you select a collection that contains a site role, the following behavior applies:

      • If the collection contains a site system server, and you configured the deployment verification settings to block collections with site system servers, then an error occurs. You can't continue creating the deployment.
        • If one of the following criteria applies, then the Deploy Software Wizard displays a high-risk warning. To continue, you need to agree to create a high-risk deployment. The site generates an audit status message.
        • If the collection contains a site system server, and you configured the deployment verification settings to warn on collections with site system servers
        • If the collection exceeds the default size value
        • If the collection contains a server
    • Use default distribution point groups associated to this collection: Store the task sequence content on the collection's default distribution point group. If you haven't associated the selected collection with a distribution point group, this option is grayed out.

    • Automatically distribute content for dependencies: If any referenced content has dependencies, then the site also sends dependent content to distribution points.

    • Pre-download content for this task sequence: For more information, see Configure pre-cache content.

    • Select Deployment Template: Starting in Configuration Manager version 1802, you can save and specify a deployment template for a task sequence.

      Important

      In Configuration Manager version 1802, some items aren't saved in the template. Make sure you apply the following items when you run the deployment wizard:

      • Software Installation
      • Scheduling
      • Pre-download content
    • Comments (optional): Specify additional information that describes this deployment of the task sequence.

  6. On the Deployment Settings page, specify the following information, and then click Next.

    • Purpose: From the drop-down list, choose one of the following options:

      • Available: The user sees the task sequence in Software Center and can install it on demand.

      • Required: Configuration Manager automatically runs the task sequence according to the configured schedule. If the task sequence isn't hidden, a user can still track its deployment status. They can also use Software Center to install the task sequence before the deadline.

      Note

      If multiple users are signed into the device, package and task sequence deployments may not appear in Software Center.

    • Make available to the following: Specify whether the task sequence is available to one of the following types:

      • Only Configuration Manager clients
      • Configuration Manager clients, media, and PXE
      • Only media and PXE
      • Only media and PXE (hidden)

      Important

      Use the Only media and PXE (hidden) setting for automated task sequence deployments. To have the computer automatically boot to the deployment with no user interaction, select Allow unattended operating system deployment and set the SMSTSPreferredAdvertID variable as part of the media. For more information about task sequence variables, see Task sequence variables.

    • Send wake-up packets: If the deployment is Required and you select this option, the site sends a wake-up packet to computers before the client runs the deployment. This packet wakes the computer from sleep at the installation deadline time. Before using this option, computers and networks must be configured for Wake On LAN. For more information, see Plan how to wake up clients.

    • Allow clients on a metered Internet connection to download content after the installation deadline, which might incur additional costs: This option is only available for Required deployments. When you have a custom task sequence that installs an application but doesn't deploy an OS, you can specify whether to allow clients to download content after an installation deadline when they use metered internet connections. Internet providers sometimes charge by the amount of data that you use when you're on a metered internet connection.

      Note

      While using a metered internet connection might work for task sequences that don't deploy an OS, it's not supported.

  7. On the Scheduling page, specify the following information, and then click Next.

    Important

    When a Windows PE client starts from PXE or boot media, the client doesn't evaluate deployment schedules. These schedules include start, expire, and deadline times. Only configure schedules in deployments to clients that start from the full Windows OS. Consider using other methods, such as maintenance windows, to control active task sequences deployed to clients that start from Windows PE.

    • Schedule when this deployment will become available: Specify the date and time when the task sequence is available to run on the destination computer. When you select the UTC check box, the task sequence is available for multiple computers at the same time. Otherwise the deployment is available at different times, according to the local time on each computer.

      If the start time is earlier than the required time, the client downloads the task sequence content at the start time.

    • Schedule when this deployment will expire: Specify the date and time when the task sequence expires on the destination computer. When you select the UTC check box, the task sequence expires on multiple destination computers at the same time. Otherwise the deployment expires at different times, according to the local time on each computer.

