Managed OS Overview

Learn how to configure and leverage Managed OS

What is Managed OS? 

Managed OS is a feature in Kandji that allows an admin to specify and enforce a specific (or latest) version of macOS with similar simplicity to our Auto Apps feature. 

What kind of macOS updates can I manage? 

With managed OS Kandji allows you to fully enforce a minimum OS version. This provides support for upgrading for both minor releases (such as 10.15.1 -> 10.15.4) and major macOS upgrades (such as upgrading from macOS Mojave 10.14 to macOS Catalina 10.15.4).

This feature does not support or enforce downgrading macOS versions

This feature does not currently support supplemental updates 

Important Deployment Consideration:

If this your first time enforcing a minimum macOS version on your fleet, we STRONGLY recommend using the Manually Enforce Minimum Version option and set the enforcement deadline to at least 5 days away. Users will start receiving update notifications 5 days prior to the enforcement deadline. 

If you choose to use the Automatically Enforce New Updates option (and set it to 2 weeks as an example), and Apple hasn't released an update in the last 2 weeks, at the next check-in all of your macOS devices will show the 30-minute countdown immediately requiring end users to update and restart. 

Configure Managed OS

Deploying and enforcing an OS version is as easy as adding an Operating System to your Library and assigning it to a blueprint. Follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Library in the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. Select Add New in the upper right-hand corner.

  3. Scroll down to the Operating System section, and select your desired OS.


Configuring Managed OS

  1. Assign the Managed OS to a Blueprint.
  2. In the configuration page, select an option for Version Enforcement.
    Available options include:
    1. Do Not Manage: This option will not manage os updates.
    2. Automatically Enforce New Updates: This option will allow you to pick a default time frame for when new releases will be enforced. This time frame is calculated based on the date Apple released the upgrade/update. 
    3. Manually Enforce Minimum Version: This option allows you to specify a specific version of macOS, as well as the date by which users must upgrade. 
  3. If you select Manuall Enforce Minimum Version which we recommend, at least if its the first time your managing OS updates for your Mac devices. You will see the Minimum Version option to select a macOS version to enforce. 
  4. Select an Enforcement Deadline this the day by the minimum macOS version must be met or the update will be enforced. Updates will cache and your end-users will begin getting prompted to update 5 days prior to the enforcement deadline.
  5. Select an Enforcement Time Zone this time zone will be used to determine when to enforce the update. 
  6. Select an Enforcement Time this will be the exact time of day that the update is enforced, the enforcement will be determined server-side based on the previously selected Enforcement Time Zone
  7. Save


End-User Experience with Managed OS

Since deploying a Managed OS has the potential to notify end-users of available macOS updates and upgrades (as well as forcibly restart their Mac) it is important to understand what your end-users may experience. 

Update Notifications

End-users will receive a banner notification starting 5 days before the enforcement deadline.


The banner notification has these available actions:

  • Learn More: The Kandji Menu Bar App will open to the Update Info page. 
  • Remind in 1 hour: The end-user will receive the banner notification again in 1 hour. 
  • Remind Tomorrow: The banner notification will be hidden for 1 day before the end-user is prompted again.

Updating macOS inside the Kandji Menu Bar App

End-users will notice that the Kandji Menu Bar App has a red dot indicating an action is required. This indicator will begin to appear 5 days prior to the Enforcement Deadline.

When clicking on the Kandji Menu Bar App dropdown, end-users will see the available macOS update and its version. 

The update will be visible in the Kandji Menu Bar App starting 5 days prior to the enforcement deadline. 



Update Info: Once an end-user clicks the Learn More option from the banner action menu,
or after clicking the available update in the Menu Bar app, they will be presented with the update information and the option to start the update immediately. Once the end-user clicks Start Now all open apps will be forcibly closed and kept closed until the update is finished. 



Install in Progress: After an end-user starts an update via the Kandji Menu Bar App they will be shown the following Install in Progress window. The Mac will automatically reboot to complete the update installation. 


Enforcement Deadline Reached

Once the Enforcement Deadline is reached, the Kandji Menu Bar app will open, displaying a 30-minute countdown that the end-user needs to close all programs and save their work.

If the end-user does not click Start Now by the end of the countdown Kandji will forcibly close all apps and begin the upgrade. 



5 Minute Warnings
: After the 30-minute countdown starts, if the end-user closes the Kandji Menu Bar app, they will receive a banner notification every 5 minutes notifying them that their Mac will restart soon, with the option to open the timer.