Get started with a supervised iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

If your employer or school issues you an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it may be supervised. Find out what it means to use a supervised device, how to tell if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is being supervised and what the owner can see.


This article is intended for people who are using a supervised iPhone, iPad or iPod touch issued by their employer or school. If you’re an administrator and want to set up supervision, use Apple Business Manager, Apple School Manager or Configurator 2 to set up your devices.

Supervision gives schools and businesses greater control over the iOS devices that they own. With supervision, your administrator can apply extra restrictions, such as turning off AirDrop or preventing access to the App Store. It also provides additional device configurations and features, such as silently updating apps or filtering web usage.

By default, your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch isn’t supervised. Supervision can only be turned on when setting up a new device. If your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch isn’t currently supervised, your administrator will have to completely erase your device to set up supervision.

Check if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is supervised

You can find out if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is supervised by looking at the settings for your device. The Supervision message will be displayed at the top of the main Settings page.

Your organisation also has the option to display a custom ownership message on the Lock Screen by using the Shared Device Configuration profile payload.

Find out what your administrator is supervising

If your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is supervised, the organisation that owns your device has the ability to install a profile to control what features your device has access to.

If you want to see what features your administrator has modified from the default iOS settings, you’ll need to check your settings. 

Tap Settings > General > VPN & Device Management. If there is a profile installed, tap it to see what kind of changes have been made.

iPhone displaying an installed profile in VPN & Device Management

To find out more about the features that have been changed for your specific organisation, ask your administrator whether these settings have been enforced.

If your administrator is monitoring your location

You may see a message in your settings informing you that your employer or school can monitor your internet traffic and locate your device. The only time your administrator can view the location of your iPhone or iPad is when they’ve put your device into Managed Lost Mode.

When this mode is turned on, it reveals the location of the device to the administrator. If your administrator puts your device into Managed Lost Mode, your device will be locked and you’ll see a message on the Lock Screen. Your organisation can’t track the location of the device without locking it and displaying a notification.

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