Device Staging

StageNow 5.12


This guide describes how to use StageNow to select and process a StageNow barcode, NFC tag or binary (.bin) file from a USB or SD card storage, which configures target device(s) as desired for an organization and/or persists a settings Profile on the device(s) for later consumption (following an Enterprise Reset, for example).

IMPORTANT: Use this guide only after one or more Profiles have been created.

NOTE: Some older target devices come with the Rapid Deployment Client instead of the StageNow client app. This client can be used to upgrade to StageNow, but older OS versions might provide reduced capabilities. For more information, see the Rapid Deployment Client section later in this guide.

Also see:

Stage a Device

I. Select a Staging Profile

To select a profile with which to stage the device:

  1. On the host computer, select the StageNow icon from the Start menu to open the Workstation Tool. The Staging Operator home screen appears. See Home Screen for field descriptions.


  2. Select a profile with which to stage the device(s).

II. Select Staging Medium

Barcode, NFC or USB/SD Staging

This method of staging writes the configuration information from the selected profile into barcodes, NFC tags or USB/SD card storage. Staging is initiated when the output is read (or heard) by the client device(s).

  1. Select the desired medium (Barcode or NFC) tab:


  2. Optional: In the "My Comments" field, enter comments or special instructions to be displayed to the staging operator when staging begins.

  3. Select the desired output type (if applicable) or choose "Select All" to select all supported output types.

  4. Select Stage to generate a PDF of the staging material.

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Selecting an Audio File for Staging

AUDIO NOTE: StageNow 4.1 (and higher) no longer supports audio staging.

III. Stage the Device(s)

On the target device, tap on the StageNow icon to launch the StageNow Client.

Note: The StageNow Client requires the DataWedge profile to read barcode data. However restoring DataWedge discards the current StageNow configuration. If StageNow cannot scan barcodes after restoring DataWedge, exit and re-launch the StageNow Client on the device.


The application lists the available staging methods.


Note: MC40 devices do not support NFC.

Barcode Staging

To deploy the selected profile to the device through staging barcodes:

  1. The Barcode Staging option is always on. Scan the barcode(s) printed from the StageNow Workstation Tool.


  2. The screen indicates the barcodes scanned via a check mark, and the barcodes left to scan. Continue scanning all staging barcodes. Upon successful deployment, the device displays the following screen:


  3. If errors occur during deployment, the pop-up shown below is displayed. Select "Yes" to view logs for troubleshooting.


NFC Staging

To set up for NFC staging, the StageNow Workstation tool is used to create a .bin file that contains the staging instructions. The file is written to an NFC tag using an NFC writer solution (hardware and software) for Windows or Mac OS. Once the tag is created, it can be read by the StageNow client app running on an NFC-enabled Android device.

For assistance with writing NFC tags, please contact Zebra support.


  • To perform NFC staging:
    • Zebra device equipped with NFC reader
    • NFC tag containing staging instructions (.bin file)
  • To create NFC tags:
    • StageNow Workstation (Windows app)
    • NFC reader/writer solution connected to admin host PC
    • StageNow client (Android app; pre-installed on Zebra devices)
    • NFC tag(s) to be populated with .bin file

On devices that are not NFC-equipped, the .bin file can be used for staging devices by reading it from a USB drive or SD card using the StageNow client app. Learn more.

NFC tag support

The current version of StageNow supports the following NFC tag specifications:

  • ISO 14443:
    • MIFARE Classic 4K
  • ISO 15693:
    • TI Tag-it HF-1 Plus
    • TI Tag-it TI2048
    • NXP ICode SLIX
  • ISO/IEC 18092:
    • FeliCa RC-S965

For more information about creating .bin files, see the Staging Profiles guide.

To stage a device using an NFC tag:

  1. On the device to be staged, open the StageNow Client and confirm that NFC Staging is enabled: image

  2. Touch the device to the fully programmed NFC tag. After a moment, the following screens appear: image

  3. Follow prompts to complete staging deployment.

NFC Staging is complete.

