Restore from Backup

Created: Modified: Workflow Actions

The Restore from Backup action allows you to upload an iOS backup created from iTunes or Configurator to GroundControl, which can be used to further customize your devices.

Feature Availability

⚠️ We do not recommend this feature with iOS 13. iOS 13 introduced changes that made it difficult to use backups while keeping the device on WiFi. iOS 13.4 further changes the Restore from Backup process to display a dialog that inhibits automation.

Non-DEP Devices
DeviceLaunchpadNon-DEP iOS 12 and earlierNon-DEP iOS 13.0-13.3Non-DEP iOS 13.4+
WiFi DeviceMac & WindowsSetup Screen Blocks Automation
Cellular Device with active SIMMac & WindowsSetup Screen Blocks Automation
DEP Devices
DeviceLaunchpadDEP iOS 12 and earlierDEP iOS 13.0-13.3DEP iOS 13.4+
WiFi DeviceWindows
WiFi DeviceMac Launchpad with Network Tethering disabled
WiFi DeviceMac Launchpad with Network Tethering enabledSetup Screen Blocks Automation
Cellular Device with active SIMMac & WindowsSetup Screen Blocks Automation

DEP backups require you have uploaded GroundControl’s supervision identity into your MDM before you create the backup.

Future iOS versions may further limit the use of backups.

Backups and iOS 13.4

GroundControl is not able to skip all setup screens on iOS 13.4 Beta when restoring a backup.

This prevents a fully automated setup and, despite the dialog displayed, apps from MDM will not load. In addition, until this dialog is dismissed, GroundControl is unable to launch apps, and is unable to use out Checkout Locker app to lock the device.

I was using a backup before. What should I do now?

Many GroundControl customers depended on a backup for touch-free provisioning. Unfortunately, this feature is no longer recommended for iOS 13.4 and above. The following alternatives are available to these customers:

  1. Delay iOS 13.4. This is not a long term solution, of course.
  2. Continue using a backup with your devices, and during provisioning tap on the “Restore Completed” dialog to dismiss. Note that someone will need to dismiss this dialog promptly, because the dialog blocks MDM from installing apps, despite the text on the dialog.
  3. Remove the Restore from Backup action from your provisioning workflow. This is recommended as the long term solution.

Unfortunately, removing the backup will mean more setup and configuration to be done by hand by your users or staff.

  • Passcode lock will be set to the default “immediately”
  • Apps will prompt for microphone and camera permission
  • Government alerts will be enabled

Unfortunately, no MDM can control these features today.

Backups and iOS 12 and earlier

This legacy documentation is included for reference. Backups are no longer recommended for iOS 13 and greater.