Supervising an iOS or iPadOS Device

Supervision is a mode that signals to Apple that a device is institutionally-owned. Once iOS devices are supervised, Apple enables additional controls to make it easier to lock down devices and manage them remotely and/or at a large scale.  

Supervision-only features are enabled using Apple's free Configurator software or a mobile device management (MDM) solution. As of iOS 10, these include:

  • Single App Mode 
  • Autonomous Single App Mode (not available through Configurator, requires support by the app)
  • Global HTTP Proxy
  • Activation Lock Bypass
  • Web Content Filter
  • Silent App Push
  • Always-On VPN
  • Set background, lock screen, and which apps are available on the Home Screen
  • Block many of the default apps (like Apple Music or Safari) and/or behaviors (like keyboard shortcuts, Handoff, or passcode modification)

Existing devices can be supervised using a free Mac app called  Apple Configurator or using a third-party software called GroundControl.  

If you are purchasing new devices for your deployment or are working with devices running iOS 11 or later, you also have the option of having Apple apply the supervision automatically through the Device Enrollment Program - more information on adding existing devices to DEP, can be found here

The specialized business team available at your closest Apple store can talk you through these options and help you decide which is the right one for your project. 

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