Can you set a "preferred" SSID on an iPad?

New Contributor

We have a brand new JAMF environment with only 40 clients. We will ultimately have about 1000 iPads on the network. Our thoughts on how to roll out a new client (we are only using iPads at this point) is to get the iPad on our temporary SSID (as the key is easy to type). Then, once attached to the temporary wireless network, the users go out and enroll their iPad. Once they are enrolled we push out a profile that adds the appropriate SSID for their iPad. The student's iPads are setup with the Students SSID and the teacher's iPads are setup with the Educators SSID. The problem is how do we tell the iPad to start using the new SSID? Is there a way to at least set the "Student" or "Educators" SSID as the preferred network? I'd like to have a way to remove the temporary network we originally setup.


New Contributor II

I'm not sure you'll be able to automatically "forget the temp network". Part of our workflow is to manually "forget" the Open SSID network once the iPad received our secure wireless credentials. If someone has a solution that would eliminate that step, I would love to know what that is.
If you don't want to touch the iPads, you could probably set up a wireless payload with two SSID's. Your "Student" or "Educator" SSID would have the "Auto Join" box checked. That should at least get them to the correct SSID.

I hope that helps.


New Contributor III

Ditto on finding a solution to eliminate that step.

Legendary Contributor II

If you manually set the WiFi connection on the iPad, i.e. it wasn't pushed via MDM, then there isn't going to be an automated way to remove it. Apple's MDM can't do anything to settings that weren't deployed with an MDM solution. If it was added manually, its gonna have to be removed manually.

What I'd consider doing is rotating that temp WiFI password after each batch of devices gets rolled out, like every day if needed. That way the "configured" iPads won't be able to auto join that network again and, hopefully, will connect to the SSID you pushed with config profile. I really don't know if that last piece actually happens, but I'd hope the OS is intelligent enough to do that.


This is an old thread, but I'm looking to solve a similar problem. I'm fairly new the JSS MDM (about a year's experience) and I haven't used these forums much so I don't know the norms if I should bump this message to get attention or if I should have started a new thread. Anyway...

The temp network we have setup to get to an iPad provisioned and registered in the JSS MDM (requiring JSS authorization via the Device Enrollment Program) is an open network with no password (to make setting up an couple of hundred iPads easier). Lets call it REGISTER.

Does anyone know what is supposed to happen if I push a configuration profile editing the ssid REGISTER when the device already has REGISTER on its wireless list? I will also push the settings for the ssid PRODUCTION, which is a secure ssid as part of the setup. My thought was that I could push a configuration for REGISTER as a secure network with a bogus password then when the iPad couldn't connect to that it would always connect to our production WiFi network (that has a password), which I pushed the config for via JSS.

REGISTER would be remembered on the iPad prior to JSS registration and applying profiles. While JSS doesn't modify settings that weren't pushed via JSS what happens when there is a conflict between existing settings and profile settings for the same SSID?

Contributor III

I think if it is a temporary SSID just change the password from WiFi. Preferred WiFi is answered by @gene, Auto-join.