What is CP on iPhone. Configuration Profile Explained

CP or Configuration Profile are simply a XML file that administrators can use to configure certain settings on your iPhone or Mac.

What is a CP on iPhone? Configuration Profile is used by admins to control certain settings on your iPhone, they can set your mobile device passcode settings, or restrict certain security features from being used. CP also provides control over network connectivity and even your camera.

This article will explain what is CP on iPhone and what you can do with it.

What is CP on your iPhone – The Basics

what is cp on iPhone

As mentioned about, a Configuration Profile is just a xml file used by administrations to control certain settings on iPhones or other devices running with iOS or OS. This little file can be created manually by admins, or by using the apple configurator.

You can deliver the xml file by:

  • Email
  • Direct download from a website
  • Over the air upload
  • USB connection using the apple Configurator

Most common uses of CP xml files

Now that you understand what a CP is. You might be asking yourself why do I need to know this information, and now that I do know, what is it being used for?

Well, the most common use for a CP file is for business purposes. For example if you run a large organization and you just bought 20 iPhones for your staff, and you want to configure them all with the same settings or restrictions. Will you go one by one and do it manually?

No, you won’t, because this is NOT 2002. That’s why CP files were created. You can create 1 Configuration Profile file, and just send it to all the devices you want to load it on and that’s it. Pretty cool right?

Another good example is a school or university that gives their students iPads to use in their learning. Obviously, the school will want to created specific profiles for the students and restrict them from various apps or services the iPad comes with.

More advanced features you can use or restrict with a CP file:

WiFi SettingsDevice features restrictions
Exchange Settings VPN Settings
Web ClipsEmail Server Settings
Credentials and KeysCALdav calendar Service Settings
LDAP Directory Service Settings

How to install the CP on iPhones or other devices

You will normally need to install the CP file within the Settings app on your iPhone. Below are the steps to follow to install it:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Profile Downloaded or Enroll as [your organization name]
  3. In the upper right corner, tap Install
  4. Follow onscreen instructions
what is cp on iPhone

In newer iPhones you might find it here:

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap VPN and Device Management

If you don’t see anything here, you might not have any profiles installed on the device. If you already have one installed you might see ” Sign in to Work or School Account… ”

Important Note
Please make sure to install the CP within 8 minutes after sending the file to your iPhone as the download window will end after that time and you will need to send it again.

How to create the CP file as an Admin

To create a Configuration Profile file ( ending with .mobileconfig ) you need a MDM solution or Apple Configurator for Mac. You can also create them manually.

Before you can send your newly created CP file though to apple devices you will need to enroll the device in the MDM solution with the enrolment profile.

What is a MDM solution

what is cp on iPhone

A MDM or Mobile Device Management software or solution is a software where IT admins in an organization like Schools or large companies can control multiple devices and monitor them while keeping the organization secured.

What is an apple configurator

apple Configurator is a software to use to create and deploy Configuration Profiles to your organization devices.

Frequently Asked Questions about Configuration Profiles

Here are the most common questions about CP on iPhones

Is it safe to download and install a CP on my iPhone

Yes, if you were sent a CP by your organization IT admin it is safe to install it on your device. This is a common solution for large organizations and it is safe to be installed.

Can I remove the CP from my device?

Some CP installations comes with a passcode when you try to remove them from the phone. This is a security feature that allows companies to restrict usage on their own phones given to employees or students.

What happens if I remove a CP from my device

When you remove a Configuration Profile from your device all configuration profiles and their settings and managed apps will be removed.

Can I have more than 1 CP on my device

NO. There can only be one Configuration Profile on a device at a given time


We figured out what CP on iPhones are and we now know they are being used to configure profiles and specific settings across many devices in an organization at once. Whether you need to use it or not on your phone will depend on where you work and the conditions of your employment.

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About the Author: Adam Wishmore

Adam Wishmore is an apple geek, there is no other way of putting it. Since the first generation iPhone hit the market to the latest Macbook pro, Adam knows everything there is and how to fix everything on apple devices.