set time/time zone on iPads

New Contributor

Have 290 new iPads. The time zone is wrong on all. How to correct this?


Honored Contributor

Is location services enabled? That's the primary way that iOS sets the time zone correctly.

Contributor III

I've found that location services is the one thing we can't skip on our DEP Pre-stages for shared iPads because the majority of them wont get the correct time zone.

New Contributor III

Hm, I will be facing 600 iPads this summer and would like a way to set the time zone to detroit.
thus under Date and Time:
"set automatically" to "off"
"time zone" set to "detroit"
I would believe configuration profiles for this request?



Contributor II

@sprovost Did you ever figure this one out? It does not appear that you can enable Location Services via JSS which would do the job (unless I haven't found the solution). I have a smaller batch with more coming that I would like to move from Cupertino time to Denver/Albuquerque.

Release Candidate Programs Tester

@Randydid FWIW, we do what @jbourdon said, & have location services enabled during DEP.

Time zone etc is not manageable via MDM, but also, location services will update the devices clock.

Which can resolve other issues.

Valued Contributor III

Just adding my weight to location services, it was the only reliable way we found to have everything come up right.

Valued Contributor

The only reason we don't skip location services during DEP is to set the timezone. If we could set that during the DEP process or with a config profile, it would be great.

Our process would be much smoother for classrooms. I wonder if this is an Apple MDM limitation or a JAMF software thing?


Apple limitation:

Contributor III

Configurator 2.3 has "Set the current time zone while Preparing devices" listed in the "What's new section" but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do it. Anybody else done this?

Edit: Contacted Apple Education Support and verified it doesn't actually exist in 2.3. They're getting on the horn to the engineering team, so hopefully that'll actually make it into Configurator 2!


In my experience, Apple Configurator 2.4 automatically sets the device to the current time zone with the Prepare action. There's no checkbox - it just does it.


Seems JAMF is still lacking on this. With Profile Manager if you skip Location Services at device setup/enrollment, Location Services is ON, which ensures functionality. With JAMF, it's OFF. Now that's great for power and privacy concerns, but then you MUST have the timezone set properly by manual setting, which is missing from Profile management. The claim is that there is no way on the Apple end of the software to do this, which I find suspect. It also seems like JAMF should have been able to exert a lot of pressure on Apple in the last 4 years to have this fixed, but here we are. No way to actually automate deployment because there are at least 7 things that have to be set manually on every iPad. If JAMF wants to be worth the cost compared to Profile Manager, it has to step up and do a lot more. Not seeing the value add here.


Ebonweaver, I'm not sure how you reached this conclusion, but it's the opposite of my experience:

With Profile Manager if you skip Location Services at device setup/enrollment, Location Services is ON, which ensures functionality.

When you hide a Setup Assistant screen, it's as if the user sees the Setup Assistant screen and chooses the most private answer, regardless of the MDM solution. This means Location Services is off (though as I wrote in the reply that's immediately above your post, Apple Confgurator 2.4 (and later) sets the time zone even if you hide the Location Services screen during Setup Assistant).

New Contributor III

I am using configurator to add a WIFI profile to iPads. How have you been adding the location/timezone to iPads?

@ebonweaver I agree. Jamf, you have a big voice to say to Apple this is needed. Currently, configuring a shared iPad is a pain as it's not 'zero touch' as sold there is little automation and lots of waiting around for things to load, configure, set time zone, time, no webclips in shared mode... logout.

Shared iPads are being heavily disadvantaged.


Referring to the most recent Apple Configuration Profile reference (page 72), I see Apple has added a new preference for forceAutomaticDateAndTime and it will be available for iOS 12.0. Doesn't appear it will let you actually set a specific time zone, but it should be possible to turn it on.

I can't speak, though, for Jamf on upcoming new features.

New Contributor

so you think that if we update the devices to iOS 12 it may fix it or we still need to wipe them and allow location services in the set up?

Valued Contributor II

I see the same thing as @arekdreyer - DEP iPads need to have the Location Services screen enabled in the PreStage so the user can Enable Location Services during the Setup Assistant.

The accompanying Note in the configuration Profile Reference referenced by @talkingmoose says

Note: The deviceʼs time zone will only be updated when the device can determine its location (cellular connection or wifi with location services enabled).

If you have a bunch of iPads with the incorrect time, and don't want to touch them all to turn on Automatic Date and Time, you could try putting them into Lost Mode from the MDM...

New Contributor

what will lost mode do for them?

Valued Contributor II

@anitasmith Lost Mode requires Location Services to be on, so will turn it on if it is off.

New Contributor III

So all the latest iPads and still no location services for shared iPads? 'Shared' mode being the most likely mode where you do want to track an iPad...

New Contributor II

6 years later...still the same problem. That's ridiculous!