Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is an Office 365 service for securing and managing users’ mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Windows phones. Using MDM Office 365 administrators can

  • view an inventory of all enrolled devices that connect to an organization
  • create and manage device security policies
  • remotely wipe a device
  • view detailed device and management reports. Click open the steps below to activate and set up Mobile Device Management for Office 365.
1 - Activate MDM in Office 365

To manage mobile devices for Office 365 licensed users in your organization, you first need to activate the service in the Office 365 admin center.

Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

Go to the Office 365 admin center.

Select Mobile Management.

Select “Let’s get started” to kick off the activation process

mdm get started page

It may take some time for the service to be provisioned. When it’s done, you’ll see the new Mobile Device Management for Office 365 page.

2 - Set up Mobile Device Management for Office 365

When the service is ready, complete the required steps to finish setup. You may need to click Manage settings on the Mobile Device Management for Office 365 page to see the following settings.

mdm confirmation

Configure an APNs Certificate for iOS devices

To manage iOS devices like iPad and iPhones, you need to create and install an APNs certificate in Office 365.

To do this,

1 – Next to Create an APNs Certificate for an iOS device, select Set up.

2 – Select Download your CSR file and save the Certificate signing request to a file location on your computer that you’ll remember.

mdm APNs certificate

3 – Select Next.

4 – Create an APN certificate.

  • Select Apple APNS Portal to open the Apple Push Certificates Portal.

mdm install apn 2

  • Sign in with an Apple ID.

IMPORTANT – Use a company Apple ID associated with an email account that will remain with your organization even if the user who manages the account leaves. Save this ID because you will need to use the same ID when it is time to renew the certificate.

  • Select Create a Certificate and accept the Terms of Use.
  • Browse to the Certificate signing request you downloaded to your computer from Office 365 and select Upload.
  • Download the APN certificate created by the Apple Push Certificate Portal to your computer.

TIP – if you are having trouble downloading the certificate, refresh your browser.

5 – Go back to Office 365 and select Next to get to the Upload APNS certificate page.

6 – Browse to the APN certificate you downloaded from the Apple Push Certificates Portal.

mdm upload APNS

7 – Select Finish.

Go back to Office 365 admin center > Mobile Management > Manage settings to complete setup.

Configure domains for MDM

If you do not have a custom domain associated with Office 365, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you’ll need to add DNS records for the domain at your DNS host. If you have added the records already, you are ready to proceed. After you add these records, Office 365 users in your organization who sign in with their mobile device with an email address that uses your custom domain can then be redirected to enroll in MDM for Office 365.

Find your domain registrar in the list provided in Create DNS records for Office 365 when you manage your DNS records and select the registrar name to go to step-by-step help for creating DNS records. Use those instructions to add the following two records:

mdm DNS records

After you add the two records, go back to Office 365 admin center > Mobile Device Management > Manage settings to complete setup.

Set up multi-factor authentication

If you don’t see multi-factor authentication (MFA) under Recommended steps you can skip this section. If this option is listed, we recommend you turn on MFA in the Azure AD portal to increase the security of the Mobile Device Management for Office 365 enrollment process. It is turned off by default.

MFA helps secure the sign in to Office 365 for mobile device enrollment by requiring a second form of authentication. Users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message, or app notification on their mobile device after correctly entering their work account password. They can only enroll their device after this second form of authentication is completed. After users’ devices are enrolled in Mobile Device Management for Office 365, users can access Office 365 resources with just their work account.

Next to Set up multi-factor authentication, select Set up. To learn how to turn on MFA in the Azure AD portal, see Set up multi-factor authentication.

When you’re done, go back to Office 365 admin center > Mobile Management > Manage settings to complete setup.

Manage device security policies

Before you can start to manage mobile devices in your organization, you need to create a device security policy to enforce users to enroll their devices. This is covered in Step 3.

3 - Configure device security policies

Office 365 global administrators can create and deploy mobile device management policies to protect Office 365 organizational data. For example, to help prevent data loss if a user loses their device, you can create a policy to lock devices after 5 minutes of inactivity and have devices wiped after 3 sign-in failures.

In the Compliance Center, go to Devices to create device security policies and access rules.

mdm security policies

For step by step instructions on how to create a new policy, see Create and deploy mobile device management policies for Office 365.


  • When you create a new policy, you might want to set the policy to allow access and report policy violation where a user’s device isn’t compliant with the policy. This way you can see how many mobile devices would be impacted by the policy without blocking your organization’s access to Office 365.
  • Before deploying a new policy to everyone in your organization, we recommend you test it on the devices used by a small number of users.
  • Before deploying policies, let your organization know the potential impacts of enrolling a device in MDM for Office 365. Depending on how you set up the policies, non-compliant devices could be blocked access to Office 365 and data including installed applications, photos and personal information on an enrolled device could be deleted if the device is wiped. For more information, see Wipe a mobile device in Office 365.


4 - Enrolling users in MDM

After you’ve deployed a mobile device management policy, each licensed Office 365 user in your organization that the device policy applies to will receive an enrollment message the next time they sign into Office 365 from their mobile device. They must complete the enrollment and activation steps before they can access Office 365 email and documents. See Enroll your mobile device for work or school.

IMPORTANT If a user’s preferred language is not supported by the enrollment process, users may receive enrollment notification and steps on their mobile devices in another language. Not all languages supported in Office 365 are currently supported for the enrollment process on mobile devices.

Users with Android or iOS devices are required to install the Company Portal app as part of the enrollment process.

5 - Manage devices

Go to Office 365 admin center > Mobile Management to view device properties, access reports, and wipe devices.

mdm manage devices

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