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How to deploy custom configuration profiles to iOS devices?

Hexnode UEM offers a wide range of features that help make the lives of IT admins stress-free. Apart from these features, it also lets you push additional features of your choice into the devices using custom configuration profiles. Custom configuration profiles comprising of codes in the form of property lists are created to manage and configure various device functionalities. It also enables easy distribution of configuration information across devices making the tedious task of configuring multiple devices seamless. But how do we distribute them across a fleet of devices? It’s now quicker and easier with Hexnode’s over-the-air distribution of custom configuration profiles to Apple devices. Dive in to see the process.


You can choose non-encrypted .mobileconfig files, .xml files or .plist files to be deployed across iOS/iPadOS devices.

Distributing configuration profile from Hexnode

Custom configuration profiles can be customized using Apple Configurator, profile editor apps, or other such tools. After creating the profiles, you can add them to the Hexnode portal to associate them with the devices.

  1. Log in to the Hexnode console.
  2. Navigate to Policies > New Policy.
  3. Provide a policy name and description (optional).
  4. Go to iOS > Configurations > Deploy Custom Configuration.
  5. Click Configure, and then select Choose File.
  6. You can either add files from the device by clicking on Choose file followed by the Upload button, or select files, which are already uploaded on the portal.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Navigate to Policy Targets.
  9. You can associate the policy with the required devices/device groups/users/user groups/domains and click OK.
  10. Click Save.

Here is a sample .plist file of a Configuration Profile to enforce “Contacts Only” for AirDrop. This is purely to illustrate a typical .plist file in the expected format.

Note: The UUIDs entered are sample UUIDs in the appropriate format and are not associated with any iOS device.


  • If the custom configuration profiles are associated with a device belonging to other platforms, the status on the Action History tab will be shown as Success. However, the policy application will take place only on the devices adhering to the prescribed platform.
  • Applying the configurations for a supervised device across an unsupervised device fails. It displays a Failed status on the Action History tab of the device.
  • While defining a profile, ensure it contains all the mandatory payload keys, including PayloadUUID, PayloadType, PayloadVersion and PayloadIdentifier, etc.
  • Binary .plist files cannot be used to deploy custom configuration profiles. You can convert the binary .plist files to normal .plist files using the terminal command: plutil -convert binary1 <name of the .plist file>.
  • Generic .plist files alone can’t be used to deploy custom configuration profiles. It is recommended to choose an appropriate payload, add profile-specific payload keys to the configuration profile, and verify them before uploading it.
  • While distributing the configuration profiles to the devices, make sure that no conflicting configurations are pushed.
  • You can use wildcards while deploying custom configuration profiles.

  • Managing iOS Devices