The latest builds of Azure AD Connect, beginning with (build 18.104.22.168 Feb 2016) no longer rely on the Task Scheduler for scheduling when the directory sync runs.
Also, the default interval has changed from 3 hours to 30 minutes.
What’s really interesting is that Microsoft is now communicating that the most frequent interval that synchronizations can occur is now 30 minutes. You can try setting it to a lower value but the ‘CurrentlyEffectiveSyncCyleInterval’ shows you that they are ignoring you and setting it at the ‘AllowedSyncCyleInterval’ value of 30 minutes (see screen shot).
There is also a new method for manually forcing a sync: If you need to manually run a cycle, then from PowerShell run
Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta. To force a full sync type Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Initial
The previous methods for forcing a sync were running the task scheduler or using DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe. In earlier versions it was using Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync. So depending on the version of Dirsync, there could be at least three different methods to force a sync. This blog article (here) by Rhoderick Milne [MSFT] gives a good historical overview of the previous releases and methods of forcing a sync as it has changed a few times.
This does not apply to you unless you manually upgrade to the latest version or if you are a new customer and downloaded the latest version of Azure AD Connect.
The instructions and usage for the new scheduler are located (here).
I noticed that after running a full sync and several delta syncs, that the users in the portal show as ‘In the Cloud’ rather than the expected ‘Synced with Active Directory.’ I closed and re-opened my browser and then they showed the correct status of ‘Synced with Active Directory.’ So there appears to be a bug with the browser interface where it is caching the ‘Status’ column and not updating after a directory sync. Interesting! So if you encounter this, try closing and re-opening the browser.