How to supervise iOS devices?

An iOS device can be supervised, to have enhanced control over the devices. Supervising an iOS device provides multitude of options such as additional restrictions, enhanced profile features and multiple device configurations. Supervision can be done using

The important difference between the two methods is, when devices are supervised using ABM can never be unmanaged by users. Even if the device is factory reset, management still gets applied after device reset.

Benefits of Supervised Devices

Some of the benefits of supervising iOS devices are mentioned below:

  • Enables automatic installation of apps without user intervention.
  • Enables locking devices to a single app using Kiosk.
  • Enables whitelisting/blacklisting web content on iOS devices.
  • Enables restricting wireless transfer of files between iOS devices using AirDrop.
  • Enables application blacklisting on iOS devices.
  • Enables restricting apps from using cellular data.
  • Enables managing web usage by routing all communications to internet via Global HTTP Proxy.

Supervising devices using Apple Configurator

Apple Configurator is a free application provided by Apple to supervise devices. Know how to supervise iOS devices through Apple Configurator, with this tutorial video.

Ideally suited for:

  • Few devices. 
  • Device sharing. 
  • Corporate devices.


  • Available at no additional cost.
  • Country-independent.
  • Requires no account to be created.


  • Requires a Mac.
  • Devices need to be physically connected to a Mac to apply supervision.
  • Time consuming to deploy.

Supervising devices using Apple Business Manager (ABM)

Apple Business Manager (ABM) helps large organizations deploy Apple devices easily. In case, you're still using Apple DEP, you can understand Apple DEP from this tutorial video.

Ideally suited for:

  • Large educational institutions and organizations.
  • Corporate devices.
  • Many devices.
  • Integrating with MDM solutions.


  • Wireless enrollment.
  • Mandatory MDM management.
  • Simplified setup.
  • Over-the-air (OTA) supervision.


  • Country-dependent.
  • Requires an account with Apple.
  • Devices must be purchased either directly or from an Apple-authorized reseller.

NOTE:In case of devices purchased neither directly nor from reseller, you can add them to ABM/DEP using Apple Configurator. Click here to know more about adding any device to ABM and click here to know more about adding any device to DEP.