For years, IT admins have been able to retroactively add iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices to Apple Business Manager using Apple Configurator for Mac. This was great, but still wasn’t a full solution for organizations that were Windows for their computers and iOS for their mobile devices.
With the release of macOS Monterey, Apple gave administrators the ability to add macOS computers to Apple Business Manager using Apple Configurator for iPhone. This was great and something the community had been hoping for for years.
With the release of iOS and iPadOS 16, admins can now use an iPhone or iPad to Apple Business Manager using Apple Configurator on another iPhone or iPad, eliminating the need for Windows organizations to purchase a Mac.
This guide will go through the process of using an iPhone to add an iPad to Apple Business Manager. Note: this is new feature with iOS 16. iOS 16 must be installed on both the device running Apple Configurator and the device being added to Apple Business Manager.
For an overview of all supported Apple Configurator workflows, please view the following: Overview: Apple Configurator 2
To see the most up-to-date OS requirements, view Apple's article here: https://support.apple.com/guide/apple-business-manager/add-devices-from-apple-configurator-axm200a54d59/web
- Apple Business Manager user with the proper role: Administrator or Device Enrollment Manager
- iOS Device Running Apple Configurator
- Apple Configurator from the App Store https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-configurator/id1588794674
Setting up the Apple Configurator app
Sign in with a Managed Apple ID with the proper role
You will be prompted to grant permission to the camera. Tap OK
You will now be on a “Looking for devices to add…” screen where you are looking through the camera
Now switch to the device you are adding to Apple Business Manager
Adding the iPad or iPhone to Apple Business Manager
Go through Setup Assistant on your device choosing your language and country
On the Quick Start screen, tap "Set Up Manually" at the bottom
DO NOT connect to WiFi. Instead, while on the WiFi selection screen, bring the Apple Configurator device near. The screen will automatically change to a pairing screen with an image.
Position the Apple Configurator device so the image is in the circle in the middle to pair devices.
NOTE: you can also pair manually.
The screen of the device being added to Apple Business Manager will change to an adding screen where it will automatically connect to WiFi, activate and be added to Apple Business Manage.
Once completed, you will see a screen confirming the device has been added.
You must now erase the device
If this is your first time retroactively adding a device to Apple Business Manager, a new MDM server will be created named “Apple Configurator.” This is where the device was added. You will now need to assign the device to the correct MDM server in Apple Business Manager.
As with using Apple Configurator for Mac to retroactively add mobile devices, and using Apple Configurator for iPhone to retroactively add a Mac to Apple Business Manager, there is a 30-day provisional period in which the end user can choose to leave management. This will release the device from your Apple Business Manager.
This doesn’t scale well. If you have many devices to retroactively add, you should consider using Apple Configurator for Mac as you can plug in multiple devices with a USB hub. Please see our Adding iOS/iPadOS Devices To Apple Business Manager For Automated Device Enrollment article.