Mobile device enrollment

Mobile device enrollment is the first phase of enterprise management. The device is configured to communicate with the MDM server using security precautions during the enrollment process. The enrollment service verifies that only authenticated and authorized devices can be managed by their enterprise.

The enrollment process includes the following steps:

  1. Discovery of the enrollment endpoint

    This step provides the enrollment endpoint configuration settings.

  2. Certificate installation

    This step handles user authentication, certificate generation, and certificate installation. The installed certificates will be used in the future to manage client/server Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) mutual authentication.

  3. DM Client provisioning

    This step configures the Device Management (DM) client to connect to a Mobile Device Management (MDM) server after enrollment via DM SyncML over HTTPS (also known as Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA DM) XML).

Enrollment protocol

There are a number of changes made to the enrollment protocol to better support a variety of scenarios across all platforms. For detailed information about the mobile device enrollment protocol, see [MS-MDM]: Mobile Device Management Protocol and [MS-MDE2]: Mobile Device Enrollment Protocol Version 2.

The enrollment process involves the following steps:

Discovery request The discovery request is a simple HTTP post call that returns XML over HTTP. The returned XML includes the authentication URL, the management service URL, and the user credential type.

Certificate enrollment policy The certificate enrollment policy configuration is an implementation of the MS-XCEP protocol, which is described in [MS-XCEP]: X.509 Certificate Enrollment Policy Protocol Specification. Section 4 of the specification provides an example of the policy request and response. The X.509 Certificate Enrollment Policy Protocol is a minimal messaging protocol that includes a single client request message (GetPolicies) with a matching server response message (GetPoliciesResponse). For more information, see [MS-XCEP]: X.509 Certificate Enrollment Policy Protocol

Certificate enrollment The certificate enrollment is an implementation of the MS-WSTEP protocol.

Management configuration The server sends provisioning XML that contains a server certificate (for SSL server authentication), a client certificate issued by enterprise CA, DM client bootstrap information (for the client to communicate with the management server), an enterprise application token (for the user to install enterprise applications), and the link to download the Company Hub application.

The following topics describe the end-to-end enrollment process using various authentication methods:

Note  As a best practice, do not use hardcoded server-side checks on values such as:

  • User agent string
  • Any fixed URIs that are passed during enrollment
  • Specific formatting of any value unless otherwise noted, such as the format of the device ID.

Enrollment support for domain-joined devices

  Devices that are joined to an on-premises Active Directory can enroll into MDM via the Work access page in Settings. However, the enrollment can only target the user enrolled with user-specific policies. Device targeted policies will continue to impact all users of the device.

Disable MDM enrollments

Starting in Windows 10, version 1607, IT admin can disable MDM enrollments for domain-joined PCs using Group Policy. Using the GP editor, the path is Computer configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > MDM > Disable MDM Enrollment.

Disable MDM enrollment policy in GP Editor

Here is the corresponding registry key:

Key: \SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MDM

Value: DisableRegistration

Enrollment scenarios not supported

The following scenarios do not allow MDM enrollments:

  • Built-in administrator accounts on Windows desktop cannot enroll into MDM.
  • Standard users cannot enroll in MDM. Only admin users can enroll.
  • Windows 8.1 devices enrolled into MDM via enroll-on-behalf-of (EOBO) can upgrade to Windows 10, but the enrollment is not supported. We recommend performing a server initiated unenroll to remove these enrollments and then enrolling after the upgrade to Windows 10 is completed.

Enrollment migration

Desktop: After the MDM client upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, enrollment migration starts at the first client-initiated sync with the MDM service. The enrollment migration start time depends on the MDM server configuration. For example, for Intune it runs every 6 hours.

Until the enrollment migration is completed, the user interface will show no enrollment and server push will not work.

To manually trigger enrollment migration, you can run MDMMaintenenceTask.

Mobile devices: After the MDM client upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile, enrollment migration is performed during the first boot after the upgrade.

Enrollment error messages

The enrollment server can decline enrollment messages using the SOAP Fault format. Errors created can be sent as follows:

<s:envelope xmlns:s="" xmlns:a="">
        <a:action s:mustunderstand="1"></a:action>
        <activityid correlationid="2493ee37-beeb-4cb9-833c-cadde9067645" xmlns="">2493ee37-beeb-4cb9-833c-cadde9067645</activityid>
                <s:text xml:lang="en-us">This User is not authorized to enroll</s:text>
Namespace Subcode Error Description HRESULT




Message format is bad





User not recognized





User not allowed to enroll





Failed to get certificate









The server hit an unexpected issue





Cannot parse the security header



In Windows 10, version 1507, we added the deviceenrollmentserviceerror element. Here is an example:

<s:envelope xmlns:s="" xmlns:a="">
        <a:action s:mustunderstand="1"></a:action>
        <activityid correlationid="2493ee37-beeb-4cb9-833c-cadde9067645" xmlns="">2493ee37-beeb-4cb9-833c-cadde9067645</activityid>
                <s:text xml:lang="en-us">device cap reached</s:text>
                <deviceenrollmentserviceerror xmlns="">
                    <message>device cap reached</message>
Subcode Error Description HRESULT



User already enrolled in too many devices. Delete or unenroll old ones to fix this error. The user can fix it without admin help.




Specific platform (e.g. Windows) or version is not supported. There is no point retrying or calling admin. User could upgrade device.




Mobile device management generally not supported (would save an admin call)




Device is trying to renew but server rejects the request. Client might show notification for this if Robo fails. Check time on device. The user can fix it by re-enrolling.




Account is in maintenance, retry later. The user can retry later, but they may need to contact the admin because they would not know when problem is solved.




License of user is in bad state and blocking the enrollment. The user needs to call the admin.




The server rejected the enrollment data. The server may not be configured correctly.



TraceID is a freeform text node which is logged. It should identify the server side state for this enrollment attempt. This information may be used by support to look up why the server declined the enrollment.