Disable the Data & Privacy prompt on macOS Mojave

Let’s say you are managing a Mac remotely via TeamViewer. When adding a new user next to an existing one, once you login into the new user, you will only see a black screen. If you access this Mac via Apple Remote Desktop however, you will see the Data & Privacy, Sign In with Your Apple ID, Enable Siri and Choose Your Look setup windows.

For some reason TeamViewer is not able to transfer the display content at this stage.

Here’s how to disable these setup steps (you should already have one existing user on the Mac):

create a new user by going to Apple… System Preferences… Users & Groups
we assume the new user is called user2 and you are user1 with admin rights

fire up Terminal and switch to root user:

sudo su
(enter your own password when asked – you need to have admin rights)

Now we will copy the com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist file from your Preferences folder to user2

cp /Users/user1/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences/

and another file too:

cp /Users/user1/Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences/

let’s go to that folder:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences

if we take a look at the permissions of the files:

ls -l

we will see the following:

-rw——- 1 user2 staff 164 Aug 15 13:55 .GlobalPreferences.plist
-rw-r–r– 1 user2 staff 20480 Aug 15 13:55 com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV2
-rw——-@ 1 root staff 1286 Aug 15 13:55 com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 326 Aug 15 13:55 com.apple.scheduler.plist
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 125 Aug 15 13:55 com.apple.screensaver.plist
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 326 Aug 15 13:55 com.apple.symbolichotkeys.plist
-rw——-@ 1 root staff 288 Aug 15 13:55 loginwindow.plist

Note that the owner of the copied files is root, and that would result the OS to ignore these preference files when logging into that user, as User2 has no permission to read them.

Let’s change the ownership of the files to user2:

chown -v user2 com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist
chown -v user2 loginwindow.plist

If you have opened these two files just to see what’s inside, then Finder already added some extended attributes to them – note the @ sign in the above list. We better delete these:

xattr -rc com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist
xattr -rc loginwindow.plist

If you login to the new user, all the setup windows should be skipped and the settings that were stored in com.apple.SetupAssistant.plist while User1 was created be used by the OS.

There’s also a scriptable solution for this problem here.

And if you are using JAMF then checkout this.