Update OS on Apple devices

Using the Update OS Version command, you can update the operating system (OS) on Device Management for Apple (DMA) enrolled devices.

The Update OS Version command updates software on Mac computers, iPhones, iPad tablets, and Apple TVs. The command is supported on macOS 13+ and iOS 16+, but it may be compatible with older releases.

To send the Update OS Version command to DMA enrolled devices, your user role must have the Update OS Version permission enabled. For more information see the Device Management for Apple section in the Permissions Dictionary.

Update OS Version command considerations:
  • DMA sends commands to instruct the device to download and/or install available updates. We cannot guarantee that the Apple device will obey and fulfill the commands.
  • Depending on the device configuration and enrollment, the end user may need to enter their admin credentials to run the command.
  • We tested the command with macOS 13 Ventura and iOS 16, where the process is most mature. The command may succeed on previous OS versions, but the latest OS version is downloaded and installed. For example, if you run the command on macOS 12, and it succeeds, it updates to macOS 13.4. Each older OS decreases the likelihood of proper function.

Update the Apple OS version on a device

  1. In the left-hand navigation menu, click Views > All Devices.

  2. Select the checkbox(es) next to the device(s).

  3. Select DMA> Commands > Update OS Version.

    The Commands option is available when a device is enrolled in Device Management for Apple.

  4. Select an update option.

    When an unsupervised device receives the Update OS Version command, the user is prompted for action rather than the command simply performing the action.

  5. If prompted, review the OS command notice and select Yes, I understand.

    The command is sent to the device. The action is completed or queued for processing, and the result is returned to N-central where you can view it in the Command log.

Update options

Option Note
Download or install the update, depending on the current device state This option lets the OS decide which action to take based on whether a user is logged in and working or based on its configuration. This is the safest option and is considered the default option.
Download the latest update without installing it  
Download the latest update and trigger the restart countdown In iOS and tvOS, this installs a previously downloaded software update.

In macOS it downloads the software update and triggers the restart countdown notification via Notification Center.

Download the latest update and notify the user via the App Store Only available for macOS.
Download or install the latest update, force a restart if required This option lets the OS decide which action to take based on whether a user is logged in and working, or based on its configuration, but also make a device restart mandatory.

Only available for macOS.

Updated: Mar 26, 2024