Manual deployment for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS

Applies to:

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This topic describes how to deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on 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 on 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 365 Defender portal:

  1. In Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Settings > Endpoints > 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.

    The options to download the installation and onboarding packages

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

Application installation (macOS 10.15)

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

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

    The installation of the application

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

    The application installation

    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.

    The application's installation

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

    The Security and privacy window

    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.

    The installation process for the application

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

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

    The system extension approval

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

    The system extension security preferences1

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

  6. As part of the Endpoint Detection and Response capabilities, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac inspects socket traffic and reports this information to the Microsoft 365 Defender portal. When prompted to grant Microsoft Defender for Endpoint permissions to filter network traffic, select Allow.

    The system extension security preferences2

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

    The full disk access

Client configuration

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

    The client device isn't associated with org_id. Note that the org_id attribute is blank.

    mdatp health --field org_id
    
  2. Run the Bash script to install the configuration file:

    Sudo bash -x MicrosoftDefenderATPOnboardingMacOs.sh
    
  3. Verify that the device is now associated with your organization and reports a valid org ID:

    mdatp health --field org_id
    

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

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Run an AV detection test to verify that the device is properly onboarded and reporting to the service. Perform the following steps on the newly onboarded device:

    1. Ensure that real-time protection is enabled (denoted by a result of 1 from running the following command):

      mdatp health --field real_time_protection_enabled
      
    2. Open a Terminal window. Copy and execute the following command:

      curl -o ~/Downloads/eicar.com.txt https://www.eicar.org/download/eicar.com.txt
      
    3. The file should have been quarantined by Defender for Endpoint on Mac. Use the following command to list all the detected threats:

      mdatp threat list
      
  3. Run an EDR detection test to verify that the device is properly onboarded and reporting to the service. Perform the following steps on the newly onboarded device:

    1. In your browser such as Microsoft Edge for Mac or Safari.

    2. Download MDATP MacOS DIY.zip from https://aka.ms/mdatpmacosdiy and extract.

      You may be prompted:

      Do you want to allow downloads on "mdatpclientanalyzer.blob.core.windows.net"?
      You can change which websites can download files in Websites Preferences.

  4. Click Allow.

  5. Open Downloads.

  6. You should see MDATP MacOS DIY.

    Tip

    If you double-click, you will get the following message:

    "MDATP MacOS DIY" cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verifier.
    macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware.
    [Move to Trash] [Cancel]

  7. Click Cancel.

  8. Right-click MDATP MacOS DIY, and then click Open.

    The system should display the following message:

    macOS cannot verify the developer of MDATP MacOS DIY. Are you sure you want to open it?
    By opening this app, you will be overriding system security which can expose your computer and personal information to malware that may harm your Mac or compromise your privacy.

  9. Click Open.

    The system should display the following message:

    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint - macOS EDR DIY test file
    Corresponding alert will be available in the MDATP portal.

  10. Click Open.

    In a few minutes an alert named "macOS EDR Test Alert" should be raised.

  11. Go to Microsoft 365 Defender portal (https://security.microsoft.com/).

  12. Go to the Alert Queue.

    An macOS EDR test alert that shows severity, category, detection source, and a collapsed menu of actions

    Look at the alert details and the device timeline, and perform the regular investigation steps.

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 on macOS from client devices.