iOS Roaming Client Single Install

Article author
Josh L
  • Updated

Apple Configurator 2 limitations

Before beginning, if you are currently using an iPhone or iPad on iOS 15.x when following the steps below, you will likely experience a failed profile installation “An unexpected error has occurred with xxxx iPad” error message. From our research, this is due to the Apple Configurator itself and difficulties with how it interacts with iOS devices running on iOS 15 and higher. In this case, we recommend using an MDM for installing profiles for iOS 15.x as our team looks into potential workarounds.



The DNSFilter iOS App allows you to protect roaming mobile clients on and off the network. This is similar to how the Windows Roaming Client functions. The app operates a special VPN which forwards DNS queries to DNSFilter, but avoids forwarding the rest of your traffic to our servers. Thus, the privacy of your data is ensured.

For local domain documentation, please click here!


Preparing the iOS Device

  1. On a macOS computer, install and launch the Apple Configurator 2 application.

  2. Connect the iOS device to the computer and unlock the device. Tap Trust if you are prompted to trust the computer.

  3. When the iOS device appears within Apple Configurator 2, select it and click the Prepare button.2536b8e-Apple01.png
  4. On the Prepare Devices screen, from the Prepare with dropdown menu, select Manual Configuration and check the boxes for Supervise devices and optionally Allow devices to pair with other computers. Click NEXT to continue.6b3ed86-Apple02.png
  5. On the Enroll in MDM Server screen, from the Server dropdown menu, select Do not enroll in MDM. Click NEXT to continue. If you have an MDM solution, we suggest following our Bulk Installation guide instead.6af9d5d-Apple03.png
  6. If the Sign in to the Device Enrollment Program screen appears, click SKIP to continue.5cc0f21-Apple04.png
  7. On the next screen, select an existing organization (if one exists) or create a New Organization and enter the details for your organization / company. If creating a new organization, you will also need to generate or choose a supervision identity. Unless your organization already has a certificate-based identity already, you should choose to allow Apple Configurator 2 to automatically generate this for you.

The organization information will appear on the device under Settings > General > About and cannot be changed later.

  1. On the Configure iOS Setup Assistant screen, leave the default Show all steps option selected from the Setup Assistant dropdown menu. Click PREPARE to continue. You may be prompted to enter your macOS administrator password to continue.

  2. If the iOS device has been previously set up, Apple Configurator 2 will prompt you to ERASE the device. Click ERASE to erase and prepare the device. All content and settings on the device will be deleted!

The iOS device is now supervised. You may confirm this by double-clicking on the device and checking for the SUPERVISED text in the upper-right corner of the screen. 2e92b8f-Apple05.png

Prepare Device with the iOS Configuration Profile

You will also need to pre-configure the iOS device to associate with a specific DNSFilter Site. This is done by adding an iOS Configuration Profile to the device.

  1. Download the sample DNSFilter iOS Configuration Profile and open it using a text editor.

  2. Find the <dict> section and replace the KEYHERE text with the Site Secret Key for the DNSFilter site that you’d like the iOS device to associate with. Save the file.

    2a. For Local Domains you can add another section under the closing like so:ccace3a-chrome_GjBFEqEp1p.png

  3. On a macOS computer, install and launch the Apple Configurator 2 application.
  4. Connect the iOS device to the computer and unlock the device. Tap Trust if you are prompted to trust the computer.

  5. When the iOS device appears within Apple Configurator 2, select it, click the Add button, and click the Profiles button. 5e29202-Apple06.png
  6. Select the file you downloaded and modified in the previous steps and click the Add button.

The iOS device now has the pre-configured iOS Configuration Profile for the DNSFilter app. After the app is installed and launched for the first time, it will automatically associate with the DNSFilter Site defined within the dnsfilter.mobileconfig file.

Prepare Device with the DNSFilter iOS App

To finish the setup, you must download, install, and open the DNSFilter iOS App to allow the device to associate with a DNSFilter Site, to obtain policies and site-specific settings.

  1. Open the App Store and search for and install the DNSFilter app.
  2. After the app has finished installing, launch it by tapping on it on the Home screen.
  3. In the DNSFilter app, tap the Register This Device button.
  4. Enter the desired Site Key. If a Site Key was predefined in the iOS Configuration Profile, it will display here.
  5. Enter the desired Hostname to later identify the device within the DNSFilter Dashboard.
  6. Tap the Register Device button.

The device will register within the DNSFilter Dashboard and will immediately begin applying policies defined on the site which the iOS device has registered to.

iOS Device DNS Caching

If domains were previously queried before the DNSFilter Roaming Client was installed and activated, it’s possible that these DNS queries may be cached locally on the device. Best practice is to clear the device’s DNS cache by momentarily turning on Airplane Mode and ensuring Wi-Fi is also turned off during this period.

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