Resources for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS

Applies to:

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Collecting diagnostic information

If you can reproduce a problem, increase the logging level, run the system for some time, and restore the logging level to the default.

  1. Increase logging level:

    mdatp log level set --level debug
    Log level configured successfully
  2. Reproduce the problem

  3. Run sudo mdatp diagnostic create to back up the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint logs. The files will be stored inside a .zip archive. This command will also print out the file path to the backup after the operation succeeds.


    By default, diagnostic logs are saved to /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/wdavdiag/. To change the directory where diagnostic logs are saved, pass --path [directory] to the below command, replacing [directory] with the desired directory.

    sudo mdatp diagnostic create
    Diagnostic file created: "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/wdavdiag/"
  4. Restore logging level:

    mdatp log level set --level info
    Log level configured successfully

Logging installation issues

If an error occurs during installation, the installer will only report a general failure.

The detailed log will be saved to /Library/Logs/Microsoft/mdatp/install.log. If you experience issues during installation, send us this file so we can help diagnose the cause.


There are several ways to uninstall Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS. Note that while centrally managed uninstall is available on JAMF, it is not yet available for Microsoft Intune.

Interactive uninstallation

  • Open Finder > Applications. Right click on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint > Move to Trash.

Supported output types

Supports table and JSON format output types. For each command, there's a default output behavior. You can modify the output in your preferred output format using the following commands:

-output json

-output table

From the command line

  • sudo '/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/uninstall/uninstall'

Configuring from the command line

Important tasks, such as controlling product settings and triggering on-demand scans, can be done from the command line:

Group Scenario Command
Configuration Turn on/off real-time protection mdatp config real-time-protection --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off cloud protection mdatp config cloud --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off product diagnostics mdatp config cloud-diagnostic --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off automatic sample submission mdatp config cloud-automatic-sample-submission --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Add a threat name to the allowed list mdatp threat allowed add --name [threat-name]
Configuration Remove a threat name from the allowed list mdatp threat allowed remove --name [threat-name]
Configuration List all allowed threat names mdatp threat allowed list
Configuration Turn on PUA protection mdatp threat policy set --type potentially_unwanted_application -- action block
Configuration Turn off PUA protection mdatp threat policy set --type potentially_unwanted_application -- action off
Configuration Turn on audit mode for PUA protection mdatp threat policy set --type potentially_unwanted_application -- action audit
Configuration Turn on/off antivirus passive mode mdatp config passive-mode --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Configure degree of parallelism for on-demand scans mdatp config maximum-on-demand-scan-threads --value [numerical-value-between-1-and-64]
Configuration Turn on/off scans after security intelligence updates mdatp config scan-after-definition-update --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off archive scanning (on-demand scans only) mdatp config scan-archives --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off file hash computation mdatp config enable-file-hash-computation --value [enabled/disabled]
Configuration Turn on/off data_loss_prevention mdatp config data_loss_prevention --value [enabled/disabled]
Diagnostics Change the log level mdatp log level set --level [error/warning/info/verbose]
Diagnostics Generate diagnostic logs mdatp diagnostic create --path [directory]
Health Check the product's health mdatp health
Health Check for a spefic product attribute mdatp health --field [attribute: healthy/licensed/engine_version...]
Protection Scan a path mdatp scan custom --path [path] [--ignore-exclusions]
Protection Do a quick scan mdatp scan quick
Protection Do a full scan mdatp scan full
Protection Cancel an ongoing on-demand scan mdatp scan cancel
Protection Request a security intelligence update mdatp definitions update
EDR Set/Remove tag, only GROUP supported mdatp edr tag set --name GROUP --value [name]
EDR Remove group tag from device mdatp edr tag remove --tag-name [name]
EDR Add Group ID mdatp edr group-ids --group-id [group]

How to enable autocompletion

To enable autocompletion in bash, run the following command and restart the Terminal session:

echo "source /Applications/Microsoft\" >> ~/.bash_profile

To enable autocompletion in zsh:

  • Check whether autocompletion is enabled on your device:

    cat ~/.zshrc | grep autoload
  • If the preceding command does not produce any output, you can enable autocompletion using the following command:

    echo "autoload -Uz compinit && compinit" >> ~/.zshrc
  • Run the following commands to enable autocompletion for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS and restart the Terminal session:

    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions
    sudo ln -svf "/Applications/Microsoft" /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_mdatp

Client Microsoft Defender for Endpoint quarantine directory

/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/quarantine/ contains the files quarantined by mdatp. The files are named after the threat trackingId. The current trackingIds is shown with mdatp threat list.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint portal information

EDR capabilities for macOS have now arrived, on the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint blog, provides detailed guidance on what to expect in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Security Center.