Assign, reassign or unassign devices in Apple Business Manager
Your account contains a record of all the orders you have placed directly with Apple after 1 March 2011. Because accounts with participating Apple Authorised Resellers or network providers may not keep records dating back to 1 March 2011, consult your participating Apple Authorised Reseller or network provider for your account’s order timeline.
Before you can assign devices, you must have entered your appropriate Apple customer number and/or communicated your Organisation ID to a participating Apple Authorised Reseller or network provider and added their Reseller ID to your account. For information, please refer to Manage device suppliers.
Note: When entering your Apple customer number, leave out any leading zeros.
Secure sensitive data
During the device configuration process, you can increase the security of sensitive data by ensuring that you have appropriate security measures in place. For example:
Have your users authenticate as part of the initial setup flow in the Apple device’s Setup Assistant during activation.
Provide a preliminary configuration with limited access and require additional device configuration in order to access sensitive data.
Device assignment (or reassignment) options
After an order ships, you can search for the order number and use it to assign devices to an authorised mobile device management (MDM) server. For example, when you place an iPad order for 5,000 units, you can use the order number to assign all, or a specific number of, devices to an existing authorised MDM server. There are several ways to assign devices:
Device Management: you can reassign devices from one MDM server to another. For example, you may want to spread a load of 10,000 devices from one single MDM server to three or four servers.
Source: you can assign devices from different sources. For example, you may purchase all iPhone and iPad devices from one source and all Mac computers from another. The sources are:
Apple (Apple Customer Number)
Apple Authorised Reseller or network provider
AppleCare (for replaced devices)
Apple Configurator 2 (for devices added manually)
Order number: assigning devices by order number makes sense if a single MDM server is used for an entire device deployment (or a single order), and if devices are still in their original packaging and are going directly to the users.
Device type: you can assign devices by type and model to a specific MDM server. This method makes sense if the devices you need to assign are all managed in an identical manner. You can search for device types using the search field at the top of the window.
Storage size: you can assign devices by how much storage they came with when purchased or manually enrolled. For example, you may want to assign all MacBook Pro computers with 1 terabyte of storage to an MDM server used by your graphics department.
Serial number: you can paste up to 1,024 serial numbers from a text file, with each serial number separated by a comma.
Assign, reassign or unassign devices
In Apple Business Manager , sign in with an account that has the role of Administrator or Device Enrolment Manager.
Tap Devices in the sidebar, search for a device in the search field, then select the device from the list. See How to search.
After you have searched for devices, select the total number of devices at the top of the list, then tap .
Do one of the following:
Choose Assign to server, then choose the MDM server you want to assign or reassign the device to.
Choose Unassign to unassign the device from an MDM server.
Note: If you select a device that is unassigned, you will not see the unassigned option.
Carefully read the dialogue, then tap Continue.
A new activity generates a list of the devices that are assigned or reassigned to the selected MDM server, or unassigned from an MDM server. You can wait for the activity to complete or tap Close to close the window.