I have a handful of Mac's running Mavericks and up. Each Mac is generally used by 1-3 people. Each person is a member of a specific AD group.

Pre-deployment we added that AD group to the "Allow Administration By" field with "domain\groupname" format. Pre-deployment and shortly after deployment, the end users were able to administer the Macs without issue. They could escalate processes with their credentials.

Since then, none of the Macs recognize our users as administrators anymore, myself included (I'm in a separate AD group membership that was added at the same time). We then started going into each user profile and checking the "Allow user to administer this computer" checkbox, which again worked for a time but no longer does.

We have started falling back on the local administrator user account to manually authenticate when needed, but we're not able to share that password with end users.

The following link is what I used for reference: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202112

Is there something we're missing? Why would the administrative behavior work for a time then just stop?

Edit: This is not a duplicate to AD User as an administrator on the Mac?. I have tried all of the steps outlined in the link I originally referenced. The key issue is that I do actually get local administrator privileges for a short period, but then for some unexplained reason, all users but administrator lose their privileges and no longer escalate privileges.

  • This wasn't and still is no duplicate! But the wording of the catch line has to be improved...
    – klanomath
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


This sort of pain isn't practically avoidable. The solution is to unbind your macOS computers from the domain and use a product like Nomad or Apple Enterprise Connect to get the password sync, kerberos certificates that allow single sign on without all the pain of binding.

Alternatives are the open source Nomad (which exists alongside with it's commercial version Jamf Connect) and Enterprise Connect that integrates a local password without needing to bind to AD.

  • Thank you for the recommendations! I know Apple has always been rough with AD integration but I was hoping it was something I was doing wrong. In the small reading I did, it looks like my issue is related to mobile account creation on the local Mac when bound to a domain. What exactly is breaking I'm still not sure, but at least I know it's not just me. Thank you again! Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 14:57
  • No - AD binding up to around Catalina was a world of pain, you can sidestep it for a while or perhaps for ever, but most organizations / people eventually decide it's more hassle than benefit to bind over time as support costs erase any "gain" they thought they realized. Since Catalina both Apple and other vendors have really made it more attractive to browse files over SMB, bind lightly or tightly to AD and AD itself is now running in Azure in the cloud and many companies should re-evaluate this. Hobbyists, it’s still and time intensive hobby, but not clearly no longer a no/never situation.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 11:25

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