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Setting up an iOS device in supervised and layered mode

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Feel free to contact Lightspeed Systems Technical Support team for additional help in setting up MDM or devices.

Important things to know first
  • Once a device is in supervised mode iTunes will not recognize the device on any computer other than the one it was supervised with.
  • Supervised mode does not prevent a device from being formatted and cleared of supervision through the general menu on the iPad.
Helpful Notes
  • The preferences for configurator has an “Automatically refresh” option. With this enabled any device that is plugged into the computer will be set automatically to the Configuartor preferences when Configurator is in prepare mode.
  • Please remember that the Configurator is an Apple product. While we will be glad to assist with setting up devices we can not change or modify how the Configurator works. Here is a link to an Apple page with more detailed help with Configurator.
  • Putting a device into supervised mode will wipe it. If the device is being used make sure to perform a back up on it first.


1. plug a device, or many devices, into an apple computer with configurator installed. If configurator is not installed it can be downloaded for free from the app store. Configurator requires Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later

2. Set up the name of the device. A unique name is highly recommended to make it as easy as possible to tell the difference between devices in mdm.

3. Set the supervision option to on. You will notice when this happens you can no longer control if the device is erased or not.

4. Select the iOS version to use. It is recommended to use the latest iOS to ensure you are up to date.

5. Select if you want to restore from a backup or not. This can be very useful. It is possible to set up a single device in supervised mode and go through setup process then do a back up. This makes the setup for each iPad no longer needed.

6. The profiles are a little more complicated only because there are more options. Clicking on the '+' sign on the bottom of the page will allow you to create profiles for the devices. These profiles can be set up so they can never be removed from the device without the supervisor.

At this time, if devices should be enrolled into a group in MDM, log into MDM and find the group that the device should be in. From there click on the link option and download the profile. Back in configurator click the + below the Profiles section. This allows a profile to be imported; import the newly download group profile. Continue with this step until all needed profiles are selected.

**This is not officially supported by Apple and your Apple ID strategy should be determined by your Apple Representative.**
If you are wanting to set up a device in layered mode Follow this step too:
You will need to upload an app to the device that is attached to the apple ID of the master ID. To do this select the App option at the top of the configurator. Click the “+” to find the app. After the last step and the device is in supervised mode with the app on it the app can be removed.
**This is not officially supported by Apple and your Apple ID strategy should be determined by your Apple Representative.**

7. Once the profiles that are needed are selected press the button on the bottom of configurator labeled “Prepare”. This will put the configurator into prepare mode. While in this mode the connected devices will be placed into supervised mode.

More Detailed Steps

If the above steps did not work or were not clear enough these steps might help clear some things up.

1. Get Bulk Enrollment Profile From MDM.
2. Tie Computer to Master iTunes Account and download any app.
3. Create Configurator Profiles.
4. Set up Configurator.
5. Install Settings to Device.
6. Verify.
7. Replicated.

Get Bulk Enrollment Profile from MDM

Download this to a directory that you will not forget about

Tie Computer to Master iTunes Account and download any app.

1. On the computer, log in to iTunes with the Master iTunes account.

2. Open iTunes and Authorize the computer you are on.

3. Using iTune, download any app from the app store. Apps will be downloaded to the directory username>Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Mobile Applications. You are looking for an ipa file. This file should be tied the iTunes account that downloaded it. If you want to verify this make a copy of the ipa so you now have two files. Change the extension of one to .zip and unzip it. In the new folder you will see 3 files. One of those files is a metadata plist. Open the plist and you will find a value called appleId. This is the account that was used to download the app. If it does not match you need to try downloading again.

4. Keep this app somewhere where you will not forget. If you want to do this process again later it can be any app it does not need to be the same app. The important part is that the appleId in the plist is correct. Please do not edit plists as it is more likely to break everything that fix anything.

Create the Configurator profile.

1. Open Configurator. If you do not have it it is a free program from Apple that can be downloaded from the app store on a mac.

2. If you are going to set up a device to join MDM during the set up process you must have a wifi profile. Here are the steps to create a wifi profile. This can be modified to create any profile you want.

3. Click the '+' in the Configurator and select "Create New Profile"

4. Profiles must be named. Give it a name that is easy to tell what the profile is doing. I have not found a limit the number of profiles that you can push to a device during setup so if splitting profiles up for different functions works for you then do it. Just keep in mind any setting set through Configurator can NOT be changed through MDM so that value can only change by touching every device.

