This tour will show you all about iOS Profiles, their uses and the available policies
Profiles are the method Apple has designated for device control, such as which app a device is locked into, what apps the user will have access to and what WiFi networks are established on the device. Profiles enable you to quickly and reliably update your user experience. There are a couple terms to understand before we dive in too deep, profiles and policies. The profile is essentially a package and policies are what is inside the package. Policies contain the actual settings used to control the experience. When a profile is created, policies must be applied to it or the profile won’t do anything when applied to a device. Available policies are listed in section 3 in the image below. After your profiles are created with policies assigned, you can then send your profile to devices.
We will now review the different section. The next tutorials will go over the individual policies in more detail.
1 – Actions Bar
- Get Profile Button – Clicking this will allow you to export the selected profile to use with Apple Configurator if desired. The selected profile is in Profile Selector (section 2)
- + Icon – Creates a new profile
- Copy Icon – Creates a copy of the selected profile and places it in the Profile Selector with the name Copy [whatever the profile name was]
- Import Profile Icon – Allows you to select a file to import. Typically you will be importing profiles created in Apple Configurator
- Trash Can Icon – Deletes the selected profile, it does not delete policies. Policies are deleted from the Manage Policies button that shows up when a policy is selected. Make sure that no devices have a profile on them before deleting a profile. If a device has an app lock profile on the device and the profile is deleted from Manager the only way to remove that profile is to factory reset the device
2 – Profile Selector
This is a drop down list that allows the existing profiles to be selected in order to view or edit.
3 – Policies
There are seven policies that be created and added to profiles. Once a policy is created it is stored in a policy database (essentially) that allows it to be added to any other profile. While profiles can have multiple policies assigned to them, we recommend that you use only one policy per profile. This is because when you remove a profile from a device you remove all the policies associated. For example, lets say you have a profile with three policies, a restriction policy hiding Safari and preventing app downloads, a WiFi credentials policy and an App Lock policy. If you need to update your app you’ll need to remove the profile because it has an App Lock policy on it. When you remove the profile, not only does it remove App Lock but it also removes the restrictions to Safari, opens up app downloads and removes the WiFi network out of the known networks settings and you may not get the device connected again without manually touching the device, and therefore you can’t push your app update or put the device back in App Lock.
To add a policy simply click on one of the option in the left menu. Here are the available policies as well as a brief definition.
- Passcodes – Allows you to set passcode parameters and requirements for devices, such as length, complexity, expiration interval, auto-locks settings and failed attempts settings.
- Restrictions – Allows you to set various restrictions on a device, such as what apps and device functions are allowed on the device.
- WiFi – Enables you to create WiFi profiles that you are stored on the device.
- Web Clips – Allows you to create an app icon on the device that links to a URL that you specify.
- Kiosk – Allows you to disable the home button on pre-iOS 7 devices.
- App Lock– Allows you to lock a device to just one app (available only on supervised devices).
- Global Proxy – Sets the HTTP PROXY settings for your network traffic to run through. Learn More » (Manager Tour 5.7 – Global Proxy Policy)
4 – Policy Details
- Policy Details – Once a policy is selected the policy window will change to the options available for that policy. Select the criteria you desire for the policy then go to the bottom of the window and enter a Policy Name and hit the Save Policy button.
- Saving a Policy – To save any changes to policies made in this window simply click the Save Policy button at the bottom of the window. Changing the policy in one profile will change the policy for all profiles it is assigned to. In order for devices to receive the update the profile will need to be reapplied. To install a profile on a device see Manager Tour 3.3 – Actions Bar, section 8.
- Manage Policies – This button is available under each policy window and contains all the different policies that have been created in that section, such as all the WiFi policies.
- Creating new policies – There is an option called new, clicking this will give you a fresh policy to work with. Once a policy has been created, if you click the Manage Policies button while you’re in that policy you’ll see the new policy listed in blue text. This means it is the active policy.
- Using an existing policy for a new profile – Let’s say you have created four WiFi policies under different profiles and want to use one of those for this new profile you are creating. After creating the new profile and selecting the WiFi policy you would click the Manage Policies button. You will see the four policies you have created in black text, click on the policy you want. The text will turn blue and the Policy information window will update with the selected policy’s information. If you accidentally select the wrong one, simply click it again, don’t click the X. Clicking the X will delete the policy from the data base and won’t be available on other policies. You will notice that only WiFi policies will allow more than one of the same types of policies to be selected at the same time. Our best practice is to only use one policy per profile, that way there is less confusion when needing to make changes or updates.
5 – Profile Information
When a profile is selected this window will contain the available information. There are two tabs that we will break down, Info and Provisioning Profiles.
- Tags – While tags can be added to profiles there is not presently any use for them. There may be at some point in the future
- Active Policies – This is a list of all the active policies the profile contains. This makes it so you don’t have to click through each policy option to see if there are any active policies. If you just get a spinning wheel of death it means that there are no policies on the device
- Action Groups – The name of any action groups that use this profile will be listed. Action groups are created in the Actions tab. For more information on actions see the article Manager Tour 9 – Actions Tab
- Provisioning Profiles – Provisioning profiles are typically used with apps and are essential in enterprise or beta test versions. This option allows those who desire to push the provisioning profile to approved devices instead of including it in their app can do so by first uploading it here, then applying it to devices by following the instructions in Manager Tour 3.3 – Actions Bar. It is important to note that provisioning profiles do not show up in the profile selector.