How to prevent iOS update pop-ups?
A common question we receive through our support channel is this: How can we prevent our devices from updating to the latest version of iOS?
Often, organizations wish to vet the latest iOS release, verifying that the business-related apps they use will continue to function properly on the devices used by their organization. By delaying the deployment of the latest version of iOS within their organization, they buy additional time to run these checks before green lighting the upgrade.
Mobile Center, we support iOS7 and higher versions and therefore provide our customers an ability to test their apps using those versions. But iOS devices are keeping and asking for an update, which is makes challenging to keep older iOS on the device.
To be clear, Apple does not currently provide any functionality, either within iOS, via MDM, or otherwise to purposefully prevent an iOS update. We have seen these common methodologies used by our customers.
Install tvOS Beta Configuration Profile
Installing the tvOS Beta Configuration Profile provided by Apple will block the update messages from appearing on iOS.
The tvOS Beta Configuration Profile is restricted to distribution among registered Apple Developers only. You can access the program at the Apple Developer Portal. You should also be able to find the tvOS profile freely on the web with a little work.
Block the Update Servers
Blocking communication with the Apple update servers at the company network level may also help prevent updates. By disallowing traffic to the update servers on the company network, devices will be unable to update themselves. The pitfall of this methodology is that the device will be able to update itself if it joins a different WiFi network or has a cellular connection.
The two update servers that we are aware of are: appldnld.apple.com and mesu.apple.com.