GroundControl Blog

Create a Backup

Created: Modified: Knowledge Base

iOS Backup files include device settings from the Settings app, home and lock screen images, icon arrangement and app content and settings. Backups do NOT contain apps or iTunes media.

GroundControl allows you to restore a single backup to many devices and we support encrypted and non-encrypted backups. In this way, you can control settings that aren’t available to MDM or DEP. For example, using a backup you can set the following:

FeatureiOS 10iOS 11Notes
Airplane Mode on/off
WiFi on/offUseful if Airplane mode is on
Bluetooth on/off(May require similar devices for master & clone)
AMBER and Weather Alerts
Do Not Disturb
Brightness Level
Raise to Wake
Automatically lock after...
Passcode Required After...
Text Size
Siri on/off
Battery Percentage on/off
Location Services on/offSettings > General > Privacy > Location Services
Apple ID (iTunes Store)GroundControl's "Backup Scrubbing" must be disabled
Accessibility: Large Text, Reduce Motion, Assistive Touch
Background App Refresh
Restrictions Passcode
Add/Set Keyboards
Text Replacements
Enterprise App TrustUseful if you don't have MDM
ContactsContact list is preserved from master to slave

Some settings are never preserved within backups.

  • You can not save a device passcode
  • You can not grant permissions for camera or microphone for specific apps

When creating your master backup, remember that any settings will be duplicated to all your devices. Try to avoid adding an Apple ID on the master. Also we recommend starting with an erased device each time, to be sure you don’t have any undesired settings.

GroundControl helps you by automatically “scrubbing” the backup to remove Apple ID, MDM, saved WiFi networks, and supervision. GroundControl also “depersonalizes” the backup so that a common backup may be used across any iOS device type, and nearly any iOS version.

Follow the instructions below to create your back up, compress it and upload it to GroundControl.

Step 4: Compress the Backup for use with GroundControl

The backup folder is named with the device’s UDID. You can sort by date and time, and find the most recent folder.

We need to compress these backups files before we can upload them to GroundControl.

  1. Open the folder in order to display the list of folders within
    screen-shot-2017-04-10-at-12-02-54-pm
  2. Select all files and folder inside the folder as shown in the image above. Important: do not select the backup folder itself, only the files and folders contained within.
  3. On Windows, right-click and send to “Compressed (zipped) folder”. On Mac, control-click and choose “Compress”.
  4. A zip file will be created, e.g. “Archive.zip”.
  5. Rename the zip file as desired. You may keep the .ZIP extension, or rename it to the traditional .iosdevicebackup.
  6. Move the file to another location, such as your Desktop.

The backup is now ready to be uploaded to GroundControl.

You’re done!  You should now quit iTunes (or Configurator), upload your backup to GroundControl and test the restore.

Tip: Test on a different device from your master. The mastering process may require a few more trips to the master device to tweak your settings, and the process will be easier if you keep your master around.