How to deploy WhatsApp on macOS using Intune

WhatsApp is a messaging application that allows users to send text messages, make voice and video calls, share multimedia content (such as photos, videos, and documents), and engage in group chats.

In the upcoming sections of this blog post, we’ll explore how to deploy this app on Mac devices using the Intune admin center. Let’s dive into the steps:

STEP 1 – Download WhatsApp DMG Installer

  • Click on the “Download” button under the “Mac” section to download the WhatsApp desktop DMG file.
Download WhatsApp DMG Installer
Download WhatsApp DMG Installer
  • You’ll find a file named “files-WhatsApp.dmg” in your Downloads folder.
Download WhatsApp DMG Installer
Download WhatsApp DMG Installer

STEP 2 – Create an App Deployment

To create an App deployment for WhatsApp on the Intune admin center, follow the below steps:

  • Sign in to Microsoft Intune admin center
  • Click on Apps > macOS > macOS apps
  • Click on + Add to start the creation of the deployment
  • App type: macOS app (DMG)
  • Click on the Select button to proceed

App Information tab

To get started, click on “Select app package file” to choose the .dmg application installer. Locate the app package file, and then click the “OK” button to proceed.

Browse to file-WhatsApp.dmg to create a deployment
Browse to file-WhatsApp.dmg to create a deployment
  • Name: Provide a unique name of the application.
  • Description: Provide a description of the application.
  • Publisher: Provide the publisher’s name.

The remaining information is optional to fill out. Nevertheless, if you have all the details about this application, it can be valuable for other team members to gain a better understanding of the application and could prove useful in troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

App information tab settings for deployment of WhatsApp using Intune admin center
App information form

Requirements

In the requirements tab, select Minimum operating system as a condition for application installation. Click on Next to proceed.

Detection rules

In the Detection rules tab, Select Ignore app version to No. Provide CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values for WhatsApp.

To learn about how to retrieve CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values, you can refer “More Information” section at the end of the blog post. You can also read more about “Ignore app version” in that section.

For more detailed information on how to find CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values, please refer to the post titled “How to Deploy DMG Apps on macOS Devices Using Intune

CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString
Detection Rules for WhatsApp deployment using Intune admin center
Detection Rules for WhatsApp deployment

Assignments

Click on Add group to add an Azure AD group containing macOS devices.

Assignment of WhatsApp application on macOS devices from Intune admin center
Assignment of WhatsApp application

Review + create

Review the deployment and click on Create to start the deployment process.

Sync Intune Policies

The device check-in process might not begin immediately. If you’re testing this policy on a test device, you can manually kickstart Intune sync either from the device itself or remotely through the Intune admin center.

Alternatively, you can use PowerShell to force the Intune sync on Windows devices. Another way to trigger the Intune device check-in process is by restarting the device.

Monitor Deployment Progress

You can monitor the application deployment from the Intune admin center by navigating to Apps > macOS > selecting the specific application. The Overview page will display the installation status, similar to what is shown in the screenshot below.

If you face any issues or experience deployment failures, you can click on “Device install status” or “User install status” to access more detailed information about the error description and error code, helping you troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Monitoring WhatsApp application deployment from Intune admin center
Monitoring WhatsApp application deployment from the Intune admin center

End-user Experience

To check if the deployment is completed successfully, follow the below steps:

  • Go to Finder > Go > Applications
  • Look for the WhatsApp Application Icon as confirmation of the deployment.
WhatsApp application has been installed successfully on macOS device using intune
WhatsApp application has been installed successfully

macOS Intune deployment troubleshooting

If you face any problems when deploying the application, you can check the ‘IntuneMDMDaemon*.log‘ and ‘IntuneMDMAgent*.log‘ files for more information. For guidance on locating these files on a macOS device, you can refer to my previous blog post titled How To Collect Intune Logs From a macOS Device.

WhatsApp application deployment Intune logs in IntuneMDMDaemon.log file
WhatsApp application deployment Intune logs in IntuneMDMDaemon.log file

How to Uninstall WhatsApp from macOS using Intune?

Having gone through the steps to deploy the WhatsApp application on macOS devices using Intune, you might also encounter the need to uninstall this application.

There could be various reasons for this, such as the application no longer being used in your organization or specific users opting not to have it on their devices. Let’s check the steps:

  • Login on Microsoft Intune admin center
  • Click on Apps > macOS > macOS apps
  • Click on the Application deployment for WhatsApp
  • Click on Properties under Manage
  • Click on Edit next to Assignments

In the Assignments tab, you can include an Entra ID/Azure AD group that contains users or devices in the “Uninstall assignment” section. However, it’s important to ensure that the same user or device is not included in the “Required” section as well. Failure to do so could result in the application going into a loop of automatic installation and uninstallation.

Uninstall WhatsApp on macOS using Intune admin center
Uninstall WhatsApp on macOS using the Intune admin center

More Information

1. About Ignore App version setting

If you’re interested in understanding the “Ignore App Version” setting, you can follow the guidance below:

  • Select Ignore app version = Yes If you want to app to be Installed when it’s not found on the target device. If the app is already there but the version number is different, it will be ignored and the app will not be deployed.
  • Select Ignore app version = No If you want to app to be Installed when it is not found on the target device or the app version you are deploying is different than the one already installed on the target device.
Ignore App version setting
Ignore App version setting

In general, when deploying a self-updating application such as Google Chrome or Zoom, you should set “Ignore the app version” to “Yes“.

Please note that If you have disable AutoUpdate setting for self-updating apps, then can set “Ignore app version” to “No“. I have provided more detail about it in my other blog post: How to deploy Zoom using Intune.

Note

2. Steps to Retrieve CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString

To retrieve these details, you can install WhatsApp (the same one you intend to deploy through Intune) on a test Mac device and then use the following commands in the macOS terminal to obtain this information:

defaults read /Applications/WhatsApp.app/Contents/Info CFBundleIdentifier
defaults read /Applications/WhatsApp.app/Contents/Info CFBundleShortVersionString
Find CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString Information using macOS terminal
Find CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString Information using the macOS terminal

If you do not prefer macOS terminal to find this info, then you can also use Finder app to locate Info.plist file for WhatsApp. You can use below steps to locate this file:

  • Go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder…
  • Search for /Applications/WhatsApp.app/Contents/ path.
  • Double click on searched path and find Info.plist file in Contents folder.
  • Double-click on the file and search for CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values in the file.
Info.plist file for WhatsApp application
Info.plist file for WhatsApp application
  • Search for CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString and Find their values. For WhatsApp application CFBundleIdentifier is WhatsApp and CFBundleShortVersionString is 2.2333.11.
  • Please note that these values could be different for you depending upon the version of WhatsApp you are deploying. Please make sure to check these values (CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString) and provide it in the detection rules.
Finding CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values in Info.plist file
Finding CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString values in Info.plist file

Conclusion

In this blog post, we’ve covered the process of deploying the WhatsApp application on macOS devices using Intune. If your organization decides to discontinue the use of this application, you can efficiently uninstall it by targeting the devices through the “Uninstall assignment” section of the application. Installation of WhatsApp on the target device typically took a couple of minutes after forcing the device check-in from the Company Portal app.

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