Adding iOS, iPadOS and tvOS devices to Apple Business Manager

By Emalee Firestein

Learn how to add devices to Apple Business Manager using Apple Configurator

Starting with iOS 11, all iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (Gen 4+) devices may be added to Apple Business Manager regardless of how they were purchased; using Apple Configurator 2.5 or later.

Before You Begin:
  • Mac computers on Big Sur or earlier operating systems are not able to be added to Apple Business Manager using Configurator. Some resellers may allow past purchases to be added to Apple Business Manager. Contact your reseller or Apple Store Business Representative for more information. 
  • Even after the devices are placed into Apple Business Manager, the user has a 30-day provisional period to remove the device from Apple Business Manager and MDM. The provisional period begins after the device is activated. After 30 days, the device can only be released through Apple Business Manager.
  • Enrolling iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS devices in Kandji via Apple Configurator is not supported. The method outlined in this document will add these devices to Apple Business Manager, but will not enroll them within Kandji. To enroll devices in Kandji after they've been added to Apple Business Manager, please review our enrollment guides: Enrolling Devices Enrolling Apple TV Devices

Download Configurator

Apple has created Apple Configurator to assist with several aspects of locally configuring a device. Apple Configurator will be used in the following steps to create a Wi-Fi profile and add your device to Apple Business Manager. 

  1. Click this link, or open the Mac App Store and search for Configurator.
  2. Log in to your Apple ID and complete the download.
  3. Open Apple Configurator and proceed to the next section. 

Create a Wi-Fi Profile

Unless using a wired internet connection local to the device, a Wi-Fi profile is required for the device to reach Apple's activation servers. Ensure you create a profile that will allow the device to connect to the internet. 

  1. Inside Configurator, click File, then New Profile from the menu bar.
  2. Inside the General section, Fill in the following profile details
  • Name: For example: "Wi-Fi Profile"
  • Identifier: Leave as is. This code is unique to the profile making future updates identifiable.
  • Organization: Your company name.
  • Description: Provide a brief description. For instance: "WiFi Provisioning Profile"
  • Automatically Remove Profile: Set this option to After Interval and set 0 days, 1 hour.

3. Click the Wi-Fi payload option on the left-hand side, and select configure.

4. Input your organization's valid Wi-Fi network details.

5. Select File, then Save from the Menu bar and save the file. Note the location of where this file is saved for the following steps.

The device you will be adding to Apple Business Manager will be erased by proceeding with the following steps. This is required and can not be skipped. If needed, backup your device before proceeding.

Adding devices to Apple Business Manager

Connect your device directly to your Mac and open Apple Configurator. You should see the device, as shown below.

If you are trying to connect an Apple TV 4K (which does not have a physical port to connect to) follow this Apple Support article on how to connect wirelessly.

  1. Click on the device inside of Apple Configurator, and click Prepare.
  2. Select Manual Configuration and uncheck Activate and Complete Enrollment.
  3. Select New Server from the MDM Server dropdown and click Next.
  4. Enter any text into the Name field and leave the MDM Server URL unmodified. Click Next.
  5. You will receive an error, as shown below, which should be ignored. Click Next.
  6. Click Next on the anchor trust window.
  7. Sign in to your Apple Business Manager account using your Managed Apple ID and password, and click Next.
  8. Click Generate a new supervision identity, then click Next.
  9. Optional: Select which setup screens you prefer to skip during device setup. You can also leave this default if desired. Click Next.

  10. Select the Wi-Fi Profile that we created in the Create a Wi-Fi Profile section and then click Prepare.
  11. Authenticate using your macOS credentials at the prompt to modify certificate trust settings and click Update Settings.
  12. Leave the device plugged in and allow the process to complete. If prompted that the device is already set up and must be erased, click Erase to continue.
Do not proceed with the initial device Setup Assistant without following the next steps first. The device may need to be erased again if the next steps are not performed prior to device setup.

Assign your devices in Apple Business Manager

  1. Log in to Apple Business Manager and go to the Devices section.
  2. Click the Search Devices option in the upper left-hand corner, and paste in the serial number of the device we just added to Apple Business Manager.
  3. Click the Edit MDM Server button and assign it to your Kandji server. Click Continue.
  4. You will receive a confirmation screen that the device assignment has been updated.
  5. Login to the Kandji Web App, and go to Devices > Automated Device Enrollment Devices. Confirm that you see the desired device listed. If you don't see the device listed, click Fetch Now in the top right-hand corner to force Kandji to check for newly added devices.

Once confirmed, proceed with the device setup. Properly configured devices will present a "Remote Management" prompt during setup.