Using Managed Apple IDs for Business: 3 Best Practices

By Ben Greiner | February 20, 2024
Ben is the founder of Forget Computers, an award-winning Apple-focused technology consulting company, that is now part of the Ntiva family.

Technology is constantly and quickly evolving, and businesses have a constant need to ensure that infrastructure, corporate devices, confidential files, and other important information are safeguarded. With Managed Apple IDs for your business, you can explore options that will best suit your productivity and security needs.

Read more below to learn about Managed Apple IDs and how integrating this tool can protect your work environment.

What is a Managed Apple ID?

What Are the Advantages of Using Managed Apple IDs?

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Managed Apple IDs?

How Do You Create Managed Apple IDs?

3 Best Practices for Managed Apple IDs for Your Business

Implement Managed Apple IDs with Ease

What is a Managed Apple ID?

Think of Managed Apple IDs for your business like an iCould for companies. A Managed Apple ID is owned and managed by your organization — including ownership of password resets and role-based administration – giving IT admins access to create and manage accounts across the company.

In essence, Managed Apple IDs give companies and employees an effective way to use iPhones and other Apple devices without employees having to use their personal emails or account information, and in turn, keeping company information safe.

By setting up Managed Apple ID accounts, employees and users have additional tools at their fingertips to enhance their productivity in a safe way that works best for them.

How to Manage Apple ID for Business

What Are the Advantages of Using Managed Apple IDs?

Utilizing managed Apple IDs offers distinct advantages for streamlined company and employee operations.

  • Centralized Approach to User Management: Managed Apple IDs for businesses provide a centralized approach to user management, enhancing security and control.
  • Greater Business Flexibility: With Managed Apple IDs, businesses have more flexibility in app distribution, collaboration improvements through platform integration, and the ability to establish trust between Apple and Microsoft platforms, fostering a seamless and secure digital environment. In addition, it’s much easier to troubleshoot issues.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Managed Apple IDs?

It’s important to be aware of certain limitations you might want to consider before setting up Managed Apple IDs. Since Apple’s main goal is to ensure your business is protected, there are a handful of features that are intentionally disabled on Managed Apple ID accounts, including:

  • Apple Pay
  • iMessage
  • FaceTime
  • Find My (iPhone, Mac, and Friends)
  • iCloud Mail, Keychain, and Family Sharing
  • Purchasing on the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookStore

While these limitations might impact certain consumer-oriented conveniences, such as location tracking, they play a crucial role in upholding the security of business operations.

How Do You Create Managed Apple IDs?

Creating Managed Apple IDs for business use is a straightforward process that puts IT administrators in the driver’s seat. There are a few different ways you can set up a Managed Apple ID:

  1. Apple Business Manager: Manual Admins have the option to manually create accounts, providing a personalized approach to user identification that can also be edited at a later time.
  2. Federation: If your organization uses authentication with Google Drive or Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Managed Apple IDs can integrate seamlessly.

Were you wondering how to manage multiple Apple devices for business? Consider leveraging the expertise of Ntiva, a certified Apple managed service provider. Ntiva can help guide your organization through the intricacies of creating and managing Managed Apple IDs.

Assigning Roles for Managed Apple IDs

For individuals who hold the role of Administrator or any Manager, Managed Apple IDs can be used in two main ways—with accounts and roles.

  • Accounts: Users with the role of Administrator can complete a range of tasks within Apple Business Manager to manage accounts. For example, you can assign roles or reset passwords for a specific set of users.
  • Roles: Once a user has been assigned a Managed Apple ID, roles can be designated to oversee their responsibilities within Apple Business Manager. These roles specifically outline the tasks that users are authorized to complete using their Managed Apple ID.

3 Best Practices for Managed Apple IDs for Your Business

In the dynamic world of evolving technology and running a business, it's important to adopt effective and streamlined processes for handling digital assets and user accounts smoothly. This section outlines three key practices to make dealing with Managed Apple IDs a lot simpler, especially in a corporate setting.

These practices are like hacks for making work smoother and keeping things secure in the digital space. Check out the recommendations below to create a more efficient workflow.

Best Practice #1: Manage Apple IDs through Apple Business Manager

Apple has two kinds of IDs: personal and business (or consumer and corporate).

As a consumer, you have an Apple ID that you need to log in to the App Store to download apps for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Every app you download as a consumer is tied permanently to your Apple ID – to the point where, if you install an app with one Apple ID and then you change to a different one, you can have serious problems (especially with paid apps).