    • Assignment schedule: For a Required deployment, specify when the client runs the task sequence. You can add multiple schedules. The assignment schedule can have one of the following configurations:

      • A specific date and time
      • Monthly, weekly, or custom recurrence pattern
      • As soon as possible
      • Log on or log off events

      Note

      If you schedule a start time for a required deployment that's earlier than the date and time when the task sequence is available, the Configuration Manager client downloads the content at the assigned start time. This behavior occurs even though you scheduled the task sequence to be available at a later time.

    • Rerun behavior: Specify when the task sequence reruns. Select one of the following options:

      • Never rerun deployed program: If the client has previously run the task sequence, it doesn't rerun. The task sequence doesn't rerun even if it originally failed or the task sequence files have changed.

      • Always rerun program: The task sequence always reruns on the client when the deployment is scheduled. It reruns even if the task sequence has already run successfully. This setting is useful when you use recurring deployments in which the task sequence is routinely updated.

        Important

        This option is selected by default. However, it has no effect until you assign a required deployment. A user can always rerun available deployments.

      • Rerun if failed previous attempt: The task sequence reruns when the deployment is scheduled, only if it previously failed to run. This setting is useful for a required deployment. If the last attempt to run was unsuccessful, it automatically tries to rerun according to the assignment schedule.

      • Rerun if succeeded on previous attempt: The task sequence reruns only if it previously ran successfully on the client. This setting is useful when you use recurring deployments in which the task sequence is routinely updated, and each update requires that the previous update is installed successfully.

      Note

      A user can rerun an available task sequence deployment. Before you deploy an available task sequence in a production environment, first test what happens if a user reruns the task sequence multiple times.

  8. On the User Experience page, specify the following information, and then click Next.

    • Allow user to run the program independently of assignments: Specify whether a user can run a required deployment outside of the assignment schedule. This option is always enabled for available deployments.

    • Show Task Sequence progress: Specify whether the Configuration Manager client displays the progress of the task sequence.

    • Software installation: Specify whether the user is allowed to install software outside a configured maintenance window after the scheduled time.

    • System restart (if required to complete the installation): Specify whether the user is allowed to restart the computer after a software installation outside a configured maintenance window after the assignment time.

    • Write filter handling for Windows Embedded devices: This setting controls the installation behavior on Windows Embedded devices that are enabled with a write filter. Choose the option to commit changes at the installation deadline or during a maintenance window. When you select this option, a restart is required and the changes persist on the device. Otherwise, the application is installed to the temporary overlay, and committed later. When you deploy a task sequence to a Windows Embedded device, make sure the device is a member of a collection that has a configured maintenance window.

    • Allow task sequence to run for client on the Internet: Specify whether the task sequence is allowed to run on an internet-based client. Operations that install software, such as an OS, aren't supported with this setting. Use this option only for generic script-based task sequences that perform operations in the standard OS.

      • Starting in version 1802, this setting is supported for deployments of a Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence to internet-based clients through the cloud management gateway. For more information, see Deploy Windows 10 in-place upgrade via CMG.
  9. On the Alerts page, specify the alert settings that you want for this task sequence deployment, and then click Next.

  10. On the Distribution Points page, specify the following information, and then click Next.

    • Deployment options: Specify one of the following options:

      Note

      When you use multicast to deploy an OS, download the content to the computers either as needed or before the task sequence runs.

      • Download content locally when needed by the running task sequence: Specify that clients download content from the distribution point as it's needed by the task sequence. The client starts the task sequence. When a step in the task sequence requires content, it's downloaded before the step runs.

      • Download all content locally before starting task sequence: Specify that clients download all the content from the distribution point before the task sequence runs. If you make the task sequence available to PXE and boot media deployments on the Deployment Settings page, this option isn't shown.

      • Access content directly from a distribution point when needed by the running task sequence: Specify that clients run the content from the distribution point. This option is only available when you enable all packages associated with the task sequence to use a package share on the distribution point. To enable content to use a package share, see the Data Access tab in the Properties for each package.

    • When no local distribution point is available, use a remote distribution point: Specify whether clients can use distribution points from a neighbor boundary group to download the content that's required by the task sequence.

