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How to register iOS devices in Apple Business Manager using an iPhone

Until now, iOS/iPadOS devices that were not purchased directly from Apple or from an authorised Apple dealer had be registered manually with Apple Configurator for macOS, using Apple Business Manager. With iOS 16 it is now possible instead to register such devices using an iPhone with Apple Configurator.  


We will show you here how to retrospectively add an iOS/iPadOS device to Apple Business Manager with the help of a second iOS device. Advantage: This method is much quicker and simpler and does not require a Mac. Prerequisite: Both devices require iOS-Version 16. Further information can be found in the Apple Configurator user guide.


Settings in the Apple Configurator

  • The device that is being added to Apple Business Manager has to be reset to its factory default settings.
  • On the second iOS/iPad device (referred to in the following as Admin device) install the Apple Configurator app (left illus.).
  • Log in to Apple Configurator with your managed Apple-ID (right illus.).

a screen shot of a cell phone.

  • Open the settings in the Apple Configurator app (arrow in left illus.)
  • Retain the Share Wi-Fi setting.
  • Now decide how the new device should be assigned to the MDM server. You have three options (highlighted in the illus. on the right). We recommend using Default or Specific.




  • Select Specific (arrow in left illus.) if you want to select a specific MDM server from the list of all available MDM servers (arrows in middle illus.).
  • The selected MDM server is then displayed in the settings (arrow in right illus.).

Register a new iPhone

  • Open the reset device that you want to configure. Start the system assistant. Select the language and region and, under Quick Start, tap on Set Up Without Another Device
  • Do not select a WiFi in the next step. 
  • Instead, hold the admin device with the Apple Configurator open above your new device (left illus.). 
  • A pattern will now be visible in the display (right illus.). Position this pattern in the circle in Apple Configurator.

two screens of a cell phone showing the wi-fi network.

  • The new device is then added to your organization in Apple Business Manager (right illus.).

a cell phone with the text adding iphone looking for devices to add.

Note! If you have selected the MDM server assignment None in the Apple Configurator (see above), you must now assign the MDM server in the Apple Business Manager. If you use the Default or Specific setting, the server is assigned automatically.
  • Then tap on the new device on the Erase iPhone button. The device will then be reset once more.

a cell phone with the text iphone added on it.

Note! The registration of the device with Apple may take some time. We recommend that you now wait some time (at least 60 minutes).
  • Then start the setup assistant again and follow the setup procedure.
  • If the registration was successful, the remote management will be displayed after setting up the WiFi (left illus.).

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 to My Cortado.

a screenshot of a phone.

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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