If you ever need to update software that was installed with a different Apple ID, the Apple device won’t let you: You cannot install that update unless you provide the password for the originating Apple ID. Or you delete the app and install the app again using your new Apple ID.

This also happens with businesses that pass Apple devices (such as Macs) between employees. Multiple apps on these devices can be attached to multiple employee consumer Apple IDs, creating plenty of headaches when it comes to purchasing and patching apps. With managed Apple IDs, you can boost Mac security.

As a business, it’s best to manage Apple IDs through Apple Business Manager. Using Apple Business Manager gives you the additional benefit of Zero-Touch deployment.

Once Apple knows you as an organization, and when you purchase through Apple or an authorized reseller, they know your devices. You can then leverage this established trust to purchase, install and update applications to your devices regardless of Apple ID. Instead of software being tied to an Apple ID, as it is for consumers, it's tied to the device (through the device serial number).

Managed Apple IDs are unique to your company and separate from the personal Apple IDs your employees create for themselves. Unlike with personal Apple IDs, IT administrators manage the apps and services that are accessed.

By managing your Apple IDs through Apple Business Manager, you don't run into as many problems or hiccups when you're working with apps that were installed many employees ago. Apple Business Manager removes the need for a personal Apple ID.

The Takeaway: Stop using personal Apple IDs. Use Managed Apple IDs through Apple Business Manager, and take advantage of the zero-touch workflow.

Best Practice #2: Use Managed Apple IDs for Business & Box for Collaboration

Team members these days do a lot of their collaborating online rather than shoulder to shoulder. Additionally, many collaborate using the Apple iWork productivity suite: Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

There are only two platforms that support iWork collaboration: iCloud, and Box.

Your employees are likely already collaborating through iCloud — and probably using personal Apple IDs that they control. If your staff has Managed Apple IDs, then your organization has greater control over securing your business and client documents stored in iCloud.

However, storage is currently limited to only 5 GB, with no option to upgrade. Plus, sharing iCloud files with those outside of your team can be a challenge. Apple is showing signs of making iCloud drive business-friendly, but iCloud is really a personal storage solution.

Managed Business Apple ID

Apple has worked extensively with Box, the cloud storage and collaboration platform, to integrate cloud-based collaboration into the Apple ecosystem.

One of the big differences between iCloud and Box is that Managed Apple IDs for Business have a 5 GB storage limit, while Box does not limit storage. Plus, Box is a very robust business solution.

The Takeaway: If you want to boost collaboration across your teams using Apple iWork apps, use Managed Apple IDs. And for more business features, greater security, and additional storage, use

Best Practice #3: Build Trust Between Apple and Microsoft with Federation

The third and final best practice for managing your data and controlling your Managed Apple IDs for business is through federation.

Federated authentication is the process of using an account’s username and password from one directory system, allowing the same username and password to be used in other systems.

Where your Managed Apple IDs are concerned, you should use federation to establish trust between Apple Business Manager and Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365). As a result, your users can leverage their Microsoft user names (email) and passwords as Managed Apple IDs.

They can then use their Microsoft credentials to sign in to their assigned iPad or Mac and even to iCloud on the web. Users can also use it to sign in on a Shared iPad.

Once you are federated, you have proven to both Apple and Microsoft that you own your domain and that only you can create Apple IDs on your domain.

With federated authentication, you connect Apple Business Manager to Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which then enables your staff to use their existing Microsoft usernames and passwords as Managed Apple IDs.

Apple and Microsoft make federation easy, but you must federate with a well-thought-out migration path.

The Takeaway: If your organization uses a mix of Apple and Microsoft Office productivity apps and services, use federation to build trust and simplify authentication and authorization across the two platforms.

Implement Managed Apple IDs with Ease

To get the most from your Managed Apple IDs, enroll in Apple Business Manager, consider using Box for collaboration and build trust between Apple and Microsoft with federated authentication

Federated authentication simplifies the authentication process and builds trust by establishing a secure connection between Apple Business Manager and Microsoft 365. By leveraging this federated approach, your organization can seamlessly navigate the integration of Apple and Microsoft Office productivity apps.

In case you need any help putting these best practices to work, we can help. Check out Apple Services, Security and Support from Ntiva. We provide the expertise needed to optimize your Apple ID management for enhanced efficiency and security.

Talk to our Apple Experts

Tags: Apple