How to supervise unmanaged devices in use without data loss?

Problem:

When a device is added to an organization's workforce, it is preferred to supervise this device to exercise additional control over the device. This task can simply be performed either using Apple DEP or Apple Configurator when the device is new. When the device is already in use and you wish to preserve the data on the device, the task becomes a little complicated. Apple recommends wiping the data from the device to be supervised, but Mobile Device Manager Plus offers the following method as a workaround for supervising unmanaged devices without data loss.

Requirements:

  • Device to be supervised- main device
  • A temporary device to back up data- temp device
  • Apple Configurator/ Apple DEP

Steps

Using DEP for supervision

  1. Back up the main device using iTunes or iCloud.
  2. Restore this content on a temporary device which can be either supervised or unsupervised.
  3. Back up the temporary device using iTunes or iCloud.
  4. Add the device to DEP using the steps mentioned here and activate the device to enroll it.
  5. Restore the backup of the temporary device into the enrolled device.
  6. All the app data is restored in the enrolled device and the MDM profile is installed with the new DEP profile.
  7. The enrolled device will be awaiting user assignment and profile distribution.

NOTE: Do not skip Restore from Backup and Sign into iCloud options during device activation.

Using Apple Configurator

  1. Back up the main device using iTunes.
  2. Restore this content on a temporary device which can be either supervised or unsupervised.
  3. Back up the temporary device using iTunes.
  4. Connect the backup of the temporary device into the device to be supervised.
  5. After restoration, on the setup screen, connect the device to Apple Configurator and enroll it using the steps mentioned here.
  6. All the app data is restored in the enrolled device and the MDM profile is installed with the new Apple Configurator profile.
  7. The enrolled device will be awaiting user assignment and profile distribution.