How to Set Up Android Enterprise with QR Code Enrollment

If your IT department understands the details of configuring an Android Enterprise device, QR code enrollment can provide simplicity and flexibility.

With Android Enterprise, organizations can configure and manage mobile devices for remote and hybrid users, making it easier for IT to ensure security and usability. Device enrollment is the first step in implementing the program. IT administrators can enroll devices in Android Enterprise using any of the following methods:

  • QR code.
  • Zero touch.
  • Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) token.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) tag.
  • Managed Google Account.
  • EMM management application.

QR code sign-up is a particularly popular method among organizations. It is user-friendly due to the convenience and ubiquity of QR codes, and many platforms show it as a default sign-up option.

To determine whether this enrollment method is right for you, administrators should understand how it works. While QR code enrollment is simple on a broad level, it requires IT to make more complex decisions about how to manage Android. Android Enterprise offers a variety of device configuration options, and the process can vary depending on the organization’s EMM provider.

Considerations and Prerequisites for Registering a QR Code in Android Enterprise

When enrolling devices in Android Enterprise, administrators can use QR code enrollment for a simple and accessible setup method. It supports full device management, dedicated device management, and work profiles on enterprise-owned devices running Android 8.0 or later. If a device meets the following criteria, it can be enrolled in Android Enterprise using QR code:

IT administrators and users must have physical access to the Android device to scan the QR code, making this solution not ideal for large-scale deployments.

This method is similar to NFC enrollment in that both use a type of token that IT can simply touch or scan to start the process. Both are also easy to distribute to end users, allowing for user-driven enrollment, and neither requires a managed Google account. This makes both QR code and NFC enrollment feasible for kiosks and other single-use devices that typically don’t need to have a Google identity associated with them.

But QR code registration is a more flexible option in several ways. First, not all devices have NFC. On the other hand, QR code readers are a built-in feature of modern smartphones. Even devices that don’t have a QR code reader can download one, provided they have a camera. NFC registration is also only available for fully managed devices.

However, unlike zero-touch enrollment, managed Google accounts, and EMM apps, QR code enrollment is not available for personally owned devices. As a result, this method is not suitable for BYOD scenarios. It also requires a more manual setup process than some other methods. IT administrators or users must physically access the Android device to scan the QR code, so it is not ideal for large-scale deployments.

Differences in the QR code registration process

The process for enrolling devices using a QR code varies slightly depending on the EMM platform. For Microsoft Intune, administrators must first create an enrollment profile in the admin center portal. They should create different enrollment profiles for different management sets. When it’s time to enroll the device, the profile will provide a QR code for enrollment. Other EMM platforms offer a similar process but may use different terminology.

For example, with Hexnode MDM, administrators can initiate QR code enrollment in either Device Owner mode—for fully managed devices—or Work Profile mode on a corporate-owned device (WP-C). The process is almost the same for both modes, but IT needs to scan an additional QR code and enable governance controls during device owner enrollment. WP-C mode automatically creates a work account during enrollment.

Before beginning QR code enrollment, administrators should evaluate the information in their organization’s EMM console to confirm that it’s the right option for their provisioning plan. Evaluate the management options provided by the platform and consider other decisions that may arise during the enrollment process. Working out the details—such as device permissions and number of users—in advance helps ensure easy setup.

4 Steps to Enroll Devices in Android Enterprise with QR Code

Regardless of the EMM vendor, IT administrators should go to the management console to make sure the enrollment profile details are correct and review the instructions for generating a QR code and enrolling. Then, generate and save the QR code for the appropriate management set in the console. This process may include entering enrollment details and configuring QR code settings such as encryption, Wi-Fi, and system apps.

Once the QR code is created, device registration typically involves the same four steps across all platforms. Administrators should follow this process:

  1. Turn on your new device or a factory reset device.
  2. To launch your device’s QR code reader, tap the welcome screen six times. If your device doesn’t already have a QR code reader, you’ll be prompted to connect to a Wi-Fi network and install the reader. This is usually necessary for older devices.
  3. Scan the QR code available in your organization’s EMM console.
  4. To complete registration, follow the on-screen instructions.

Katie Fenton is an associate editor at TechTarget, a site covering mobile computing, enterprise desktops, and virtual desktops.