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I used to work for a company that provided me a Mac (M1Pro). The company went out of business and let us keep the Mac computers. They told us they would remove all the MDM enrollments so we can freely do whatever we want with it.

It's been two years since; a coworker reached out last week telling me he was selling his Mac. After erasing it, he got an Activation Lock screen similar to this:

enter image description here

Now I'm worried they forgot to remove the MDM from my Mac too, so I'm terrified of erasing it.

If I run sudo profiles status -type enrollment I get:

Enrolled via DEP: No
MDM enrollment: No

If I run sudo profiles show -type enrollment I get:

Error fetching Device Enrollment configuration: Client is not DEP enabled.

I also checked in System Information → Profiles and it's empty:

enter image description here

and System Information → Managed Client and it's also empty:

enter image description here

Do you think I'm safe to factory reset it?

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  • I just want to make sure I'm looking at the right place and there is nothing else to check.
    – Andres
    Feb 27 at 12:37

1 Answer 1

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Activation Lock ≠ MDM Enrollment

The screen grab you provided shows that the Mac has Activation Lock enabled. Activation Lock is used to protect your device and in conjunction with the Find My service. It can be used by any entity; from large enterprises to a student’s personal laptop. You just enable it with your Apple ID credentials.

From Apple Support:

Activation Lock helps keep your Mac secure, even if your Mac is lost or stolen, and can improve your chances of recovering it. With Activation Lock, your Apple ID password or device passcode is required before anyone can turn off Find My, erase your Mac, or reactivate and use your Mac. Even if you erase your Mac remotely, Activation Lock can continue to deter others from reactivating your Mac without your permission. All you need to do is keep Find My turned on and remember your Apple ID and password.

Mobile device management (MDM) is a feature and a service used by IT departments to secure a device not just from being stolen but managing what is installed and ensuring compliance with company policies.

MDM and Activation Lock are mutually exclusive

It is entirely possible to not be enrolled in MDM, but have Find My service enabled simultaneously. The companies IT person could have legitimately enabled activation lock using a different Apple ID than yours.

If this is the case proof that you genuinely own the Mac. You will need to provide this to Apple for them to remove the activation lock. Ideally, it would be better to contact the former IT person and have them remove the lock for you. See Request additional support for unlocking your device to begin a support request.

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  • Thanks for the great reply! I have Find My configured on the mac, is it possible that there are two Find My activated on the same Mac? If I restore my mac I guess it will ask my credentials then?
    – Andres
    Feb 27 at 14:12
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    There is only one. If you disable it prior to erasing it, you won’t get the Activation Lock screen at all.
    – Allan
    Feb 27 at 14:15

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