Sync macOS Passwords with AD

Written by Ryan Squires on October 21, 2019

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In the beginning, there were just a few Macs at an organization, so IT was able to manage the credentials of Mac users manually. But today, 72 percent of enterprise users prefer Macs. What was once a small problem has scaled. While some IT admins have tried to address it by purchasing add-ons to Active Directory, others are finding better luck by looking outside of the AD paradigm altogether. Regardless of what you choose, there is a better way to enable your end users to manage their Active Directory password from their macOS system.

It Starts With AD

Most IT organizations already have Microsoft® AD in place. As the on-prem, legacy leader in directory services for nearly 20 years, it makes sense that the majority of IT environments are based on it. Unfortunately for IT admins, AD does not work well with macOS devices — or non-Windows based resources for that matter. As a result, the problem for IT admins becomes how to onboard and manage Apple user accounts on an ongoing basis. Of course, connecting a Windows®-based system to AD is relatively straight forward, but with macOS devices, IT admins need to be more involved; the same goes for users. 

For example, there are ways to manually provision Mac users / systems and bind them to AD. Once the macOS systems are bound, IT admins have a few ways to sync macOS passwords with AD. One option they have is to ask their end users to go to a web service designed to update AD passwords.  Another method is to purchase enterprise-class, third-party software that sits on each macOS endpoint. Users can then use that software to sync their password back to AD. 

Unfortunately, most of these approaches involve extra cost, integration work, and end-user effort. For IT organizations that want to avoid a lot of overhead, a next generation cloud identity management platform is emerging that considers macOS and Linux systems first-class citizens — just like Active Directory treats Windows systems. 

Intro to AD Integration and macOS Password Sync

With a proper AD Integration platform, IT admins can seamlessly provision, deprovision, and modify user access while also enabling end users to update their passwords directly from their macOS devices. Linux users, on the other hand, simply change their password from an online user portal and the password gets updated in AD. In short, IT admins stand to gain a significant amount of time back by not having to field the same old password change support tickets and end users will not be frustrated getting logged out of their IT resources.

AD Integration Is More Than macOS Passwords

Ultimately, for organizations that require AD on-prem, this AD Integration platform essentially helps IT organizations wring out all the ROI that they can from their existing infrastructure. Without the need for additional software solutions or on-prem servers, AD Integration empowers IT organizations to utilize their AD credentials for more than just Windows-based resources. 

When you extend Active Directory password sync via this SaaS-based identity management solution, your users access networks via RADIUS, web applications, file servers, and their systems (Windows, macOS, and Linux) with the same credentials stored in Active Directory. And when a user changes their password via their system or user portal, that change propagates to all of the resources that this tool manages.

Learn More About AD Integration Today

If you’re eager to sync macOS passwords with AD, plus a whole lot more, contact an AD Integration expert today. We’re ready to help. 

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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