Managed Device Required
Using this feature requires the device to be managed by Kolide. Please consult the Apple MDM article for details on compatibility and how to enroll the device under management.
What Does Remote Erase Do?
When a Mac receives the erase command the following will occur:
- The device will immediately show a loading / spinner icon in the center of the screen for a few seconds and then shut down.
- As soon as the device shuts down, all data on the internal HDD of the device is erased and cannot be recovered.
- When the device is rebooted, it will either show a question mark on top of a folder (shown below), or boot into recoveryOS (if the device has Apple Silicon).
A Note About Additional Partitions
If a Mac has additional partitions (such as a Windows NTFS Bootcamp partition) on the primary internal disk, the data on these partitions will also be erased. With that said, the partition table will not be touched, so when the Mac is setup again, you may want to remove the unused partitions using the Disk Utility app so you can utilize the disk space again.
How To Initiate Remote Erase
Remote Erase is considered a Sensitive Device Action and requires informed consent.
To Remote Lock a Device, simply follow these steps:
- Go to Inventory, choose a Mac you'd like to remotely erase and click its name to go to the device's detail page.
- Click the Actions menu in the upper-right corner and choose Remotely Erase...
- Click the Contact button to initiate the informed consent flow. Once the device owner approves, the device will be immediately erased.
How To Prepare an Erased Mac for a New User
Remotely erasing a Mac is the fastest way to ensure the data on the device cannot be accessed by an unauthorized third-party with access to the device. With that said, it does not put the Mac in a suitable state where it can be easily setup by a new user.
To prepare the Mac, simply re-install macOS by following the instructions from this Apple Support article.
If You Cannot Reinstall macOS on an Apple Silicon Mac After Erasing
In Kolide's testing, re-installing macOS on the M1 can sometimes fail for a variety of reasons. Depending on your issue, you may be interested in looking at the following external resources which may help you get the Mac in a suitable state for re-installation.
- If you get a personalization error when reinstalling macOS on your Mac with Apple M1 chip - Apple Support
- Error! If trying to Reinstall macOS Big Sur On Apple Silicon Macs - Mr. Macintosh
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out via Intercom, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or feedback regarding this feature.