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Apple Deployment Programs IV: Manually add devices to DEP

This article describes how devices running on iOS 11 or higher can be added to your Device Enrollment Program with the Apple Configurator, hosted on a macOS device. This allows even devices not purchased through Apple or any certified Device Enrollment Program reseller to participate in the Device Enrollment Program. By adding devices manually to the Device Enrollment Program, the device will gain a 30 day trial period for the program. After these 30 days, the device will be added permanently to the Device Enrollment Program. Within 30 days, any factory wipe will unlink the device from the program. 

Before you start

This guide is designed for adding iOS and iPadOS devices to the Device Enrollment Program with a macOS as a host device. Starting with iOS 15, you can also use an iPhone to add other iPhones, iPads or macOS devices to the Device Enrollment Program. In case you don't have any macOS device or you anyway prefer to use an iPhone as your host device, please refer to the following article: Device Enrollment Program: Add devices via iPhone


  • MacBook with minimum macOS version 10.14 (Mojave)
  • Apple Configurator 2.5 or higher
  • Device with iOS 11 or higher
  • Apple Business or School Manager account with permissions to manage devices 

Add devices to DEP

Download Apple Configurator

  • Login to your MacBook
  • Open AppStore
  • Search for Apple Configurator
  • Click Load
  • Install Application
  • Wait until installation is finished

Create Wi-Fi Profile

  • Start Apple Configurator
  • Accept License Agreement
  • Select File 
  • Select New Profile
  • Select on the left side Wi-Fi
  • Click Configure
  • Fill in the SSID
  • Select the Security type and configure it
  • If needed configure other fields
  • Select File
  • Select Save
  • Set the profile name
  • Save the profile on your Desktop
  • Close the panel

Create Organization (optional)

It might be that you already created an organization within your Apple Configurator 2, so please do not create a second one. 

  • Click on Menu Apple Configurator 2
  • Click Preferences
  • Choose Organizations
  • Click in the lower left corner the “+” sign
  • Click Next 
  • Enter your Business or School Manager account ID
  • Click Next
  • Enter your Password
  • Click Next
  • Sign-In
  • Choose Generate a new supervision identity
  • Click Done
  • Enter your MacBook credentials 
  • Click Update Settings
  • Check the data of your newly created organization

Add your Silverback Server

  • Navigate to Servers
  • Click in the lower left corner the “+” sign
  • Click Next
  • Enter a friendly name (e.g. Silverback) 
  • Enter your Silverback URL like this:

Try again if Apple Configurator is not able to fetch the needed data 

  • Click Next 
  • Now Silverback is listed on the left part of the next pane
  • Your Apple Configurator is now ready to begin moving devices into your DEP account
  • Close that window

Prepare Device

  • Connect your device via USB cable
  • Click on your device
  • Click in the actions pane Prepare
  • Configure the Prepare Devices screen as following:
    • Prepare with: Manual Configuration
    • Enabled Add to Device Enrollment Program
    • Unchecked Activate and complete enrollment
    • Enabled Allow devices to pair with other computers
    • Unchecked Enable Shared iPad
  • Click Next
  • Select your created Silverback server
  • Click Next
  • Select your created Organization
  • Click Next
  • Select on Setup Assistant: Don't show any of these steps

Configure it with Silverback

  • Click Next 
  • Click Choose
  • Select the created Wi-Fi profile
  • Click Open
  • Click Prepare
  • Wait until Preparation Process will be finished

Assign Device

  • Open Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager
  • Login with your credentials
  • Click on the bottom left on your account
  • Select Preferences
  • Review Your MDM Servers
    • Review the amount of devices under Apple Configuration
      • Your amount should at least have one device
    • Review the amount of devices under your Silverback Server
  • Select Apple Configurator 2
    • Press Show Devices
    • Select your device
    • Press Edit Device Management
    • Select your Silverback Server
    • Click Continue
    • Confirm with Continue
  • Wait until the process is finished
  • Click Done
  • Navigate back to Preferences and review again Your MDM Servers
    • The amount of devices under Apple Configurator 2 should be decreased now
    • The Silverback Server device amount should be increased now. 

 You can configure the default MDM Server Assignment under Your account name > Preferences > Your MDM Severs > Default MDM Server Assignment.

Sync Silverback

  • Login to your Silverback Console as an Administrator
  • Navigate to Admin
  • Navigate to Device Enrollment Program
  • Check your Account Overview
  • Click Refresh

You can click the Log item next to your username and navigate to Device Enrollment Program and review the process. 

  • Click OK
  • Refresh your Browser window after a couple of time 

You need to refresh the browser manually 

  • The Total Devices amount should be increased now  

Activate Device

  • Head over to Apple Configurator
  • Double-Click on the device
  • Navigate to Profiles
  • Click Activate
  • Wait until process is finished
  • Click Add Profiles
  • Select again your Wi-Fi Profile
  • Click Add
  • Wait until the process is finished
  • Device should now connect to your Wi-Fi

Enroll the device 

  • Depending on your configuration, proceed with the following: 
    • Open the Self Service Portal on a second device and create your One Time Password or
    • Provision a One Time Password (single or bulk) from Management Console for the user (optional)
    • If Username + Password is set as Authentication, you don't need to create a One Time Password
  • Unplug your device from MacBook
  • Tab Home Button
  • Select your Language
  • Select your Country or Region
  • Continue on the next following screens
  • Click Next on Remote Management screen
  • Enter a Username
  • As password, enter the created one time password or the password for the user
  • Proceed with Next

Depending on your Device Enrollment Program configuration, additional screens will not appear (e.g. Touch ID, Apple ID etc.)

  • Proceed and configure all additional Setup Wizard panes
  • After that, the enrollment is finished
  • Silverback is now able to add profiles, apps etc.


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