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Kiosk Mode for Apple TV – Complete Guide

Why use kiosk mode?

Locking the device in kiosk mode can transform Apple TV into an appealing display board.
Many companies, schools, hospitals depend upon a single app to run their operations. Using single app kiosk, they can configure that app to launch automatically. Also, no other apps can be installed and interacted with when the device is in kiosk mode. This ensures that the end-users only use the app that they are supposed to. Furthermore, using Advanced Kiosk Settings, additional restrictions can be placed on user interactions in kiosk mode.

System Requirements

  • Kiosk mode is supported only on Apple TVs running tvOS 10.2 and later.
  • The device needs to be supervised.

Before you begin

  1. To lock an Apple TV in kiosk mode using MDM, the device first needs to be enrolled in Hexnode. Apple TV can be enrolled in two ways:
    1. Enrollment using Apple Configurator
      • Apple Configurator is an application that runs on macOS. This tool by Apple lets one configure and deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV easily.
      • Enrollment using Apple Configurator requires a macOS device with the latest version of Apple Configurator.
      • How to enroll using Apple Configurator
        1. Launch Apple Configurator.
        2. Create a Profile. Profiles are used to configure device settings and can also be used to push apps.
          1. From File > New Profile >Wi-Fi, select Configure.
          2. Enter the necessary details to connect to the network like SSID, Security Type, Password etc.
          3. Click File > Save.
        3. Next, create a Blueprint. Blueprint, like its name suggests, is a template of various settings and options that can be configured. Blueprint can be applied to more than one device and hence is reusable. To create a blueprint:
          1. Click File > New Blueprint. Give a name to the blueprint.
          2. Right-click on the blueprint and click on Add and choose Profile to add the Wi-Fi profile.
          3. Right-click on the blueprint and select Prepare.
        4. Establish a connection between Apple TV and macOS either using USB or by pairing the devices over the same network.
          1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote App and Devices.
          2. On your Mac, open Apple Configurator.
          3. From the Apple Configurator menu, choose the Paired Devices option.
          4. From the search results, click Pair next to your Apple TV.
          5. Enter the 6-digit pin that appears on your Apple TV screen.
        5. Open Apple Configurator, click on the device name and select Prepare from the top.
        6. Select Manual Configuration from the Prepare with drop-down. Make sure that the option to supervise the device is selected. Click the Next button.
        7. Create a new server from the next screen.
        8. Login to the Hexnode portal. Go to Enroll > Platform-Specific > tvOS > Apple Configurator. Copy the URL given under the title Enrollment URL. Change the user if necessary and click Save. Once the device is enrolled, the device will be assigned to the owner selected here. Go back to Apple Configurator and type in a name for the server and paste the enrollment URL. Click Next.
        9. The next page shows all the trusted certificates for Hexnode MDM. Click Next.
        10. You can add a new Organization, or just skip this step and move forward.
        11. Specify the setup steps which are to be hidden from Apple TV’s initial setup. Select Show all steps to skip configuring this step.
        12. You’ll be asked to erase the device. Erasing will delete any data and apps saved on the Apple TV and will set it up as a fresh device.
        13. On the Apple TV, you will be asked if Hexnode MDM can apply configurations to the device while setting it up. Allow Hexnode MDM to do so.
    2. Apple Business Manager Enrollment
      • With an Apple Business Manager account, IT admins can enroll Apple devices in Hexnode with great ease. ABM is an out-of-box enrollment technique. If a kiosk policy is applied to a new device that has been enrolled through this method, then after the initial device set-up, the device will go in kiosk mode.
      • For ABM enrollment to be possible, Hexnode should be integrated with ABM.
      • How to do ABM enrollment
        1. Integrate Hexnode with ABM.
        2. Choose Devices and select the required devices.
        3. Click the Choose device management option and select the MDM server to assign the devices with that server.
        4. On your Hexnode MDM portal, go to Enroll > All Enrollments > No-Touch > Apple Business/School Manager > DEP Devices > click Sync with DEP. The devices will be listed in this page.

  2. Only enterprise apps can be added to a kiosk in Apple TV. Before adding an app to kiosk, make sure that it is present in the device.
    Adding an app for Apple TV to Hexnode app inventory
    1. Login to the Hexnode portal. Go to Apps >Add Apps > Enterprise App.
    2. Select the platform as Apple TV.
    3. Upload either the IPA file or the Manifest URL of the enterprise app.
    4. Choose the category of the app. A new category can also be added by clicking on “+” sign.
    5. Give a brief description of the app.
    6. Check the option to Notify admin via email once app upload succeeds/fails if needed.
    7. Finally, click Add.
    Adding the app to the device
    1. Go to Manage > Devices > select the device from the list. Click Actions > Install Applications > select the uploaded app > click Done.

Configuring kiosk policy for Apple TV

To configure a kiosk in an Apple TV, a policy needs to be associated with the device.

  1. Login to Hexnode portal.
  2. Select the Policies tab. Click on New Policy > New Blank Policy.
  3. Name the policy.
  4. Click on Kiosk Lockdown. Navigate to Single app in Apple TV Kiosk Lockdown section.
  5. Click on Configure and then on the “+” sign to add an app to the kiosk.
  6. You can also configure Advanced Kiosk Settings to enable or disable certain options available to the user to interact with the kiosk.
  7. Next, configure the Policy Targets. Click on +Add Devices. Choose the device and click OK.
  8. Click on Save.This will apply the policy to the device.

Exiting kiosk mode

Kiosk mode cannot be exited from the device end in the case of Apple TV. The following are the ways to exit from kiosk mode:

  1. Removing the Policy Targets
    1. Login to the Hexnode portal.
    2. From Policies, open the kiosk policy.
    3. Select the Policy Targets tab and click on remove. The policy may target any one or a combination of Devices, Device Groups, Users, User Groups and Domains.
  2. Disassociating the policy from the device
    1. Login to the Hexnode portal.
    2. Select Manage > Devices > the required Apple TV.
    3. Click on the Policies tab of the device. Select the trash icon next to the policy that needs to be removed.
    4. Note:


      This action will only remove the policy from the device. It will not delete the policy from the portal. Go to Policies > My Policy to see all the policies.

  3. Archiving the policy
    1. Login to the Hexnode portal.
    2. Select the Policies tab. Click on the Move to Archive icon displayed next to policy name or select the policy and click on Manage > Move to Archive.
    3. Notes:

      • Archiving a policy will remove all policy targets and shift the policy to the archive section. The policy will not be deleted from the portal. Archived policies can be seen in Policies > Archived Policies. Policies from the archive can be deleted or restored.
      • To delete the policy from the archive, go to Policies > Archived Policies and click on the trash icon corresponding to the policy that needs to be deleted.
      • To restore a policy, go to Policies > Archived Policies. Select the required policy, click Manage > Restore. You will now be able to see the policy under Policies > My Policy. However, you will still have to add the policy targets to apply it to devices.