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Setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode with 4 different methods

For desktop admins, setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode can be a confusing process. IT should learn these four methods and choose the best deployment option for its organization.

Many organizations across a variety of sectors use kiosk devices, but they are sometimes challenging to set up.

Healthcare organizations, for example, use kiosks as part of their check-in process to confirm personal data and collect payments, while retail organizations may use them as point-of-sale devices.

Organizations that want to deploy kiosk devices have several hardware and OS options they can choose, ranging from Android tablets to iPads to Windows devices.

Windows 10 is available in several versions, which include Windows 10 Home, Professional, Enterprise, Education and IoT. This is the first OS to natively support Kiosk mode, so IT pros can lock down the OS and only allow users to use one or a few applications on any Windows 10 device.

Here are four distinct methods IT professionals can use when setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode.

Setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode from the machine's local settings

IT pros should only choose this option if they plan to set up one or two Windows 10 devices in kiosk mode. This option requires Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise or Education.

If an organization chooses this method, desktop admins must turn kiosk mode on by going into Accounts under the desktop settings. Then, the desktop admin must choose Set up a Kiosk from the Other users option. 

IT can configure which app or apps the kiosk can access in the desktop window (Figure 1).

Local kiosk commands
Local commands for setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode

Setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode with Windows PowerShell

The next option IT admins can choose to set up and configure kiosk mode on Windows 10 is the PowerShell cmdlets method. This method provides a flexible, scripted and repeatable approach to configure and deploy kiosk devices.

The PowerShell approach is especially effective for organizations that need to deploy several types of devices in their organizations. Figure 2 shows some of the cmdlets that IT will need to use during the setup.

PowerShell cmdlets IT needs to deploy kiosk mode

Use kiosk wizard in Windows Configuration Designer

Microsoft offers another way to manage and configure Windows devices without having to image them: the Windows Configuration Designer application.

IT admins can define a kiosk configuration with this app and deploy it to any managed device with ease because the app's "kiosk wizard" is user-friendly (Figure 3).

Windows 10 kiosk wizard
Windows 10 kiosk wizard identifying the kiosk device

Deploy kiosk settings from an MDM platform or Microsoft Intune

Another method is to use a mobile device management (MDM) tool to deploy and manage the kiosk devices. This option works well for organizations with a large remote workforce.

Platforms such as VMware AirWatch powered by Workspace One and Microsoft Intune provide MDM capabilities that allow desktop admins setting up Windows 10 kiosk mode to manage  devices remotely. These remote commands include the ability to lock some elements of Windows 10, turning these devices into kiosks.

These tools can proactively alert IT when there are device problems that may require attention relating to storage, CPU usage, system errors or going offline. The MDM tools' remote kiosk management also help IT ensure the kiosk devices receive the OS updates they need.

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