Manual deployment for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for macOS

Applies to:

This topic describes how to deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for macOS manually. A successful deployment requires the completion of all of the following steps:

Prerequisites and system requirements

Before you get started, see the main Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for macOS page for a description of prerequisites and system requirements for the current software version.

Download installation and onboarding packages

Download the installation and onboarding packages from Microsoft Defender Security Center:

  1. In Microsoft Defender Security Center, go to Settings > Device Management > Onboarding.

  2. In Section 1 of the page, set operating system to macOS and Deployment method to Local script.

  3. In Section 2 of the page, select Download installation package. Save it as wdav.pkg to a local directory.

  4. In Section 2 of the page, select Download onboarding package. Save it as WindowsDefenderATPOnboardingPackage.zip to the same directory.

    Microsoft Defender Security Center screenshot

  5. From a command prompt, verify that you have the two files.

Application installation (macOS 10.15 and older versions)

To complete this process, you must have admin privileges on the device.

  1. Navigate to the downloaded wdav.pkg in Finder and open it.

    App install screenshot

  2. Select Continue, agree with the License terms, and enter the password when prompted.

    App install screenshot

    Important

    You will be prompted to allow a driver from Microsoft to be installed (either "System Extension Blocked" or "Installation is on hold" or both. The driver must be allowed to be installed.

    App install screenshot

  3. Select Open Security Preferences or Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy. Select Allow:

    Security and privacy window screenshot

    The installation proceeds.

    Caution

    If you don't select Allow, the installation will proceed after 5 minutes. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint will be loaded, but some features, such as real-time protection, will be disabled. See Troubleshoot kernel extension issues for information on how to resolve this.

Note

macOS may request to reboot the device upon the first installation of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Real-time protection will not be available until the device is rebooted.

Application installation (macOS 11 and newer versions)

To complete this process, you must have admin privileges on the device.

  1. Navigate to the downloaded wdav.pkg in Finder and open it.

    App install screenshot

  2. Select Continue, agree with the License terms, and enter the password when prompted.

  3. At the end of the installation process, you will be promoted to approve the system extensions used by the product. Select Open Security Preferences.

    System extension approval

  4. From the Security & Privacy window, select Allow.

    System extension security preferences

  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for all system extensions distributed with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for Mac.

  6. As part of the Endpoint Detection and Response capabilities, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for Mac inspects socket traffic and reports this information to the Microsoft Defender Security Center portal. When prompted to grant Microsoft Defender for Endpoint permissions to filter network traffic, select Allow.

    System extension security preferences

  7. Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy and navigate to the Privacy tab. Grant Full Disk Access permission to Microsoft Defender ATP and Microsoft Defender ATP Endpoint Security Extension.

    Full disk access

Client configuration

  1. Copy wdav.pkg and MicrosoftDefenderATPOnboardingMacOs.py to the device where you deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for macOS.

    The client device is not associated with orgId. Note that the orgId attribute is blank.

    mdatp --health orgId
    
  2. Run the Python script to install the configuration file:

    /usr/bin/python MicrosoftDefenderATPOnboardingMacOs.py
    
  3. Verify that the device is now associated with your organization and reports a valid orgId:

    mdatp --health orgId
    

After installation, you'll see the Microsoft Defender icon in the macOS status bar in the top-right corner.

Microsoft Defender icon in status bar screenshot

How to Allow Full Disk Access

Caution

macOS 10.15 (Catalina) contains new security and privacy enhancements. Beginning with this version, by default, applications are not able to access certain locations on disk (such as Documents, Downloads, Desktop, etc.) without explicit consent. In the absence of this consent, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is not able to fully protect your device.

To grant consent, open System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access. Click the lock icon to make changes (bottom of the dialog box). Select Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

Logging installation issues

See Logging installation issues for more information on how to find the automatically generated log that is created by the installer when an error occurs.

Uninstallation

See Uninstalling for details on how to remove Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for macOS from client devices.