iOS Device Recovery and Apple Configurator

This article refers to Apple Configurator version 1. Apple Configurator 1 has since been superseded by Apple Configurator 2 and the process for managing devices is therefore different than explained here. If you are still using Apple Configurator 1, these instructions are still correct.

There is a collection of notes I have written on Apple Configurator, but since I’ve yet to publish these, I wanted to share some hopefully useful steps for resetting a device that may previously have been managed with Apple Configurator. If you are new to managing Apple devices with Apple Configurator – maybe you have inherited a fleet – I hope you find this useful.

Put the device into Recovery Mode

  • turn your device off.
  • connect your iPod to your Mac.
  • press the Power and Home buttons simultaneously.
  • when the Apple logo appears, release the Power button but continue holding the Home button.
  • It sometimes takes a few attempts to get the device into recovery mode. You will need to persist with this because the rest of the process relies upon this step.
When the device has been successfully placed in recovery mode, you will see an iTunes logo and picture of an Apple cable on screen. Your device should be ready for us to reconfigure with the Apple Configurator.

Reset the device using Apple Configurator

  • Open Apple Configurator.
  • Your device will display in one of two places. If your device appears as a ‘USB connected’ device in the Supervise section, right-click the iPod and select ‘Unsupervise device’. Unsupervising may take a few minutes.
  • Your device should now be shown in the Prepare section (indicated by a small number over the Prepare icon on the application toolbar). You can now apply your own management profile immediately.

Prepare your device

  • Switch to the Prepare section of the Apple Configurator.
  • Enter a device name in the Name field.
  • For the recovery process, leave the Supervision switch set to Off.
  • Optionally add Organization details by pressing the ‘Organization Info…’ button.
  • Depending on your preference, you may choose to set ‘Update iOS’ to ‘Never update device’, at least until you have all iPods working again. You can always update iOS later.
  • Since you are recovering the device, and assuming you don’t have any content you need to keep on the device, make sure ‘Erase before installing’ is ticked.
  • The ‘Restore’ option should be set to ‘Don’t restore backup’.
  • Don’t install any profiles until you have the devices working correctly. You can always install a Profile containing WiFi details, app restrictions etc. once the device(s) have been fully recovered.
  • Press the Prepare button at the bottom of the Apple Configurator application window.

The display changes to a progress window giving detail of what preparatory steps are taking place. Once the entries for your device(s) have all been closed and the application shows ‘1 of 1 devices prepared’, press the Stop button (otherwise Configurator will wait for more devices to connect and also prepare each one).

If this process has worked, your device should be ready for you to run the ‘New Device’ setup wizard. Just complete the process as you would for a new device. When you reach the iPod home screen, open Settings and look in the General section for Profiles – no profiles should exist on the device. You can now return to the Configurator to install one or more Profiles, or to setup Supervision.

All you need to do now is repeat the process for each device you have. If you have a charging unit that also allows for USB computer connection, you could put all devices into recovery mode and connect at the same time to reset them together.

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