5. Setting up the wifi is simple just fill out the SSID(it is required) and set up the password and Security Type if you have one.

6. Set up any other profiles you might need/want.

Set up Configurator

1. With the needed profiles created now it is time to finish setting up Configurator for use.

2. On the main screen of Configurator check the profiles you want pushed to the devices.

Showing a couple checked profiles

3. Now import the Bulk Enrollment profile. Click on the '+' again this time selecting "Import Profile..." and navigate to the download that was downloaded earlier. Once it is in the list of Profiles make sure it is checked. Also keep in mind a wifi profile MUST be pushed if using the bulk enrollment process.

4. Choose a device naming system. You do not need anything complicated but I do recommend to use unique names so it easy to search for in the MDM. Confugrator has a checkbox to Number sequentially below the Name textbox. With that checked each iPad should get the name you requested and a unique number after it.

5. It is recommend to opt for Supervised devices. This will give you more control over what the device can and can not do. Also once a device is supervised it can not be connected any other computers without being wiped first. No we can not stop a device from being wiped this an Apple setting.

6. Set the iOS version the Latest unless you have a very specific reason not to. We always recommend the most recent version of iOS.

7. At this point we will leave restore empty. You may opt to use it during the Replicate step.

8. Now if you want to set up layered mode (which is NOT supported by Apple) click on Apps near the top of the Configurator screen.

9. Once on the app screen you will still the '+' option. Clicking this will open and open file dialog. Using the dialog find the app that was downloaded in the previous steps.

10. Selecting the app will make it show up in the app list. Make sure this app has a check next to it.

11. After selecting the correct app Configurator should be set up.

Install Settings to Device

1. Plug one device into the Mac and verify Configurator recognizes it.

A recognized device

2. This means that you are ready to go. Click on the prepare option at the bottom of Configurator.

3. Keep in mind that under Configurator's preferences you can select to "Automatically refresh". You can also select to "Remove apps and profiles Configurator did not install". During this set up I would suggest having those turned off to prevent unexpected changes.

4. The most common error here is that the enrollment profile can not be installed. This is usually caused by the wifi not installing correctly. Sometimes it helps to start the setup process on the iPad and get to the screen where the wifi networks are showing and waiting to be selected. If you want to verify that a wifi profile was pushed clicking on the wifi should connect without asking for password if it worked. If you are still having errors make sure you have activated the computer to the iTunes account.

5. Once that is done you will see the device listed in the Supervise section of the Configurator.


1. Finish the set up on the ipad. Make sure that app you pushed is there (usually on second screen)

2. You should also check under Settings > General > Profiles and look for all expected profiles.

3. Pull up MDM and verify that the devices is listed under the correct group and responds to commands. Once the device is joined it can be moved to any group.

4. Remove the app you installed on the device during setup and use MDM to upload the same app. Does it ask for password? If so something went wrong. If it does not ask for a password then layered mode works and we are ready to move on.


1. Now we will get the device set up with an image

2. Remove the app from the Device and MDM. This does not mean the device is no longer layered.

3. Verify once again you like how the device is set up.

4. Plug the device into the computer and open iTunes.

This is where you have two options. Using an image(recommended or just plugging each device in. Getting Configurator setting and then setting up the ipad)

For both options.

1. Those preference I mentioned earlier in Configurator (“Automatically refresh”) should be checked now.

For just using Configurator and then setting up each iPad.

1. You are done. Just plug in iPads and Configurator should set them up since we checked the automatically refresh.

To use an Image (recommended)

1. With the device plugged in to the computer open itunes and create a backup (or use the cloud) get the backed up file from either iTunes or download from the cloud.

2. Open configurator again but this time for the Restore option select the image you just downloaded.

3. You should be ready to go. With that Configurator option checked you can simple plug in iPads and Configurator will detect them and set your preferences on them. Since you are using the image the ipads wont even need to be set up as that was done in the image.

Other notes

1. If you notice an iPad is missing something you do not have to start over. Just plug the ipad in and open the supervise section of Configurator then click on the iPad in quesetion. The profiles that are installed will be checked. You can check the missing profiles/Apps or uncheck them and click on Refresh.

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