NFC Errors

  • If the size of .bin file exceeds available tag storage or another error occurs, a failure message is displayed: image

  • If an error occurs during deployment, a pop-up like the image below appears. Select "Yes" to view the activity log for troubleshooting.


USB, SD Card Staging

StageNow 3.3 (and later) allows the .bin file(s) generated during the NFC Staging process to be used for staging a device from a USB drive or SD card.

To automatically stage a device from a USB drive or SD card:

  1. Generate .bin file(s) using the NFC Profile Staging procedures.
  2. Create a folder called /Stagenow on a USB drive or SD card.
  3. Copy the .bin file(s) to the new folder's root level.
  4. Attach (or insert) the storage device and boot the (new or enterprise-reset) device to be staged.
  • On devices with MX 9.0, any .bin file causes Setup Wizard bypass.
  • On devices with MX 9.1 and later, a security check ensures that bypass occurs only if the StageNow Profile was created using MX 9.1 or later.
  • Devices with MX 9.1 (or later) automatically skip the Android Set-up Wizard and begin staging when a .bin file is found. About SUW bypass limitations.

Note: Staging Profiles stored on an SD card take precedence over USB.

To manually stage a device from a file on the device:

  1. Generate .bin file(s) using the NFC Profile Staging procedures.
  2. Copy the .bin file(s) to any location on the device.
  3. Launch the StageNow client and tap the "Browse" button.
  4. Navigate to and tap the .bin file copied in Step 2 to begin staging.

Staging Wait Conditions

The following pop-up screens can appear during staging, indicating the device is performing an operation and that staging will complete when it is done.


Following a device reboot, Zebra components such as the MX Framework can require as much as two minutes to initialize and prepare for staging. If staging is initiated during this time, the StageNow Client indicates displays a pop-up similar to the image below:


Acquiring IP

A delay can sometimes occur if staging requires an IP address, such as during "scan-and-dock," when the operator scans a barcode and places the device in an Ethernet cradle. Staging pauses until the device acquires the IP address and performs network operations such as downloading a file from the StageNow staging server. under such scenarios, a pop-up appears similar to the image below:



The pop-up shown below indicates that the client is processing a staging profile that contains a command to download content from a staging server. This often indicates an OS update package.


StageNow Client Menu

In the StageNow application, select the three vertical dots at the top right of the window to open the StageNow menu.


Last Staging Error

If staging fails, a screen similar to the image below appears. To troubleshoot, review the log to determine the cause of the error by selecting "Yes" from the staging failure screen. To view the log later, select "Last Staging Error" from the StageNow Client menu.


HINT: To identify the error(s) in the log, refer to the characteristic-error or parm-error in the log contents.

Note: The Last Staging Error screen displays content only if there are errors in the staging operation. If the staging operation is successful, this screen is empty.

Log Path

To configure the log file path, select the menu icon and select Log Path.


The Log Path window opens.


Enter the new path and select Done to update the path, or cancel to retain the existing path.

View Client Info

Select View Client Info to view software version information for the device.


Use this screen to determine whether the device has full or partial StageNow feature functionality.

  • Full Functionality - the OSx Version is the same as the MXMF Version.

  • Partial Functionality - the OSx Version is less than the MXMF Version. See the Feature Compatibility section of the specific Setting Types to determine if the device supports that feature.

  • No Functionality - no OSx Version.

Rapid Deployment Client

Devices running Jelly Bean and some running older versions of KitKat include the Rapid Deployment (RD) Client instead of StageNow. Such devices can scan a StageNow-generated barcode with the RD Client. This initiates a network connection for installing MX and the StageNow Client on the device and launches StageNow and the specified settings Profile. However, older OS versions might reduce available device functions and/or StageNow features.

Specifically, to stage a device that includes RD Client:

  1. The administrator uses the StageNow Workstation Tool to generate RD or StageNow profile barcode(s).

  2. The operator uses the device to scan the barcode(s). This downloads and installs other device components, including the MX Framework and the StageNow Client.

  3. The device reboots, and the StageNow Client automatically launches and applies Profile settings to complete the staging process.

This SD Client staging process does not apply to re-branded devices.