imessage

AlanB
New Contributor

Our school is one to one in the middle school using MacBook air laptops (most are running Sierra but we will soon upgrade to Mojave). We are having issues with students using Imessage during class time. Is there a way to block all student devices from using the app?
By the way, I am a novice at these things.

Thanks for any help,

Alan

8 REPLIES 8

Matt_Roy93
New Contributor III

Hi Alan,

You could add this to your "restricted software" list within Jamf Pro-Computers, type the name of the application(messages.app) and you can select the "kill process" option to actively close it if the user tries to launch messages.

Eyoung
Contributor

Messages.app can be added to the restricted software list. Computers/Content Managment/Restricted Software.

Note that this will not block them using iMessages via the notifications pane. They cotton on to that really quick.

Anyone find a way to kill just iMessage traffic?

jared_f
Valued Contributor

I wouldn’t bother with restricted software, use Apple’s parental controls and block the iMessage path, assuming the students aren’t admins they cannot bypass it.

Malcolm
Contributor

its not full proof if the user dups imessage to their desktop and renames the app and opens it, it wills till work

you can restrict their user rights to the folder ~/Library/Messages
and it will simply never load.

summoner2100
Contributor

I go a full block on iCloud for student labs and block the preference panel with a policy. Don’t want multiple users etc with multiple icloud options. Keeps it tidier. Staff have a different policy and I let them, but they are usually only single players on machines

Mostly because I don’t want Apple to put something in place similar to iCloud lock on iPhone.

Sure most likely won’t, but the students can still access via iCloud.com

This may need to be discussed and inform people if you decide to do that though

pkerobinson
New Contributor II

Blocking access to iCloud prefs doesn't prevent users from logging in to Messages directly. Also, using a Restricted Software profile doesn't work quickly enough to prevent students from using the app. There's enough time between opening and the process being detected and killed for them to type/paste a message. I've remotely observed a student doing exactly this. Not to mention that they can just reply to the notification.

SCADtom
New Contributor III

Just some feedback from experience: I was in a 1to1 iPad G-Suite district where we blocked everything that wasn't education related. Students would create a Google Doc and share it to their friends. School approved chat! And of course, O365 has the same problem.
Lesson learned - the technology department can only go so far to enforce what is ultimately a classroom management problem. It took me a couple of years to get administration to understand the real problem.

In addition to blocking the app with the restricted software settings, you can push out a script to enable Do Not Disturb. Since you can schedule DND via the System Preferences > Notifications, and you can hide that preference pane, I am looking into deploying that solution.

summoner2100
Contributor

@pkerobinson True enough.. The alternate approach to Restricted Software Profiles is to run a bash script during machine setup that sets the message app to restricted usage with chmod commands, and don't let users run it