macOS Upgrades and Updates Using a Mass Action Command

You can update macOS on an individual computer or group of computers by sending a mass action command to computers. You can use a mass action command to update macOS on target computers with macOS 10.11 or later, supervised or enrolled via a PreStage enrollment in Jamf Pro. This method is recommended for computers with Apple silicon to install macOS updates without the need for a user with volume ownership privileges to authorize the updates using their password. Instead, macOS requests a previously-escrowed Bootstrap Token from Jamf Pro to authorize the update.

For more information on volume ownership and Bootstrap Tokens, see Use secure token, bootstrap token, and volume ownership in deployments in Apple Platform Deployment.

To use the mass action command workflow, you need to identify target computers. You can do this using one of the following methods:

  • Simple search

  • Advanced search

  • Static group

  • Smart group

Note:

You can increase software download speeds for computers when content caching from Apple is enabled on your network. For more information, see Intro to content caching in Apple Platform Deployment.

Best Practice:

Using an Advanced Search to Identify Target Computers

Best practice workflows cover common scenarios; however, the following recommendations may not apply in your environment.
Create an advanced computer search similar to the following to find and target managed computers with a macOS version lower than the desired target version:
Screenshot of criteria for an advanced search with the first criteria set to Supervised is Yes, and the the second criteria set to Operating System Version less than 13.0.

Updating macOS by Sending a Mass Action Command

When you use a mass action command in Jamf Pro to update the operating system for computers not using the desired macOS target version, a workflow is initiated where multiple commands are used to query the device for available updates before a specific macOS update is scheduled in a separate command.

Target computers are instructed to scan for available software updates. Between 5-7 minutes after the scan is initiated, an AvailableOSUpdates command is queried. Then, Jamf Pro sends a ScheduleOSUpdate command.

For more information about how Jamf Pro manages software updates, see About software updates for Apple devices in Apple Platform Deployment.

Important:

Scheduling a macOS update with a mass action command overrides any deferral restrictions that may have been enforced by a configuration profile.

Requirements
  • Jamf Pro 9.96 or later

  • Target computers with macOS 10.11 or later, supervised or enrolled via a PreStage enrollment in Jamf Pro

  • A valid push certificate in Jamf Pro

Note:

To have the update for computers with Apple silicon (i.e., M1 chip) installed automatically without user interaction, a Bootstrap Token for target computers must be escrowed with Jamf Pro. macOS will automatically request the Bootstrap Token from Jamf Pro to authorize updates that were scheduled to install.

  1. In Jamf Pro, click Computers at the top of the sidebar.
  2. Click Search Inventory in the sidebar.
  3. Select the name of the advanced computer search you created earlier.
    Note:

    If you created a smart computer group or a static computer group instead, navigate to the applicable group in the side bar.

  4. Click View.
  5. Click Action.
  6. Select Send Remote Commands.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Under Remote Commands, select Update OS version and built-in apps.
  9. Select one of the following for Target Version:
    • To schedule updates for the latest non-major macOS version a computer reports as available, select Latest version based on device eligibility. To schedule updates for the latest major macOS version a computer reports as available, select the Include major updates, if available checkbox.

    • To schedule updates for a specific macOS version, select Specific version and select the version from the pop-up menu.

      Note:

      Updating to a specific macOS version requires computers with macOS 10.15 or later. The version selected must be available and compatible for the target computers to install successfully.

  10. Select one of the following for Install Action:
    Important: When deploying a macOS upgrade that uses a full macOS installer (i.e., a major OS upgrade), select the Download and install the update, and restart computers after installation install action. Selecting a different install action will cause an error when sending the mass action command.
    • To download the update on computers for users to install, select Download the update for users to install.

    • To allow macOS to download and schedule an automatic update, select Download and allow macOS to install later. To specify the number of times a user can defer the update from being scheduled, enter an integer between 0–99 in the Max User Deferrals field.

      Important:

      When you configure the number of times a user can defer the update from being scheduled, enforcing the macOS update requires macOS 12 or later. Earlier versions of macOS will attempt to schedule an update without deferral options to enforce it.

    • To download and install the update on computers automatically, select Download and install the update, and restart computers after installation.

  11. To issue the remote command, click Next.
    Important:

    Computers may not install an update if there is not enough storage space to complete the update. Additionally, a scheduled update may not initiate until a computer is connected to power with at least 50 percent of battery power available.

  12. Click Done.

Install Actions Available in Jamf Pro

The following table lists the install actions and where they are available in Jamf Pro.

For information on the user experience of different install actions, see Installing software updates and upgrades in Apple Platform Deployment.

For information on deploying macOS upgrades and updates using the Jamf Pro API, see macos-managed-software-updates in the Jamf Pro API Reference.

Apple Install ActionWhere Available in Jamf ProNotes

DownloadOnly

  • Individual computer management commands*

  • Computer mass action commands

  • Jamf Pro API

InstallLater (includes MaxUserDeferrals key)

  • Computer mass action commands

  • Jamf Pro API

Requires macOS 12 or later. Earlier versions of macOS will attempt to schedule an update without deferral options to enforce it.

InstallASAP

  • Individual computer management commands*

  • Computer mass action commands

  • Classic API

  • Jamf Pro API

When targeting a major macOS upgrade, InstallASAP is the only install action compatible with full installer applications. Choosing a different install action may cause an error when sending the command.

InstallForceRestart

Jamf Pro API

Warning:

InstallForceRestart may result in data loss.

* When updating macOS using individual computer management commands, Jamf Pro will schedule the latest available non-major update. To specify target versions, deploy updates using computer mass action commands or the Jamf Pro API.