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How to force OS updates for supervised iOS devices

Forcing OS updates on your supervised iOS devices in a defined window of time.


The aim is to establish an homogenous OS version landscape, and to support users who may not always think about installing OS updates themselves. The Force Automatic OS Update policy allows you to roll out available OS updates in a coordinated manner, keeping your iOS device fleet always up-to-date.

Note! This feature is very powerful, so it should always be used with caution. Please observe the displayed warnings.


Under Administration→ Devices→ Details you will see a reminder whenever an update is available for a device (example for Cortado MDM):

a screenshot of a cell phone description.

Now, under Administration→ Policies, you can also force the available updates to be installed on the users’ devices.

  • Click on the plus button to create a new Policy (arrow in illus.).

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  • Then select iOS/iPadOS.
  • Keep the supervised devices enrollment method (arrow in the illus.).
Note for shared iPads! When using shared iPads, no user (including guest users) may be logged in on the device during the update window. If necessary, ask your users to log out for this period.

a screenshot of the policy configuration dialog.

  • You will find a new policy there, called Force automatic OS updates (arrow in illus.). 

Note! Avoid settings such as Start hour: 22, End hour: 4, to keep the update window open from 22:00 to 04:00. There is a possibility that devices may not cope with these settings, as the value of the start hour is higher than the value of the end hour.

  • Start hour (UTC): Enter the time here that you want the update window to open. If, for example, you select the number 17, the update window will start at 17:00 (UTC).
  • End hour (UTC): Enter the time here that you want the update window to close. If, for example, you select the number 22, the update window will close at 22:00 (UTC). After that, the devices will no longer be prompted to install the update.
  • Delay days: Specify here the number of days the forcing of the update ought to be postponed. If you select 2, for example, then 2 days after a new update becomes available, it will be forced in the defined update window.

a screenshot of a computer screen with the settings highlighted.

Note! Force automatic OS Updates forces an update when one is available for the corresponding device class. A confirmation from the end user is not requested. The update is downloaded and then installed.
  • Now select the new policy (left arrow in illus.) click on Assign (right arrow in illus.) to assign it to the desired users/groups/devices.

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Warning! Especially if you are using legacy apps, you should absolutely ensure beforehand that the apps are suited to new iOS versions. You should also inform yourself of any known problems with the new iOS version. It may make sense to increase the Delay days value mentioned above. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this feature before you roll it out on a broad scale. Configure and roll out this policy for a test group first, to determine whether the recommended settings are suited to your requirements.

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