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Device Enrollment Program: Add devices via iPhone


Adding devices manually to the Device Enrollment Program, allows devices not purchased through Apple or any certified Device Enrollment Program reseller to participate in the Device Enrollment Program. In the past, you had already the option of manually adding your iPhone and iPad devices to the Device Enrollment Program if you were using a macOS device with the Apple Configurator application as a host device, which is covered in our Apple Deployment Program Integration Guide. 

With the introduction of iOS 15, Apple has fortunately extended the functionality so that iPhone devices with the mobile Apple Configurator application can now also be used to add Mac computers with Apple silicon or with an Apple T2 Security Chip in the Device Enrollment Program. With iOS 16, a further improvement was added, namely that since then, devices with an iPhone serving as a host can also add other iPhone or iPad devices to the Device Enrollment Program that are running on iOS 16+, too. 

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.

During this guide, we will highlight and demonstrate the requirements and the process of how to add a new iPhone (target) device running on iOS16 with another iPhone device running iOS 16 device that will act as the host with Apple Configurator application and initiates the process for adding your target device.  Before you start, you should ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for your target and hosts device(s), and at which step you need to stop in the Setup Assistant and bring both devices close together. In addition, you can refer to the official Apple Configurator User Guide for iPhones

Minimum operating system on iPhone with Apple Configurator installed

Device adding and minimum supported operating system

Set Assistant pane

iOS 15

Mac (macOS 12.0.1)

Select your Country or Region

iOS 16

iPhone (iOS 16)

Choose a Wi-Fi Network

iOS 16

iPad (iPadOS 16)

Choose a Wi-Fi Network

To identify your Mac model, you can refer to the Apple Support articles Mac computers with Apple silicon or Mac models with the Apple T2 Security Chip.

Download and Install

Take your master iPhone and either

Start Apple Configurator

  • Open Apple Configurator
  • Allow Configurator to use Bluetooth
  • Press Continue
  • Sign in with your Managed Apple ID (Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager)
  • Allow Configurator to access the Camera
  • Keep the Screen on proceed with your device that you want to add to the Device Enrollment Program

Add your Device

  • Start your device and continue through the first Setup Assistant steps
  • Stop depending on your device at the following screens:
    • At the Choose a Wi-Fi Network pane for iPhone or iPad
    • At the Country or Region pane for macOS devices
  • Now bring your host iPhone close the target device and then do one of the following:
    • Scan the image that appears in Setup Assistant
    • Tap Pair Manually 
      • Tap Manual Pairing in Apple Configurator 
      • Enter the six-digit code that appears

In case the process will not start when you are at the Choose a Wi-Fi Network screen on your target device and the Apple Configuration application is still looking for devices to add, try to close/kill the Apple Configurator and restart it.

  • Wait until the Adding process is finished

Assign Device to Server

Depending on your default configuration of your Apple Business or Apple School Manager, recently added devices will be automatically assigned to your preferred server or you need to assign the device manually, before pressing the Erase button:

  • Login to Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager
  • Navigate to Devices
  • Locate your recently added device
  • In case you have not assigned a Default MDM Server Assignment, the current MDM Server is Devices Added by Apple Configurator 2
  • In case you have already configured your Default MDM Server Assignment, you don't need to change the MDM Server
  • Click Edit MDM Server
  • Select Assign to the following MDM
  • Select your target Silverback Server
  • Press Continue and press Confirm
  • Wait until the process is finished

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

Perform a Sync 

  • Now login as an Administrator to your Silverback Management Console
  • Navigate to Admin
  • Select Device Enrollment Program
  • Press Refresh and confirm with OK
  • Wait a moment 

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

  • Select Devices 
  • Your recently added device, should now appear in your device overview

Erase Device and Enroll

  • Step back to your target device
  • Press Erase Phone and wait until the device reset is finished
  • 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) or
    • If Username + Password is set as Authentication, just proceed with the steps below as you don't need to create as One Time Password
  • Select your Language
  • Select your Country or Region
  • Press Set Up Manually (iOS and iPadOS only)
  • Continue on the next following screens
  • Connect the device to a network
  • 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.