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M1 Silicon macOS and Recovery


Apple M1 devices require an alternate method for Recovery Mode and other considerations may need to actioned.

FileWave has seen instances where M1 macOS devices are no longer accessible after the first reboot following DEP enrolment.  It is believed the trigger for this experience is centred around the Admin account having never logged in.

Erasing M1 devices

It is possible to use Apple Configurator to Restore Apple Silicon M1 macOS devices.  This requires a second device along with the listed details from Apple's KB:

  • Up to date Apple Configurator App
  • Network access to Apple
  • USB-C to USB-C cable (supporting both power and data)

Apple's guidelines should be followed to restore the device

Activation Lock

If Activation Lock was enabled on the device, then the above process will block access to the device once recovered; a request to enter Apple ID and password will be presented.  However, it is likely there is no Apple ID associated to the device.  In this instance Recovery Mode should be used to access the menus to add in the appropriate Bypass Code.

The ByPass Codes are available from the FileWave Admin Assistants drop down menu:

  • Activation Lock Management

Recovery Mode

M1 Silicon devices have a newer method to boot into Recovery Mode; hold down the Power Button until the screen displays: 'Loading startup options'

To enter the Activation Lock code:

  • Choose 'Recovery Assistant'  from the Menu Bar
  • Select with MDM key
  • Use the key from the Admin console Activation Lock Management window for this device

At this point the device should be accessible again and a fresh enrolment may be actioned.

Failure to Personalise

There is an additional issue that Apple have identified:

  • "An error occurred while preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again."

Again, Apple have a KB on this issue:

The previous startup keys combinations used for Intel macOS devices do not apply to M1 Silicon macOS devices: