Managed Apple IDs: What are they for?


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It’s nearly impossible to use an Apple device without an Apple ID (iCloud account) but Managed Apple IDs are unique to your company or school and separate from Apple IDs that you can create yourself. Other than personal Apple IDs, IT administrators manage the services that your Managed Apple ID can access. Managed Apple IDs are similar to regular Apple IDs, but they are owned and operated by the organization and can be used to create an account for a student or employee.

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How do you create a Managed Apple ID?

Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager make it easy to create unique Managed Apple IDs for each person in bulk. When you use these accounts with iWork collaboration, that collaboration is limited to other people within your organization who have their own Managed Apple IDs.

In Apple Business Manager, your organization owns and manages Apple IDs—including password reset and role-based management. It’s easy to create a unique Managed Apple ID for each person when using this tool.

Over the years, Apple has created a number of ways to create these private Apple IDs. Some methods are more automated than others, so find the method that works best for your organization and identity provider.

  • Import student accounts from the Student Information System (SIS) into Apple School Manager.
  • Import .csv files using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
  • Use Unified Authentication with Google Workspace or Microsoft Azure AD.
  • Import Google Workspace users.
  • Use SCIM to import users from Azure AD to your local directory.
  • Create accounts manually.

Most organizations will want to rely on some sort of automated process. For schools, it might make sense to use their own student information system, but I’d recommend all schools and companies look for some sort of method that works with directory hosts like Azure AD or Google Workspace. As a result, users can make use of their Google Workspace or Azure AD usernames and passwords as an Apple ID. They can use their Apple ID to sign in to all their iOS devices and other computers with iCloud, regardless of whether they use it on a Mac or PC. One thing to keep in mind – organizations can only link to Google Workspace or Azure AD, not both at the same time.

What are the benefits?

These private Apple IDs are used to access Apple’s iCloud service, just like normal. For example, they are used for classroom, school work, and collaboration with iWork and Notes by students or teachers. Administrators and employees can sign in to Apple School Manager. Prior to Managed Apple IDs, individual users created Apple IDs for personal use. These are used to license apps and manage iCloud accounts, among other things. Simply put, they are Apple IDs assigned to work or school that your IT team controls.

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Enterprise-controlled Apple IDs are more useful in the educational environment than for enterprise customers. There are several specific places where Managed Apple IDs will be useful for using Sign in with Apple. Apple has done a good job of simplifying the process of not only creating new Apple IDs but also keeping them in sync with Azure AD or Google Workspace. The most common use case for Managed Apple IDs will be in education. There are many benefits to using Sign in with Apple with Managed Apple IDs, including the ability to manage all student accounts from one place using Azure AD or Google Workspace. This means that if a student leaves or graduates, their account can be deleted or simply disabled without much effort.

Where it is difficult to recommend is to business clients. While there is no cost to publish a custom Apple ID for business, it is another account that employees must manage. Where it makes sense is that publishing is done in combination with “user registration”. Employees can be provided with devices by registering with their work Apple IDs. Business Apple IDs don’t interfere with personal iCloud accounts. The Apple ID of the managed business can be used in conjunction with the personal account that the user is already signed in to; They will not interact with each other.

User registration is to secure devices owned by the user to access corporate resources, and this is the main benefit of publishing Apple IDs to business customers. Otherwise, the employee likely won’t need one.

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