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This feature allows upgrading an iPad running iPadOS 15.0.2 to iPadOS 15.1 while the most recent update is 15.3. This functionality is supported on iOS, tvOS, iPadOS, and macOS


To allow this to happen you need to be MDM enrolled and Supervised. If your Mac is not Supervised, you'll be limited to scanning OS Updates without the possibility to install them. The client (fwcld) is who decides whether or not the OS Updates should use the new system. It is enabled by default on macOS BigSur 11.0. On macOS Catalina 10.15 you can force enable it by running the below command, but do not do this on anything older than 10.15. To make sure that setting is used, check for the message "Checking Software Update from the installer packages for this mac is disabled. This should be done via MDM." in fwcld.log.

Code Block
sudo defaults write /usr/local/etc/fwcld softwareUpdateMacForceViaMDM -bool YES

The Fileset creation

Like for other software update Filesets, you will create these from the Software Update Dialog in the macOS MDM section. You can see that it will only list the ones that are reported, like iOS. The other thing worth noting is that it does not download anything to the FileWave server, so the size is only informative (it will be what is downloaded directly by the device).

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Once the Fileset is created, you can do the same process as for the "old" software updates: you can approve it and set it to automatic deployment


FileWave server will regularly check Apple GDMF service to know the list of available updates for each device. Make sure to read and follow Apple documentation related to network requirements. GDMF service provides the following information:

  • Posting date
  • Expiration date
  • List of supported devices

For instance, the following shows extract for iOS 15.3:

Code Block
        "ProductVersion": "15.3",
        "PostingDate": "2022-01-26",
        "ExpirationDate": "2022-05-11",
        "SupportedDevices": [

An iPad running iPadOS 15.2.1 will report the following:

Code Block
			<string>iPadOS 15.3.1</string>

This allows FileWave to propose all possible updates for the device, not just the last one:

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You can now follow the usual process : create fileset, approve the update, associate the update for any intermediate version.


Unfortunately, GDMF and device-reported updates do not share the same Product Identifier. This is the reason why both GDMF and device-reported updates are listed in the Software Update assistant.

titleRelated Content

MDM Software Update Changes