Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) Installation and Onboarding (macOS)


  • How do I install and onboard MDE on macOS?


  • Oregon State University
  • OSU owned machine
  • macOS version must be 10.14 (Mojave) or newer --> Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, (and soon Monterey).


This process involves running a script in Terminal and will need an admin user.

MDE installation and onboarding files are available via (OSU Login Required)

Approximate time to plan for this: the first time might take up to 15 minutes, but full time to process - including downloads/installs - is closer to 5 minutes (assuming decent network connection).


Install Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

  1. Make sure Python is installed; if not, install it
  2. Install wdav.pkg from the Box link (follow all the prompts).
  3. You will need to open Security Preferences.
  4. You will need to open System Preferences > Security & Privacy. Select Details and choose both options listed.
  5. You will need to allow full disk access to Microsoft Defender ATP and Microsoft Defender ATP Endpoint Security Extension via System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy
  6. Drag the ‘’ script from the Downloads folder to whatever location you want to run it from.
  7. Open Terminal.
  8. Find the path of the script in step 2; you can do this by selecting option + right click on the file + “Copy as…….pathname” which will copy it to clipboard; or you can drag the file into Terminal to see the path.
  9. Use cd to navigate to the directory where the python script is located; if you’re not sure of directory options, ls will show you all available options. (Example: if it’s on the desktop, you’d enter cd Desktop to switch to the desktop).
  10. Then type in  python3  (or whatever version of python you installed) and copy in the file name from step 5 to run the script. Follow all prompts, and then you should see the MDE icon in the upper right of the menu bar now has a checkmark on it, instead of an X.


Once it’s set up, you can test how it’s working by running this in Terminal: mdatp connectivity test

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Article ID: 133114
Thu 7/8/21 4:08 PM
Mon 12/20/21 4:16 PM