    • Allow clients to use distribution points from the default site boundary group: Specify if clients should download content from a distribution point in the site default boundary group, when it isn't available from a distribution point in the current or neighbor boundary groups.

  11. Beginning in Configuration Manager 1802, on the Summary tab, click on Save As Template if you wish to save settings to use again. Supply a name for the template and select the settings to save.

  12. Complete the wizard.

Deploy Windows 10 in-place upgrade via CMG

Starting in version 1802, the Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence supports deployment to internet-based clients managed through the cloud management gateway (CMG). This ability allows remote users to more easily upgrade to Windows 10 without needing to connect to the intranet.

Make sure all of the content referenced by the in-place upgrade task sequence is distributed to a cloud distribution point. Otherwise devices can't run the task sequence.

When you deploy an upgrade task sequence, use the following settings:

  • Allow task sequence to run for client on the Internet, on the User Experience tab of the deployment.

  • Download all content locally before starting task sequence, on the Distribution Points tab of the deployment. Other options such as Download content locally when needed by the running task sequence don't work in this scenario. The task sequence engine is currently unable to obtain content from a cloud distribution point. The Configuration Manager client must download the content from the cloud distribution point before starting the task sequence.

  • (Optional) Pre-download content for this task sequence, on the General tab of the deployment. For more information, see Configure pre-cache content.

Export and import task sequences

You can export and import task sequences with or without their related objects. This referenced content includes the following objects:

  • OS images
  • Boot images
  • Packages like the client install package
  • Driver packages
  • Applications with dependencies

Consider the following points when you export and import task sequences:

  • Configuration Manager doesn't export passwords in the task sequence. If you export and import a task sequence that contains passwords, edit the imported task sequence to reenter any passwords. Review the following steps that may include a password:

  • When you export a task sequence with the Set Dynamic Variables step, Configuration Manager doesn't export values for variables that you configure with the Secret value setting. Reenter the values for these variables after you import the task sequence.

  • When you have multiple primary sites, import task sequences at the central administration site.

To export task sequences

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequence list, select the task sequences that you want to export. If you select more than one task sequence, they're all stored in one export file.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Task Sequence group, click Export to start the Export Task Sequence Wizard.

  5. On the General page, specify the following settings, and then click Next.

    • In the File box, specify the location and name of the export file. If you enter the file name directly, be sure to include the .zip extension to the file name. If you browse for the export file, the wizard automatically adds this file name extension.

    • If you don't want to export task sequence dependencies, deselect the option to Export all task sequence dependencies. By default, the wizard scans for all the related objects and exports them with the task sequence. These dependencies include any for applications.

    • If you don't want to copy the content from the package source to the export location, deselect the option to Export all content for the selected task sequences and dependencies. If you select this option, the Import Task Sequence Wizard uses the import path as the new package source location.

    • In the Administrator comments box, add a description of the task sequences to export.

  6. Complete the wizard.

The wizard creates the following output files:

  • If you don't export content: a .zip file.

  • If you export content: a .zip file and a folder named export_files, where export is the name of the .zip file that contains the exported content.

If you include content when you export a task sequence, make sure that you copy the .zip file and the export_files folder, or the import fails.

To import task sequences

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Import Task Sequence to start the Import Task Sequence Wizard.

  4. On the General page, specify the exported .zip file, and then click Next.

  5. On the File Content page, select the action that you require for each object that you import. This page shows all the objects that Configuration Manager found to import.

    • If the object has never been imported, select Create New.

    • If the object has been previously imported, select one of the following actions:

      • Ignore Duplicate (default): This action doesn't import the object. Instead, the wizard links the existing object to the task sequence.

      • Overwrite: This action overwrites the existing object with the imported object. For applications, you can add a revision to update the existing application or create a new application.

  6. Complete the wizard.

After you import the task sequence, edit the task sequence to specify any passwords that were in the original task sequence. For security reasons, passwords aren't exported.

