Assigning Devices to Locations

The Locations feature in Jamf School allows educational institutions to group devices by logical units such as location, district, or other parameters, thus making it easier to locate and organize individual devices. Locations provides options to accommodate any deployment, from app and profile scoping to setting up site-specific administrative roles. To learn more about how the Locations feature in Jamf School works in conjunction with the Locations feature in Apple School Manager, see Location Usage in Jamf School and Apple School Manager.

When doing a larger deployment of any type, there are a number of ways to ensure each device is assigned to the correct location. Assigning devices to locations is critically important not only from an inventory management perspective but from a device management standpoint as well. Jamf School makes this easy by accommodating different ways to assign devices to locations before, during, or even after the devices are enrolled.

There are four basic methods for assigning devices to locations:

  • Make assignments to a location within Jamf School via Apple School Manager.

  • Make assignments during an authenticated user enrollment.

  • Use placeholders to make assignments before enrollment.

  • Manually move devices between locations.

Assigning Devices

Making Assignments via Apple School Manager

This method is useful in situations where devices are not purchased or managed centrally. Each location within Jamf School can be registered as a separate MDM server inside of Apple School Manager. Because of this, once the devices are assigned to a specific location, that location can operate autonomously with regard to each of its devices.

In order to use this method, it is necessary to complete the Devices (DEP) setup within Jamf School for each location by completing the following steps.

  1. In Jamf School, choose the desired location from the Locations menu in the top-right corner.
    The top level location will always appear at the top of the Locations menu. The other locations will be presented in alphabetical order. Your currently-selected location will be notated at the top of the Jamf School Management System screen this way: <top level name • location name>.


2. Go to Organization > Settings > Devices (DEP). Click the Apple School Manager button to begin the integration process with Apple School Manager.

3. Once this is complete, you can assign available devices directly to the location within Apple School Manager. Make sure to be clear and consistent when naming location instances inside of Apple School Manager.

Making Assignments During Authenticated Enrollment

This is the preferred method of assigning locations when central IT staff is responsible for the deployment of a large-scale one-to-one that covers multiple locations. Due to the automation available within Jamf School, authenticated enrollment is the most popular way to assign ownership to devices and move them to specific locations.

To take advantage of this method, it is necessary to set up a DEP profile that requires authentication for enrollment and that makes the authenticated user the device owner. Once the enrollment is completed, the device will not only show as being owned by the authenticated user, but it will have been assigned to the location that the username is associated with.

Making Assignments Using Placeholders

This method is especially useful for any shared-use environment (with or without a sign-in requirement), since multiple people will be using each device. A placeholder is a way to predefine attributes for a specific device before the device is enrolled. These attributes can include device name, asset tag number, group membership, and location assignment.


A CSV template for assigning placeholders to multiple devices at one time can be found under Organization > Import/Synchronize > Import placeholders from CSV.

There are two strategies that can be used for importing placeholders. The first strategy is most useful when it is necessary to deploy a set of devices in multiple locations at one time. This can be accomplished by choosing the top level location (at the top of the Locations menu) before importing the placeholders.

The second strategy is best used when importing a significant number of devices into a single location. Choose the desired location before importing the placeholders. When populating placeholder information in the CSV, exclude the location column.

Manually Moving Devices Between Locations

This method is the only one that can be used both pre- and post-enrollment of the devices. Since the method is manual, it is most useful for deployments involving a small number of devices. In order to manually move a device, it must be assigned to the top level location’s MDM server in Apple School Manager.

Conditions for Moving a Device:

  • A device must meet the following conditions in order to be moved:

  • Is not already present in the new location

  • Is associated with a DEP token in the top level location

  • Has not been assigned a DEP profile OR has been assigned a shared profile

  • Has not been assigned an owner that cannot be moved

Consequences of Moving a Device:

Some settings may be affected when a device is moved to a new location:

  • Groups specific to the current location will be unlinked

  • Users assigned to the selected device will also be moved if possible which will unlink their groups and classes

  • If an assigned user cannot be moved, the device also cannot be moved

Moving a device that is not yet enrolled in Jamf School

  1. In Jamf School, choose the top level location from the Locations menu on the top-right corner.

  2. Go to Devices > DEP. Select the checkbox next to the device to be moved, and click Move to location.

  3. In the “Move to location” window that opens, select the new location from the menu


Moving a device that is already enrolled with Jamf School

  1. Choose the top level location from the Locations menu on the top right of the Jamf School Management System screen.

  2. Go t Devices > Overview. Select the checkbox next to the device to be moved. Click Move to location.



3. In the “Move to location” window that opens, select the new location from the menu.

Dealing with Missing Devices

Especially in larger deployments, managing lost or stolen devices is a necessity. The number of missing devices is usually small when compared with the total number of devices being managed. Although IT staff may be aware that a device has been lost or stolen, it is not uncommon for these devices to get lost in the management system or forgotten about. To simplify the management of lost or stolen devices, create a dedicated location for them.

When a device is missing, here are some additional steps to take:

  • Be sure to set the device to Lost mode.

  • You may also create a Missing Devices DEP profile that skips all screens in the setup assistant.

Creating a Dedicated Location for Missing Devices

  1. Go to Organization > Locations. Click Add location.

  2. In the “Add location” window that opens, assign a descriptive label such as “Missing Devices.”

  3. If a device is lost or stolen, assign it to the Missing Devices location. If the device is later recovered, it can easily be reassigned to an active location and placed back into service.

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