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Apple configurator: lost backup

2949 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2013 5:39 AM by bleat RSS
vse1t Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 8, 2013 2:15 AM

Hi to everyone,

unfortunately I lost the backup of apple configurator on my MacBook.

I'm a teacher and I manage about 60 Ipad in my school.

Now I need to remove supervised device from my community, without loosing their own backup on ICloud.

I tried to restore Ipad with ICloud backup, but supervised profile still remain in the device.

How can I remove supervised profile?


Thanks a lot



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • bleat Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jun 8, 2013 2:32 PM (in response to vse1t)

    You can't.  I had the same dilemma. I managed about 100 iPads for a school pilot program this year. As a thank you to those students that participated in the pilot, they get to keep the device. We supervised them in order to disable Facetime and iMessage, and impose a few more restrictions that cannot be implemented if not supervised.  We did not realize the implications of doing so. The students set up iCloud on their devices and have been backing them up there all year.


    A week ago, we found out that three students were moving and therefore leaving the school. We tried everything to get the supervision profile off the device without them losing their data but nothing worked so we just wiped it and gave it back with an apology.


    This is not a very good situation for schools.

  • nsdjoey Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)
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    Jun 10, 2013 8:51 AM (in response to vse1t)

    Hi Paolo,


    Yeah, bleat is right… you need to have Apple Configurator on the original computer that supervised the iPads in order to remove the supervision. If you lose the Apple Configurator backup on the original computer, unfortunately there's no way to remove the supervision on the iPads without wiping them.


    Could the kids back up their data to Dropbox? Many iOS apps have excellent integration with Dropbox and is a good alternative to iCloud.


    Hope this helps!


  • bleat Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jun 11, 2013 8:23 AM (in response to nsdjoey)

    nsdjoey, I'm confused by your post. You say that you have to plug the iPad into the original Configurator computer in order to remove the Supervision. You cannot do that. I have tried. There is no way to remove the Supervision profile at all without wiping the device.


    I have my Configurator database intact from the fall and many backups of devices still in there. There is no way to remove the profile even if you have that. If there is a way, please let me know what it is.


    I also cannot figure out how to back up iPad data to anything. I've read people talking about dropbox but isn't that only for apps that allow you to save to these services? What about the Memo notes, bookmarks, etc? This is waht our students are losing when this happens and it is a huge deal.

  • nsdjoey Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)
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    Jun 14, 2013 7:22 AM (in response to bleat)

    Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to back up app data from a Supervised device and restore it to an Unsupervised device. The workaround isn't pretty, but it is technically possible. And yes, you must use the original computer that supervised the device. Here's how to do it:


    Let's say that the school district purchased VPP codes for Notability and installed it on all Supervised iPads. You don't want the student to leave with the app, but you do want the student to have his/her Notability data. I will pretend to be the student and will make a few notes in Notability (which was installed on this iPad using Apple Configurator under a district controlled Apple ID).


    1. In Apple Configurator under the Supervised tab, back up the student's iPad (click the Restore drop down  menu and select "Back Up.")
    2. Give your back up a name and click "Create Backup." 
    3. After the back up completes, click on the Restore drop down menu again and select “Edit Stored Backups."
    4. A new window will open showing you a listing of back ups available. Hold down the Option key and two new button will appear in the lower left corner (a "+" for importing, and a sharing icon for exporting). Highlight the backup of your iPad and click the sharing icon.
    5. Choose a location where you want to save the backup (for this example, lets save it to the Desktop) and click "Export."
    6. When the export is complete, click Done.
    7. Now, Unsupervise the iPad (Ctrl+click the iPad listed in Apple Configurator and choose Unsupervise. In the pop up window, select Unsupervise Device). This will wipe the device of all data and apps.
    8. Once the iPad restarts, select the Prepare tab. You will see your iPad listed there.
    9. Next to Supervision, turn the switch to "Off." Next to iOS, choose "No Change." Click on the Restore drop down menu and choose "Other." Navigate to your Desktop and highlight the .iosdevicebackup file. Click "Open."
    10. Click the Prepare button. This will restore the back up to the iPad but it will now be Unsupervised. NOTE: You will still see the Supervision profile listed under Profiles. However, you can now connect the iPad to iTunes on a different computer and you won't see the message "This iPad is supervised by another computer and cannot be used with this computer" anymore. Even though you can't get rid of the Supervised profile listed under Profiles on the iPad (because its a part of the back up), it is now dormant and does not affect the iPad anymore.
    11. Apps are not restored from the back up. However, even though the apps are not on the iPad the app data has been restored to the iPad (the app data is hidden). So once the back up restores to the iPad, the student can download/install apps from the App Store. For this example, I will go to the App Store and use my personal Apple ID to download Notability. After Notability installs, I launch the app and now see my data. I am now on an Unsupervised iPad with my data from a Supervised device.



    So while its not a fast or seamless workaround, it is possible to back up data from a Supervised iPad and restore it to an Unsupervised iPad… it just takes several steps to do so.


    I hope this answers your question and helps you with data back ups and restores on your Supervised devices. Good luck!



  • bleat Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2013 5:39 AM (in response to nsdjoey)


    I am sending you a virtual hug and a king size Twix! Thanks so much for your post. I am printing it and will try it out on a tester device this week. If it works, it will relieve so much pressure! Thanks again.



    Edited to add one question that you may not know:


    If I follow the above procedure, and after this is done, the student backs up the device to iCloud or iTunes, then at some point drops and breaks their iPad and I replace it with a new one and restore from the iCloud backup, will the dormant Supervision profile be reinstalled or will the lockdown profile be reinstalled?


    I am working on putting together documentation for our department that will list the options for break/fix and would love to include this information. Thanks so much again. I wish I could click Solved too so you'd get double points.


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