Configure device categories

To group devices of certain departments or areas, Intune provides a function called Device Categories. These deivce categories have been available in Intune for a long time but are not really known by many. In this blog post we will take a closer look whats behind this function and what possibilities it offers.

The device categories function can be found in the MEM in the Devices menu. In the screenshot you can see 3 sample entries that I created for our tests. For the creation of a category only a name and optionally a description is needed.

Note: When you configure a device category, the user is prompted to enter the device category each time he enrolls a device and opens the Company Portal.
This setting applies to all device types (Mobile and Workplace). Unfortunately it is not possible to attach this selection to a device type or group. I hope that this will be changed in the future.

After we set up a new device and start the Company Portal for the first time, we have the option to select a device category.  This selection is mandatory. After a selection has been made, the other functions are displayed in the Company portal. The selection can no longer be changed in the Company Portal.

When we open the Intune device object in the MEM portal we can see the device category in the properties. It is also possible to change the category.

But what is the advantage of the categories? We can use this category to fill dynamic groups and use them for assignment. For example, if someone selects the category HR Department, he will get all the required applications as requried assigned. But how can we do this?

We create a group with the membership type Dynamic device. To collect the devices of HR department category in this group, we create the following filter:

device.deviceCategory -eq "HR department"

The device appears in the group so this has worked and we can now use this group for assignments

I have created a small script to change the Device Category via Powershell. You can find this on my Git repository: Change-DeviceCategory.ps1

To get the IDs of the categories you can use the following graph call in the graph explorer:

https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/deviceManagement/deviceCategories

Stay healthy, Cheers
Jannik

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