What Is Configuration Profile (CP) On iPhone?

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A Configuration Profile (CP) on iPhone is an XML file that contains settings and configurations for various features and services on the device. It is used to personalize devices as per the user based on their network settings, email accounts, security measures (such as passcodes), etc. 

It is also used to install apps and certificates on your mobile phone. It is widely used by organizations to customize devices for their employees or students. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Configuration Profiles on iPhone.


Who can create a Configuration Profile? 

Configuration profiles can be set up by an organization using Mobile Device Management (MDM) software or an Apple configurator for Mac. For advanced users, you can also create it manually. To set up a configuration profile, you would require an enrolment profile which is a profile created for the MDM software to send commands and configuration settings for devices. 

There can only be one enrollment profile in each device that can be used to set up multiple configuration profiles. When an enrolment profile is removed, all configuration profiles and their settings are removed in their entirety. 

What settings do Configuration Profiles handle? 

Configuration Profiles can handle a number of settings on your device. Here are some noteworthy ones: 

1. Device feature restrictions 

Customized devices are usually provided by organizations for particular tasks. For example, office employees are provided with a Mac or iPhone to use for their work tasks. Customization on these devices is done in a way that only the features that are needed in a workspace are unlocked for employees’ use. With Apple products, this customization is done using Configuration Profiles.

2. Passcodes and other security measures

Passcodes are crucial for every device to ensure a secure space. With customized devices, they tend to be even more important due to the contents involved. These devices contain information that is meant to be kept secret as per policy. Configuration profiles help organizations set up the right security measures on devices.

3. Account settings 

With restrictions and security measures handled to cater to company policy, organizations then create profiles for their employees or students to use these devices. The specificity of these settings varies but it contains details such as the user’s full name, E-Mail, iCloud, etc. 

4. Network and VPN settings

Most tasks today involve the internet in one way or the other. Therefore, it is crucial to set up the network and VPN settings of a device carefully. Configuration profiles allow you to do so to ensure you are always connected safely. 

5.  CalDAV calendar service settings

Calendar is an area customized devices tend to make use of regularly. CalDAV calendar is an extension of WebDav that allows clients to view calendar information on a remote server. Configuration profiles allow you to set this up with ease. 

6. Exchange settings 

Data exchange is heavily restricted on most customized devices to avoid leakage. Configuration profiles allow you to add these restrictions or add gateways to ensure all data exchange is done in a controlled manner. 


How to download a Configuration Profile on iPhone?

There are a number of ways to download Configuration Profiles on an iPhone. Here is how to do it: 

1. Via Apple Configurator for Mac

Apple Configurator is a macOS application that allows users to set up Configuration Profiles to deploy on multiple devices. It is easy to use and can specifically adjust all CP settings within the app. After creating profiles, you can use them to configure your iPhone.

2. Via Apple School Manager

If you are a school personnel, using Apple School Manager for creating a configuration profile is an ideal choice. It is a web-based portal used to deploy Apple devices that are officially purchased by Apple or an authorized reseller. Once set up, you can download the profile on your device easily.

3. Via Apple Business Manager 

For corporate use, Apple Business Manager is an excellent tool to create configuration profiles. It operates similarly to Apple School Manager except for a few default settings. Once you set up CPs using this portal, you can download them on your iPhone and install them. 

4. Via Safari 

Prebuilt configuration profiles are readily available on the web. You can download them there. We don’t recommend this but it is certainly a way to download Configuration Profiles. Make sure your download source is credible. 

5. Via AirDrop

Configuration profiles can be transferred via AirDrop. The sender will send the file from their system and the receiver will simply download and install them. 

6. Via mail

Mail is a common way for organizations to send and receive configuration profiles. You just need to attach the XML file which can be downloaded and installed on the iPhone directly. 


How to install a Configuration Profile on iPhone?

After downloading the XML file, loading up configuration profiles on iPhones is pretty easy. Here is how to do it on devices with iOS 12.2 or later: 

  • Step 1: Go to the Settings app of your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Click on Profile Downloaded or Enroll in (organization name)
  • Step 3: Click on Install in the top right corner of your screen. 
  • Step 4: Follow the onscreen instructions to install the CP. 

Note: Downloaded configuration profiles are automatically deleted from your phone within 8 minutes. Therefore, we recommend immediately installing them after downloading. Otherwise, you will have to download them again. 


How to remove Configuration Profiles from iPhone?

Removing Configuration Profiles from your iPhone is extremely easy. Here are the steps to follow: 

  • Step 1: Go to the Settings app of your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Go to VPN & Device Management. If your device does not have this option, go to  Profiles instead. 
  • Step 3: Locate the profile you wish to delete and click on it. 
  • Step 4: Select Remove Profile and follow the onscreen instructions to remove the CP. 
  • Step 5: Restart your iPhone

Note: Removing a configuration profile from an iPhone removes all the settings that came with it so act with caution.  


How to prevent Configuration Profile removal on iPhone?

Organizations with customized devices can create a lock on their iPhones to prevent the removal of Configuration Profiles. Alternatively, they can set up an exclusive passcode for removal. If someone still manages to remove the profile, all bound data and apps will be deleted alongside it. 


Configuration Profiles are extremely useful to provide supervised devices to employees and students. They are deployed using an XML file that can be downloaded and installed in simple steps. We discussed all aspects of Configuration Profiles for iPhones in the article above. 


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