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How to periodically sync Android devices?

A device can be synced with Hexnode either automatically at periodic intervals or manually by the owner of the device. The sync device action forces the device to check-in with the MDM server. When the device checks in all the pending actions and policies associated are synchronized with the MDM app on the device. Frequently synchronizing the device with the MDM console helps to reduce the waiting time for the policy and action association. The scheduled automatic sync is initiated from the MDM portal, whereas the manual sync has to be initiated from the device.

Sync Device Automatically

Periodic syncing of Android/Android TV OS devices can be enforced either via the Hexnode Admin settings or via a policy. The sync configuration set up via the Admin settings is applicable for all the deployed Android devices, whereas the configurations set up via the policy will only be associated with the selected set of devices.


  • Suppose you have associated a periodic sync policy with a device apart from the periodic sync configuration (common to all Android devices) under the Hexnode admin settings. In that case, the policy will be given priority, and the device will be synced with Hexnode as per the policy configurations and not based on the admin settings.
  • Suppose more than one periodic sync policy with different configurations is pushed to the same device. In that case, the most restrictive policy will take effect, that is, periodic sync will be handled as a foreground service.

To automatically sync your Android device at periodic intervals of time,

Method 1: Set up Policy

  1. On your Hexnode MDM console, navigate to Policies.
  2. Create a new policy by clicking New Policy or select an existing one. If you are creating a new policy, provide a suitable policy name and description.
  3. Head on to Android > Periodic Sync and click on Configure.
  4. Select either Background service or Foreground service as the Periodic sync behavior.
  5. Go to Policy Targets and associate the policies with the required Android devices, users, groups, or domains.
  6. Click on Save.

Method 2: Configure Hexnode Admin Settings

  1. Login to your Hexnode MDM console.
  2. Go to Admin > General Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Periodic Sync (Android).
  4. Set the Periodic sync behavior as either as Background service or Foreground service.
  5. Click on Save.

Background service

If the battery saver or data saver modes are enabled on the device, running periodic sync as a background service will not synchronize the Android devices with the Hexnode server. This disrupts the association of actions and policies pushed via Hexnode.

Foreground service

Running the periodic sync as a foreground service resolves disruptions in the policy and action association. It ensures the synchronization of Android devices with Hexnode servers at all times, even if the battery saver and data saver modes are enabled on the device. But this does come with higher battery consumption and a non-dismissible notification on the device.

It is recommended to set the periodic sync as a foreground service and is enabled by default.


If you run periodic sync as a background service, some devices may not respond to the Hexnode server if kept idle for too long. This blocks actions and policies from reaching the device. The admin can eliminate this by switching the sync to foreground service. But this might require manually rebooting the device since the device does not respond to the Hexnode server.

Sync devices Manually


  • Supported on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Android TV OS devices.
  • On Windows devices, the sync button is available on the Hexnode Notifications app installed on the device.

Users can manually initiate a sync action from the Hexnode MDM/Hexnode For Work/Hexnode Notifications app installed on the devices by clicking on the sync button. This would send all the device and network-related information to the Hexnode portal.
Device sync in Hexnode MDM

Disable Battery Optimization

If battery optimization is turned on for the Hexnode app on the device, the background sync may not work as expected. Therefore, it is the best practice to turn off battery optimization for the Hexnode MDM or Hexnode for Work app on the Android devices running periodic sync as a background service.

However, if the user has turned on battery optimization for the Hexnode app or if it isn’t disabled in the first place, you can prompt the users to do so using Hexnode.


  • Users can be prompted to disable battery optimization on the following devices running Android 6.0 or later,
    • Legacy Android
    • Samsung Knox
    • LG Gate
    • Kyocera business phones
    • Android Enterprise Device Owner
  • Prompt to disable battery optimization can be activated on devices with Hexnode MDM app v12.3.3+ or Hexnode for Work app v8.3.3+.

To prompt users to disable battery optimization for the Hexnode app,
  1. Login to your Hexnode MDM console and navigate to Admin > General Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Battery Optimization (Android).
  3. Enable the checkbox Prompt users to disable battery optimization for Hexnode MDM and Hexnode for Work apps.
  4. Scroll down and click on Save.

Battery optimization configuration prompt for Android devices

  • Managing Android Devices