When Apple releases a major operating system update, a small number of users may find that their device management solution stops working. In most cases, this isn't really a problem, just a license condition that needs to be resolved.

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Set a journal date for terms and conditions and other settings

Apple frequently asks its customers to agree to new terms and conditions (T&Cs) when major operating system updates are rolled out. You probably had to agree to new terms and conditions when you upgraded to iOS 16 or macOS Ventura.

The problem with managed device fleets is that if they are not approved, certain features may stop working. Fortunately, you can easily get your systems back up and running in Apple Business Manager.

If you open Apple Business Manager with administrator access, you'll find a setting that allows you to accept all recently published terms and conditions. This isn't such a strenuous requirement, since you're not expected to touch to approve permissions for each device; You only need to agree to each set of new terms once to approve them across all of your managed Apple devices. . Another benefit is that your users won't be required to approve the request themselves on their own device; You will have already validated the new T&C from the console.

If you don't approve, things can go wrong.

The problem is that until these terms and conditions are approved, your fleet may not be responsive, newly purchased app licenses may not be available, or newly added devices may be invisible in Apple Business Manager. If you're having any of these issues, it's worth opening Apple Business Manager in administrator mode and making sure you're up to date with your terms and conditions approval. Your admins should have been notified of the change, so this isn't a problem for most people, although you may still encounter it occasionally, when new staff members take on Mac admin roles, for example.

Once you've approved the T&Cs, you should find that your MDM system starts working normally again, although it may take a bit of time for the change to proliferate throughout the system.

There are other permissions that Apple administrators may need to remember to update each year. Device enrollment, Apple Push Notification Service (APN) certificate, and app and book tokens require special attention. In most cases, your MDM system should tell you when such an update is needed. But even the best systems have flaws (often when alerts pop up when key staff members leave or take up new positions); You can fix the problem by renewing your APN certificate from the same Apple ID you used to create it in the first place, or by following the instructions in Apple's MDM server setup or "server token" guides in apps and books.

In the latter case, you should find the settings you need to adjust in Preferences > Payments & Billing > My Server Tokens.

The method in madness

The need to update permissions and approve terms and conditions might seem a bit tedious, but there's an opportunity locked in the process: every time you approve things, you also have the option to review how permissions are assigned. This isn't much of a problem in terms of device management, since you'll likely be aware of which devices they're assigned to, but it can provide a small benefit in terms of software licenses, since you can identify which licenses aren't have. no longer need to assign.

The main lesson is the same as always: when things go wrong, don't panic, just check that all your settings are up to date. Device management is like security, after all, nine times out of 10, the biggest problems revolve around human error. These are the problems you can't easily solve and that require you to maintain the skill base you need to keep your systems up and running when something more important goes wrong.

Additional improvements in macOS Ventura

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