Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac

Applies to:

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This topic describes how to install, configure, update, and use Defender for Endpoint on Mac.


Running other third-party endpoint protection products alongside Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac is likely to lead to performance problems and unpredictable side effects. If non-Microsoft endpoint protection is an absolute requirement in your environment, you can still safely take advantage of Defender for Endpoint on Mac EDR functionality after configuring the antivirus functionality to run in Passive mode.

What's new in the latest release

What's new in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

What's new in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac


If you have any feedback that you would like to share, submit it by opening Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac on your device and navigating to Help > Send feedback.

To get the latest features, including preview capabilities (such as endpoint detection and response for your Mac devices), configure your macOS device running Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to be a Beta channel (formerly Insider-Fast) device.

How to install Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac


  • A Defender for Endpoint subscription and access to the Microsoft Defender portal
  • Beginner-level experience in macOS and BASH scripting
  • Administrative privileges on the device (in case of manual deployment)

Installation instructions

There are several methods and deployment tools that you can use to install and configure Defender for Endpoint on Mac.

System requirements

The three most recent major releases of macOS are supported.

  • 14 (Sonoma), 13 (Ventura), 12 (Monterey)


    On macOS 11 (Big Sur) and above, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint requires additional configuration profiles. If you are an existing customer upgrading from earlier versions of macOS, make sure to deploy the additional configuration profiles listed on New configuration profiles for macOS Big Sur and newer versions of macOS.

  • Supported processors: x64 and ARM64.

  • Disk space: 1GB

Beta versions of macOS aren't supported.

After you've enabled the service, you may need to configure your network or firewall to allow outbound connections between it and your endpoints.

Licensing requirements

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac requires one of the following Microsoft Volume Licensing offers:

  • Microsoft 365 E5 (M365 E5)
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security
  • Microsoft 365 A5 (M365 A5)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Windows 11 Enterprise E5
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P2
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1 (which is included in Microsoft 365 E3 (M365 E3))


Eligible licensed users may use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on up to five concurrent devices. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is also available for purchase from a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). When purchased via a CSP, it does not require Microsoft Volume Licensing offers listed.

Configuring Exclusions

When adding exclusions, be mindful of common exclusion mistakes for Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

Network connections

Ensure that connectivity is possible from your devices to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint cloud services. To prepare your environment, please reference STEP 1: Configure your network environment to ensure connectivity with Defender for Endpoint service.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint can connect through a proxy server by using the following methods:

  • Proxy autoconfig (PAC)
  • Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD)
  • Manual static proxy configuration

If a proxy or firewall is blocking anonymous traffic, make sure that anonymous traffic is permitted in the previously listed URLs.


Authenticated proxies are not supported. Ensure that only PAC, WPAD, or a static proxy is being used.

SSL inspection and intercepting proxies are also not supported for security reasons. Configure an exception for SSL inspection and your proxy server to directly pass through data from Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS to the relevant URLs without interception. Adding your interception certificate to the global store will not allow for interception.

To test that a connection isn't blocked, open and in a browser.

If you prefer the command line, you can also check the connection by running the following command in Terminal:

curl -w ' %{url_effective}\n' '' ''

The output from this command should be similar to the following:




We recommend that you keep System Integrity Protection (SIP) enabled on client devices. SIP is a built-in macOS security feature that prevents low-level tampering with the OS, and is enabled by default.

Once Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is installed, connectivity can be validated by running the following command in Terminal:

mdatp connectivity test

How to update Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac

Microsoft regularly publishes software updates to improve performance, security, and to deliver new features. To update Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac, a program named Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) is used. To learn more, see Deploy updates for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac.

How to configure Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac

Guidance for how to configure the product in enterprise environments is available in Set preferences for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac.

macOS kernel and system extensions

Starting with macOS 11 (Big Sur), Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has been fully migrated from kernel extension to system extensions.



Do you want to learn more? Engage with the Microsoft Security community in our Tech Community: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Tech Community.