Create task sequence variables for computers and collections

You can define custom task sequence variables for computers and collections. Variables that you define for a computer are referred to as per-computer task sequence variables. Variables defined for a collection are referred to as per-collection task sequence variables. If there's a conflict, per-computer variables take precedence over per-collection variables. This behavior means that task sequence variables that are assigned to a specific computer automatically have a higher priority than variables that are assigned to the collection that contains the computer.

For example, computer XYZ is a member of collection ABC. You assign MyVariable to collection ABC with a value of 1. You also assign MyVariable to computer XYZ with a value of 2. The variable that's assigned to computer XYZ has higher priority than the variable that's assigned to collection ABC. When a task sequence with this variable runs on computer XYZ, MyVariable has a value of 2.

You can hide per-computer and per-collection variables so that they aren't visible in the Configuration Manager console. When you use the option Do not display this value in the Configuration Manager console, the value of the variable isn't displayed in the console. The variable can still be used by the task sequence when it runs. If you no longer want these variables to be hidden, delete them first. Then redefine the variables without selecting the option to hide them.

Warning

The Do not display this value in the Configuration Manager console setting only applies to the Configuration Manager console. The values for the variables are still displayed in the task sequence log file (SMSTS.LOG).

You can manage per-computer variables at a primary site or at a central administration site. Configuration Manager doesn't support more than 1,000 assigned variables for a computer.

Important

When you use per-collection variables for task sequences, consider the following behaviors:

  • Changes to collections are always replicated throughout the hierarchy. Any changes that you make to collection variables apply not just to members of the current site, but to all members of the collection throughout the hierarchy.

  • When you delete a collection, this action also deletes the task sequence variables that you configured for the collection.

To create task sequence variables for a computer

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Assets and Compliance.

  2. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, select the Devices node.

  3. Select the target computer and click Properties.

  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Variables tab.

  5. For each variable that you want to create, click the New icon. Specify the Name and Value of the task sequence variable. If you want to hide the variable so that it's not visible in the Configuration Manager console, select the option Do not display this value in the Configuration Manager console.

  6. After you've added all the variables to the computer properties, click OK.

To create task sequence variables for a collection

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Assets and Compliance.

  2. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, select the Device Collections node. Select the target collection and click Properties.

  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Collection Variables tab.

  4. For each variable that you want to create, click the New icon. Specify the Name and Value of the task sequence variable. If you want to hide the variable so that it's not visible in the Configuration Manager console, select the option Do not display this value in the Configuration Manager console.

  5. Optionally, specify the priority for Configuration Manager to use when the task sequence variables are evaluated.

  6. After you've added all the variables to the collection properties, click OK.

Additional actions to manage task sequences

You can manage task sequences by using additional actions when you select a task sequence.

To select a task sequence to manage

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequence list, select the task sequence that you want to manage, and then select one of the available options.

Available options

Edit

For more information, see Edit a task sequence.

Enable

Enables the task sequence so that clients can run it. You don't need to redeploy a task sequence after it's enabled.

Disable

Disables the task sequence so that it can't run on computers. You can deploy a disabled task sequence, but computers don't run the task sequence until you enable it.

Export

For more information, see Export and import task sequences.

Copy

Makes a copy of the selected task sequence. This action is useful to create a new task sequence that's based on an existing task sequence.

When you make a copy of a task sequence in a folder, the copy is listed in that folder until you refresh the task sequence node. After the refresh, the copy appears in the root folder.

Refresh

Refreshes the details for the selected task sequence.

Delete

Deletes the selected task sequence.

Create Phased Deployment

For more information, see Create phased deployments.

Deploy

For more information, see Deploy a task sequence.

Distribute Content

Starts the Distribute Content Wizard to send the referenced content to distribution points.

Create Prestaged Content File

Starts the Create Prestaged Content File Wizard to prestage the task sequence content. For information about how to create a prestaged content file, see Prestage content.

Move

Moves the selected task sequence to another folder in the Task Sequences node.

Set Security Scopes

Select the security scopes for the selected task sequence. For more information, see Security scopes.

Properties

For more information, see Configure Software Center properties and Configure advanced task sequence settings.

See also

Scenarios to deploy enterprise operating systems