In this article, Prajwal Desai demonstrates how to identify empty collections in SCCM (ConfigMgr) and remove them from the console. Using management insights in Configuration Manager, one can easily determine empty device collections and user collections.

A company recently requested Desai’s assistance in resolving issues with their current Configuration Manager setup. During his evaluation of the SCCM server, he discovered numerous empty collections without any users or devices. The administrators who created these collections were no longer employed by the organization.

This situation is typical in many organizations, and it’s essential to strike a balance to maintain the appropriate number of device collections in SCCM. Ideally, there should be enough collections to organize clients logically, but not so many that the database becomes cluttered with unused entries.

Methods to identify empty collections in ConfigMgr

There are two methods for finding empty collections in SCCM: using Management Insights and a PowerShell script. The PowerShell script was an older method for identifying empty collections before the introduction of management insights in SCCM. Among the two, the simplest way to check for empty collections is by using Management Insights Rules.

Configuration Manager includes a dedicated management insights rule called “Empty Collections.” The rule evaluates and lists the collections in the environment that have no members. Once the empty collections are identified, they can be deleted to simplify the list of collections displayed when deploying objects.

Steps to identify Empty Collections in SCCM (ConfigMgr)

Here are the steps to identify empty collections (user and device collections) in SCCM (ConfigMgr):

  1. Open the Configuration Manager console.
  2. Go to Administration\Overview\Management Insights\All Insights.
  3. From the list of insights groups, expand Collections.
  4. Right-click the Empty Collections rule and select Evaluate to find empty collections. Find Empty Collections in SCCM ConfigMgr Find Empty Collections in SCCM ConfigMgr The Empty Collections management insights rule evaluates and lists all the empty collections present in SCCM. The Empty Collections rule will evaluate both user collections and device collections to list the empty ones.

After evaluating the management insights rule “empty collections,” review the Progress column that shows the rule status as Completed or Action needed.

Completed: This means the management insight rule has been evaluated successfully, and no issues were found. Action Needed: This means the management insights rule has been evaluated, and the rule details need to be reviewed to determine the issue. In the screenshot below, the “Empty Collections” insights rule displays a status of Action needed. To view the rule details, right-click the rule and select More Details.

On the Rule Details window, a list of empty collections in ConfigMgr is displayed. These include both user and device collections with no members. From the properties of this insight, select Review Actions to navigate to the “Collections” node in the ConfigMgr console and take further actions.

Delete Empty Collection in SCCM

After identifying the empty collections, they can now be removed from the SCCM console using the following steps.

  1. Go to Assets and Compliance\Overview\Device Collections\Empty Collections.
  2. Right-click on the empty collection and select Delete.

When any collection (user or device) is deleted in Configuration Manager, a warning message appears, “You are about to delete the selected collections.” Click OK to confirm the deletion of the Collection. This is how empty collections in SCCM can be eliminated.

Following these steps provided by Prajwal Desai can help organizations clean up their SCCM databases and maintain a more efficient system. Proper management of device collections ensures a more streamlined deployment process and prevents unnecessary clutter.


Prajwal Desai