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How to register iOS devices in Apple Business Manager using a Mac

Do you have iOS devices that were not purchased through an authorized Apple dealer and want to retrospectively add them to your Apple Business Manager and manage them with Cortado? This How To shows you how to configure the devices and take advantage of the benefits (enhanced anti-theft protection, automatic setup, supervision).

Note! Starting with iOS version 16.0, you can use an iPhone with Apple Configurator instead of a Mac. This new method works very quickly and easily. We show you how to do this in our article How to register iOS devices in Apple Business Manager using an iPhone.


Apple Business Manager offers the opportunity to quickly and easily integrate iOS devices into the enterprise’s IT. For a long time, this was only available for devices that were purchased from an authorised dealer. (See how to integrate those devices here.)

In the meantime, it has also become possible to manually register iOS devices (from version 11) with Apple for your company. In the following, we’ll show you how to go about this.


  • Load the Apple Configurator onto your Apple Mac. The configurator can be downloaded for free from the Mac AppStore.
  • Restore the device to factory default settings and connect it to the Mac via USB. 
  • Start the Apple Configurator.
Note! If you want to register a device again, first delete the server in the Preferences. Otherwise certificate errors may occur. Please find further information here.
Note! Make sure that your iOS device is connected to the Wi-Fi. Either create a Wi-Fi profile in Apple Configurator and add it to the device. (Proceed as described in the Apple user manual.) Or enter the language, country and Wi-Fi on the iOS device before clicking Prepare in the next step.
  • Select the device in the Apple Configurator and click on Prepare (arrow in illus.).

a cell phone with the word hello on it.

  • Check the checkboxes Add to Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager and Allow devices to pair with other computers.
  • Click on Next to proceed.

a screenshot of a computer screen with the instructions to install and configur.

  • In the next window, select New Server and confirm with Next.

a screenshot of a computer screen with the email in mdm server button highlighted.

a screenshot of a web page with the name and address of a server.

  • If you receive an error notification (see illus.), ignore and click on Next.

a screenshot of a computer screen with the error message.

  • In the next step, select the SSL certificate.
  • Click on Next to continue.

a screenshot of a screen shot of the mdm server.

  • Create a new organisation or select an existing one.

a screenshot of a computer screen with the message'choose the organization which will.

  • In the next step, enter your Apple ID for Apple Business Manager.

a sign in to a school manager or apple business manager.

  • Select Generate a new supervision identity, if you are creating a new organisation.

a screen shot of a web page with a question box.

  • Then specify which setup steps should be carried out on the device by the user (example in illus.).
  • Then click on Prepare.

a screenshot of the configure settings screen.

  • Wait till the iPhone is configured and give it to a user.

a computer screen with a cell phone on it.

Note! If the error message [MCCloudConfigErrorDomain - 0x80EF (33007)] occurs at this point, the device may have been added to Apple Business Manager at an earlier time.
  • Following completion of the setup in the Apple Configurator, you can find the device in the Apple Business Manager.

a screenshot of a computer screen with a description of the device.

  • Regardless whether you have configured automatic assignment of new devices to an MDM server in the Apple Business Manager or not, the device still has to be manually assigned to your MDM server.
Note! The registration of the device with Apple may take some time. We recommend that you now wait some time (at least 60 minutes).

Now the user use their access data to log in to the iPhone/iPad and can then carry out the setup steps you specified. The user has to be imported into the Administration Portal beforehand for this. Users must then register with invitation email in My Cortado.

a picture of a cell phone with remote management on the screen.

Note! For devices that were subsequently added to Apple Business Manager, users have 30 days to delete the MDM profile from the device. This grace period is specified by Apple and cannot be influenced by Cortado MDM. Further information on this can be found in the Apple user manual for Apple Business Manager.

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