How to put an iPad into Kiosk Mode?

iPads are gaining popularity in the business world today due to their flexibility and powerful features. iPads provide enhanced user experience when used for presentations and point-of-sale (POS), and with the right apps, they can also serve as a complete business tool. Organizations also enable iPad Kiosk Mode for improved business productivity and data security.

This document covers the following

What is iPad Kiosk Mode?

iPad Kiosk Mode enables organizations to provision devices into iPad Single App Mode or lock down devices to specific apps. By default, Apple allows iPads to be put into a temporary Kiosk Mode with the Guided Access feature. While this helps in case of POS devices, many organizations require a more permanent iPad Kiosk Mode to turn iPads into Kiosks for self service. In other cases, the iPad Kiosk Mode must lock devices with a set of apps. With a mobile device management solution like Mobile Device Manager Plus, doubling up as iPad Kiosk software, it is possible to lock down devices to the required app(s), control device settings, and also restrict the hardware buttons. Furthermore, a large number of iPads can be remotely provisioned as single app or multi-app Kiosk Mode, from a central point of control.

How to setup Kiosk Mode on iPads?

With MDM, provisioning devices into iPad Kiosk Mode is a simple process, with one pre-requisite.

NOTE: As the support for Device Enrollment Program is discontinued by Apple from December 1, 2019, migrate to Apple Business Manager to continue managing devices.

Steps to enable Kiosk Mode on iPads

  • On the MDM console, navigate to Device Mgmt->Profiles->Create Profile dropdown and choose Apple.

  • Creating iPad Kiosk Mode Profile

  • Provide a reference name and if required, a description and click on Continue.

  • Providing a name to iPad Kiosk Mode Profile

  • Click on Kiosk from the list of policies. Choose the Kiosk type as Single app or Multi app, and in the next field, specify the iPad Kiosk app(s). Configure the device settings, and restrict the hardware buttons as required. Assuming a POS device is to be used as a self-service Kiosk, the Sleep/Wake button can be disabled to ensure the device is always on.
  • Click on Save and Publish the profile.

  • iPad Kiosk Mode Configuration

  • Go to Groups & Devices and click on the Devices tab.
  • To test the functionality of the Kiosk profile, select a particular iPad to be provisioned in Kiosk.
  • From the Action dropdown, choose Associate profile and select the profile from the options shown.

  • Put iPad into Kiosk Mode

  • Click on Select to complete the process.

If the functionality of the Kiosk profile on the device is satisfactory, the profile can be associated to groups of devices.

The app(s) to be provisioned on the device, should be available in the App Repository. Both Store apps and enterprise apps can be provisioned in iPad Kiosk Mode. To silently install the iPad Kiosk app(s) on the devices in Kiosk mode, Store apps need to be purchased from Apple Business Manager. In the case of enterprise apps, the .ipa file has to be uploaded to MDM after which the apps can be silently deployed on the Kiosk devices, without requiring an account with Apple Business Manager. This also ensures the updates to these apps are managed easily. The advantage of using MDM here is that, app updates can be tested on specific devices before deployment to the iPads in the production environment, which eliminates productivity and security issues that might arise due to bugs in the updates.

Need for iPad Kiosks

iPad Kiosk Mode allows organizations to turn iPads into Kiosks by locking them to a single app or multiple apps. iPad Kiosk Mode enabled devices are finding extensive use in various sectors such as retail, education and healthcare among others. Here's how iPad Kiosk Mode plays an important role

  • Retail
  • Retail stores are increasingly adopting self check-out counters as they reduce the chances of human error and provide better customer service. Devices provisioned in iPad Kiosk Mode are the perfect solution. The devices can be locked down to a single app to avoid misuse and features like Auto Lock and Screen Rotation disabled to allow better user experience.

  • Education
  • Schools are integrating with Apple School Manager and are adopting iPads to conduct classes and exams. In such cases, putting iPads into Kiosk Mode is the obvious answer. Kiosk Mode can ensure students don't access browser, calculator and other apps that may cause distractions during classes.  

  • Healthcare
  • In hospitals, iPad Kiosks are used extensively for patient bedside monitoring, employee attendance, and even during surgeries. To ensure these devices are not misused and are used only for specified purposes, these devices are locked down into Kiosk Mode.

Benefits of using an iPad Kiosk Software

Using an iPad Kiosk software to lock down Apple iPads in to Kiosk Mode provides additional control and has the following benefits over the built-in Guided Access capabilities

  • iPads can be locked down to run a specific set of apps instead of just a single app.
  • Web resources can be distributed as Web shortcuts and added to Kiosk Mode.
  • Automate the installation of the apps not available on the device, when provisioned in Kiosk Mode.
  • Pre-configure various settings like Auto Lock, Screen Rotation, Volume Buttons etc., while provisioning devices into Kiosk Mode.
  • Provide access to basic settings like Wi-Fi and prevent users from modifying other settings on devices.