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. It was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and it quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity, user-friendly interface, and focus on providing a secure and private communication platform.
One of the key features that set WhatsApp apart is its end-to-end encryption, which ensures that only the sender and the recipient of a message can read its contents, making it difficult for third parties, including WhatsApp itself, to access the messages.
There are many ways to use WhatsApp application on a Mac device. You can use web version of WhatsApp or you could also Install it as an application which is a desktop version of WhatsApp application.
To be able to deploy WhatsApp on your organization devices, macOS devices must be enrolled into Intune. Recently, I have provided steps on how to deploy Microsoft Edge and Google chrome application on macOS devices using Intune.
Before we can create deployment of WhatsApp using Intune admin center. We need to download the app first. Let’s check the steps:
How to download WhatsApp DMG Installer file for Mac devices
WhatsApp Installer is available in as a DMG file which can be downloaded using below steps:
- On your Mac device, Open any web browser and go to https://whatsapp.com/download
- Click on Download button Under Mac to download WhatsApp desktop DMG file.
- A file named files-WhatsApp.dmg will be saved in your Downloads folder.
Steps to deploy WhatsApp desktop on Mac devices using Intune
We will use the DMG Installer file for deploying WhatsApp on macOS devices. By following the steps outlined below, you can successfully deploy WhatsApp Desktop on Mac devices using Intune.
- Login on Microsoft Intune admin center
- Click on Apps > macOS > macOS apps
- Click on + Add to start the creation of deployment
- App type: macOS app (DMG)
- Click on Select to proceed
- Click on the link Select app package file and browse to WhatsApp DMG file
On App information page, some of the information will be pre-populated for you. You can modify any information you like and click on Next to proceed. Below is a summary of what information is available from App information tab:
- Name – Provide a unique name of the application. This name will show up on the Company portal app
- Description – You can use this field to provide your users with Information / Instructions which could help end users while Installing and managing this application from Company portal app
- Publisher – This is to Identify the publisher of the application. This information should be pre-populated for you. Publisher also shows up on Company Portal for the app
- Category – You can choose a category to organize application on the company portal app
- Information URL – This provides information about the application. You can provide a link which user’s can click on to get more information about this application
- Privacy URL – Provide a link here which users can click on and find information about Privacy settings and Policies.
- Developer – Provide a name of the company or a person who has developed this app
- Owner – Provide a name of the person who manages this app in your organization. This could be IT team name or an Individual who manages licensing etc
- Notes – Provides additional information about this app which could be helpful for the users
- Logo – Upload a logo that’s associated with the app. This logo will appear next to the app on Company Portal.
In the requirements tab, select Minimum operating system as a condition for application installation. As all of my organization’s devices are on macOS Ventura 13.0. I will be selecting this option. Click on Next to proceed.
In the Detection rules tab, Select Ignore app version = No. You can make a selection based on below criteria:
- Select Ignore app version = Yes If you want to app to be Installed when its not found on the target device. If the app is already there but the version number is different, it will be ignored and app will not be deployed.
- Select Ignore app version = No If you want to app to be Installed when its not found on the target device or the app version you are deploying is different than the one already Installed on the target device.
Generally when you are deploying a self updating application like Google chrome or Zoom, you should select Ignore the app version to Yes.
In the Included apps section, Provide App bundle ID (CFBundleIdentifier) and App version (CFBundleShortVersionString) information of the app. To find CFBundleIdentifier and CFBundleShortVersionString information, you can Install WhatsApp dmg file (the same file you are deploying via Intune) on a test mac device and then use below commands on macOS terminal to find this info:
defaults read /Applications/WhatsApp.app/Contents/Info CFBundleIdentifier
defaults read /Applications/WhatsApp.app/Contents/Info CFBundleShortVersionString
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
CFBundleShortVersionStringvalues in the file.
- Search for
CFBundleShortVersionStringand 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.
Below screenshot shows the configuration of WhatsApp Detection rules. Ignore app version is selected as No. App bundle ID and App version information is also populated. Once you are happy with the config, Proceed to the next step.
There are only two group assignments options. Required and Uninstall. Click on Add group and select an Azure AD group containing users or devices. If you prefer a more controlled deployment to specific devices only, then make sure to only add macOS devices in the Azure AD group. Once your testing is successful and you want to deploy this application on all Organization devices, you can click on + Add all devices.
Review + create
On Review + create page, review the app deployment information and click on Create to finish.
Intune Policy Refresh Cycle
The Device will Sync / Check in to start the app deployment process. It may take some time for the process to start. Therefore, if you are testing it on a test device, you can force initiate Intune refresh cycle on macOS device which will speed up the process. You can also use Powershell to force initiate Intune refresh cycle.
Also, you can restart the device first which also starts the device check-in process. Manual sync is not mandatory on user’s devices as the device check-in process happens automatically. But if you are testing this app deployment on a test device then this can speed up your testing and can save some time.
End user Experience
Let’s check the end user experience and see if the application is Installed as per the app deployment. After the device check-in process completes, the application will be installed on the device. You can go to the Applications directory to find WhatsApp in the list.
Finder > Go > Applications
Monitor app deployment using Intune admin center
You can monitor the app deployment from Intune admin center. Go to Apps > macOS > click on the application > Overview page will show the status of Installation similar to as shown in below screenshot.
In case of any issues or deployment failures, you can click on Device install status or User install status to know more details about the error description and error code.
macOS Intune deployment troubleshooting
If you face any issues with application deployment, you can refer to IntuneMDMDaemon*.log and IntuneMDMAgent*.log files. To find out the more information about how to locate these files on macOS device, you can refer to my other blog post: How To Collect Intune Logs From MacOS Device.
How to Uninstall WhatsApp from macOS using Intune
As you have seen the steps to deploy WhatsApp application on macOS devices using Intune. You may have a requirement to Uninstall this application. This could be due to several reasons e.g. The application is not in use anymore in your organization or there could be few users who do not want this application on their devices.
Whichever is the case, you can easily remove this app from user’s Mac devices using Intune by following below 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
On the Assignments tab, you can add an Azure AD group which contains users or devices under Uninstall assignment section. Please make sure that that user or device is also not included in Required section as well. Otherwise, application could go in a loop of Install and Uninstall automatically.
- Click on Review + Save when you are fine with the configuration. This will start Uninstallation of WhatsApp application from user’s devices.
In this blog post, we have seen how to deploy WhatsApp application on macOS devices using Intune. If your organization stops using this application then you can easily Uninstall the application by targeting the devices using Uninstall assignment section of the application. WhatsApp installation on the target device took couple of minutes after forcing the device check-in from Company portal app.