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Agent Enrollment vs Profile Enrollment

Meraki Systems Manager can enroll many different operating systems, but each platform may require different enrollment methods to get the most out of Systems Manager. This guide will cover the two methods: agent installs and enrollment profiles, and the features associated with each of them. For steps on how to enroll a device, see this article.

Operating System Compatibility 

Although MDM profiles are used for most devices, desktop versions of Windows and macOS support an agent enrollment as well, which runs a service in the background of your enrolled device. The agent and profile are not mutually exclusive, you can enroll a device using either method or with both. Note that Windows 7 and 8 as operating systems do not support MDM profiles.



Enrollment Profile




Windows 10

Windows 8

Windows 7

Windows Phone 10

Windows Phone 8.1


How to Enroll

You can enroll your devices from m.meraki.com. You can also download the agent install file necessary for your operating system from Systems manager > MDM > Add Devices. Please view our detailed guide on how to enroll every operating system for all the necessary steps. 

Agent vs Profile Features

The agent and profile each enable different sets of features on your devices. For full functionality on Windows 10 desktops and macOS devices, we recommend enrolling through both methods whenever possible.

The key differences: software installer and remote desktop require the agent to be installed, and installing MDM profiles (wireless, VPN settings, etc.) require the management profile. See a full comparison of features, including various MDM commands below.

  Windows Profile Windows Agent

macOS or iOS 

Unsupervised  Profile

macOS (DEP) or iOS 

Supervised Profile

macOS Agent

Push MDM profiles



Lock Device



Selective Wipe



Erase Device



Fetch process list



Command line



Network stats






Remote Desktop



Power Control



Install Software Binaries     ✅**       ✅**

Send Notification



Install OS updates




Activation Lock/Bypass



* Installing OS updates on iOS requires DEP supervision specifically, and will not work with Apple Configurator supervision.

** Filetypes are OS Specific: Windows may install .exe or .msi files, macOS may install .pkg or .app encapsulated inside a .dmg image.

Auto-installation of macOS Agent

MacOS agent can be pushed down as an application to macOS devices that have gone through profile enrollment. This can help streamline the enrollment process of macOS devices, ensuring that both profile and agent are installed on the device. The agent will appear as an application under Systems manager > Apps and can be pushed down to devices once it has been scoped.


For seamless deployment of the agent on initial setup of macOS devices, devices enrolled into DEP can be pre-tagged to push down the macOS agent.

Note: The agent application will be unscoped by default.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 1.33.18 PM.png

Checking Enrollment Status on Dashboard

For Windows desktop and macOS devices, there are a few ways to check whether a device has the management profile installed, agent installed, or both.

Client Details

After selecting a client, scroll down to the 'Online status' section. A device with the agent installed with show 'Last online' here. A device with the management profile installed will show "Last check-in'. Devices enrolled through both methods will show both lines, as in the below image.


You can also tell how a device was enrolled based on the MDM commands available. With just the management profile installed, you'll see:

With both the profile and agent installed, you'll see:

Clients List

On the Systems manager > Clients page, click the '+' sign at the top right, and add the 'Managed?' column to the table. Devices that are enrolled with 'Managed? No' are enrolled through the agent, and do not have a management profile installed.

Checking for Management Profile on Devices 


For iOS, the enrollment profile is stored in Settings > General > Profiles & Device Management > Meraki Management.

In addition to the Meraki Management enrollment profile, you can also add the Meraki Systems Manager app to iOS, which allows some additional features to be enabled, including Backpack, GPS tracking, Push Notifications, and much more. 


For macOS, the enrollment profile is stored in System Preferences > Profiles > Meraki Management.


For Android, the enrollment profile is stored within the Meraki Systems Manager app > Configuration.

Windows 10

For Windows 10, the enrollment profile is stored in Settings > Accounts > Work Access.

Windows Phone 10

For Windows Phone 10, the enrollment profile is stored in Settings > Accounts > Work Access.

Windows Phone 8.1

For Windows Phone 8.1, the enrollment profile is stored in Settings > System > Workplace.

Checking for the Agent on Devices

The agent is a process that will be running in the background on macOS and Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

To confirm that the agent is running on macOS and view the Meraki agent's log file, run the following command in Terminal:

tail -f /var/log/m_agent.log

If you see logging information being generated for today's date, your Meraki agent is currently running!

To confirm that the agent is running on Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7, view the Meraki agent's log file by opening m_agent_service in this directory:


If you see logging information generated for today's date, your Meraki agent is currently running! 


For extra Windows agent running confirmation you can also find the m_agent_service running with the Task Manager:

What about Chrome OS?  

Chromebooks are enrolled through the Google Admin Console with API access enabled. If you are interested in managing your Chrome OS devices, please view our documentation on enrolling Chromebooks into Meraki Systems Manager

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