Mac Device Management Apple Configuration Profiles

We use Apple configuration profiles to streamline the Mac computer, iPad and iPhone configuration process by allowing you to securely and remotely deploy settings directly from the Dashboard to Mac Device Management enrolled devices.

Configuration profiles have a .mobileconfig extension and are XML files containing payloads, payloads manage specific settings on Apple devices. A configuration profile can contain more than one payload and an Apple device can have more than one configuration profile. 

With configuration profiles you can apply and control a wider variety of settings, including the following:

  • Configure the device's network settings
  • Apply default Microsoft Office configuration
  • Ensure the user complies with company policy by restricting access to specific tasks
  • Control user interaction with the Apple AppStore
  • Customize the screensaver and enable or disable the screen lock password function

For an in-depth overview of some of the functionality available through configuration profiles, please refer to the Apple Configuration Profile Reference guide and Microsoft Mac preferences.

Apple supervision (configured through Apple Business Manager, Apple School Manager, or Configurator 2) is designed for Company Owned Devices and provides greater control over the restrictions available through payloads.

Payload keys marked as "Supervised only" under "Value" in the Apple or other vendor's tool documentation are only applied on devices that are under Apple supervision, they are ignored on unsupervised devices.

If the payload key "Value" does not include the "Supervised only" reference, then the key is supported on both supervised and unsupervised devices.

To use configuration profiles with Mac Device Management. Create configuration policies in an Apple or other vendor's tool. Upload the files to the Dashboard's profile library then deploy the polices to one or more Mac Device Management enrolled computers or iPhone and iPads that were enrolled in our Mobile Device Management solution in Dashboard v2020.12.15 or later.

Before proceeding, please ensure you have followed the steps in the previous sections to setup Mac Device Management.

The following section covers the steps to use configuration profiles with Mac Device Management.

Create a Configuration Profile using a Third-Party tool

There are a range of third-party resources and tools available to create Apple configuration policies, including Apple Configurator 2.

Once you have generated the configuration profile, its .mobileconfig file can be uploaded to the Dashboard. Depending on the payload and selection, these profiles may be supported on both macOS and iOS devices.

Although a configuration profile may be created containing all the payloads required for a Client's Mac computers, to minimize potential issues we suggest creating separate profiles based on functionality, or for frequently and infrequently changed settings. This ensures that an changes to one payload does not inadvertently affect another.

Upload Profiles to the Profile library

After creating a configuration profiles (.mobileconfig) the next step is to upload the files to the Dashboard.

  1. Go to Settings > Mac Device Management > Profile Library
  2. Click the Upload profile button
  3. Provide the required "Profile name", this identifies the profile in the Dashboard and workstations
  4. Populate the optional "Profile Description" if required to provide information on what the profile does or supplementary details
  5. Drag and drop the .mobileconfig file into the upload field or use the "browse" button to navigate to its location
  6. Click Upload once complete

We only support .mobileconfig file types and the file size must be less than 1 MB.

Profile Library Management

After upload, the profile appears in the Profile Library. This lists information from each profile include the name and description entered during its configuration along with the number of devices it is deployed on.

The available management options depend on the number of profiles selected.

Single Profile

When selecting a specific profile the edit, download and delete options become available in the dialog's top bar. These options are also available from the profile's vertical ellipsis menu.

Multiple Profiles

If selecting one or more profiles, only the "delete" option becomes available.

As the selection may span more than the current window, we display the "Selected" number against the available profiles beside the "Search" field.

Once finished click on the back button (<) to return to the "Device" Dashboard view.

Deleting profiles may affect device performance. The selected profiles will be deleted from the system and removed from any devices they are deployed on. This action cannot be undone.

Profile Deployment and Management

After uploading the profiles, they can be deployed and managed on those macOS and iOS devices that completed the Mac Device Management enrollment process, or have the Mac Device Management version of Mobile Device Management installed, via the device library.

From here you can choose to Install, Remove or View the profiles installed (or pending) for a device.

To launch the device library go to Settings > Mac Device Management > Profile Deployment.

In the device library use the sort dropdown to display devices based on name, model, os version and installed profile count, or find devices matching a specific criteria via the "Search" function. The dialog displays when the page was last Refreshed and to reload the page with the latest information click on the reload button.

For iOS devices, there is the additional option to open a dedicated version of the library for the selected device. Right-click on the device in the Mobile Devices tab, and choose Manage Profiles then Install, Remove or View.

Install Profiles

  1. Go to Settings > Mac Device Management > Profile Deployment
  2. Multiple Devices

  3. Use the tick boxes to add one or more devices to the selection, or from the multi-select dropdown choose to "Select" or "Unselect" all devices
  4. Click Install profiles in the top bar
  5. Single Device

  6. Click on the vertical ellipsis menu button against the computer and Install profiles
  7. As the selection may span more than the current window, we display the "Selected" number against the available profiles beside the "Search" field.

    Select Configuration Profiles

  8. Use the sort and search options to filter the profiles
  9. Enable the tick boxes to add one or more profiles to the selection, or from the multi-select dropdown choose to "Select" or "Unselect" all profiles. The "Summary" pane dynamically updates to display the number of "Profiles to install" on the "Target macOS device"
  10. When satisfied with the selection click Install to deploy the profiles to the selected computers and return to the device library section

Online devices will receive the profiles in near real-time. Offline devices will receive the profiles the next time they come online.

View Profiles

The device library displays the installation status under the installed profiles column. When selecting devices with installed or pending polices there is the option to "View polices" in both the top bar and the device's right ellipsis menu.

This opens the profiles dialog for the device with the option to sort by the name, version, state or date updated as well as "search" for specific profiles.

On macOS the installed profiles appear in the Profiles pane. Click on the Apple menu icon then go to System Preferences > Profiles.

Remove Profiles

Once profiles install, an additional "Remove profiles" option becomes available in the device library.

To select devices then remove profiles:

  1. Go to Settings > Mac Device Management > Profile Deployment
  2. Multiple Devices

  3. Use the tick boxes to add one or more devices to the selection, or from the multi-select dropdown choose to "Select" or "Unselect" all computers
  4. Click Remove profiles in the top bar
  5. Single Device

  6. Click on the vertical ellipsis menu button against the computer and Remove profiles
  7. As the selection may span more than the current window, we display the "Selected" number against the available profiles beside the "Search" field.

    Select Configuration Profiles

  8. Use the sort and search options to filter the profiles
  9. Enable the tick boxes to add one or more profiles to the selection, or from the multi-select dropdown choose to "Select" or "Unselect" all profiles. The "Summary" pane dynamically updates to display the number of "Profiles to remove" on the "Target macOS device"
  10. When satisfied with the selection click Remove to remove the profiles to the selected computers and return to the device library section

Online devices will remove the profiles in near real-time. Offline devices will remove the profiles the next time they come online.

Although we have provided the mechanism to deploy custom profiles through Mac Device Management. We are not responsible for custom profiles made or used in conjunction with this product. We are not liable for loss incurred from system, hardware or data loss. It is the customer or profiles developer's responsibility to verify the integrity, actions and impact of any custom profiles.

Please note, we are not responsible for the content of external sites.