1. Introduction

The Backdrop macOS client is a cluster of applications that runs a number of system and user processes.

Once installed and enrolled it provides students with the freedom to explore the internet while empowering teachers to monitor, guide, and assist. The macOS client shares a live stream of the student's device with the teacher and allows them to perform the following actions. 


  • Send Message – Teachers can send a direct one-way message to the device 
  • Launch Website – Teachers can open a website on the device automatically 
  • Lock Screens – Teachers can lock the screen of the device
  • Internet Access – Teachers can disable internet access in browsers where Impero browser extensions are installed
  • Website Lists – Teachers can enforce allow and block website lists in browsers where Impero browser extensions are installed
  • Close Tab – Teachers can view open browser tabs lists and close open tabs in browsers where Impero browser extensions are installed
  • Broadcast Screen - Teachers can broadcast their screen to students or broadcast student to student.
  • Logout Device - Teachers can remotely logout the macOS device. This returns the student to the login screen and disconnects them from Backdrop
  • Google Meets - Teachers can invite the class to a Google Meets session that opens automatically on student devices
  • Switch Schools - The Backdrop client has the capability for students to be registered against multiple schools

1.1. System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for the client are:

  • macOS 10.14 or Higher (macOS Mojave)
  • Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (v77+ chromium)

1.2. macOS 10.14 supported devices

  • Late 2012 iMac or newer
  • Early 2015 MacBook or newer
  • Mid-2012 MacBook Pro or newer
  • Mid-2012 MacBook Air or newer
  • Late-2012 Mac Mini or newer
  • Late 2013 Mac Pro or newer (2010 or newer with Metal-ready GPU)
  • iMac Pro all models

1.3. Browser Extensions

Browser Extensions are required to perform the following actions and need to be installed to provide the full set of Classroom functionality.

  • Block Internet Access.
  • Allow/Block Website Lists.
  • View/Close browser tabs.

For more details on browser extensions, click on the following link:

To download the Chrome Extension, click on the following link:

1.4. Download Backdrop macOS Client

To download the macOS Client, click on the following link:

1.5. Release Notes - v00900

Major changes

  • First release of the Backdrop macOS client. 
  • Comes as a .dmg installation package supported by macOS 10.14 or higher.
  • Supports the full range of Impero Classroom features.
  • Currently no support for Impero Wellbeing features. (Wellbeing support will be added in a future release).


  • User friendly Installation Package.
  • School code registration form.
  • Username & Emoji login flow.
  • Automatic Login Identifier.
  • Send Message.
  • Launch Website.
  • Lock Screen.
  • Block Internet Access.
  • Allow/Block Website Lists.
  • View/Close browser tabs.
  • Broadcast Screen.
  • Logout Device.
  • Google Meets.
  • Switch School.

The macOS client changelog can be found at the following link: Impero Classroom - macOS Client Change Log/Release Notes

2. Installation

The following installation guides describe the process of installing the Backdrop macOS client.

2.1. Single Device Installation via Installer

1. Download the DMG file and run. Double click the Impero.pkg to begin the installation process.

2. The "Welcome to the Impero Installer" setup wizard is displayed.

3. Click on "Continue".

4. The Installer will display which disk it will install to and how much disk space it will use. Click "Install" to begin the installation process.

5. The installer now prompts for the username and password of the local administrator account. Enter these credentials and click on "Install Software".

6. Once the installation has been completed you are prompted to accept the "System Events" permission. This allows Backdrop to remotely log out the user from the device. Click on "OK" to this message.

7. Now that installation has been completed, click on "Close" on the Installer wizard.

8. The school code registration form automatically appears once the macOS client has started running.

9. Enter the school code the device is provisioning against and click on "Next".

10. The user login screen appears next. You see the name of the school you have provisioned against displayed. Enter the credentials to log a student in, found under "Access Details" on the student profile or "Login Details" under Administration.
If you are using automatic login identifiers then step 10 is skipped.

2.2. Mass Deployment Requirements

Mass deployment is the process of installing the Backdrop macOS client to many devices in a single action and providing school code and login details so that the client can connect to correct school and student without user interaction. The following lists the requirements needed to perform mass deployment of the macOS client.

1. The latest version of the Backdrop macOS client, Available here

2. The school code text file. This file will be used by the macOS client to automatically provision against a given school in Backdrop. It is a simple text file named "schoolcode.txt" that contains only the school code (see example below). The file must be placed in the following location before the installation package is running.
Volume Name>Library>Application Support>Impero>schoolcode.txt

Completing this step removes the school code registration screen from the setup process.

3. Automatic Login Identifiers. The students' macOS login username must be listed against their profile in Backdrop. These can be added during the onboarding process or individually on the student profile.

Completing this step will remove the user login screen from the setup process.

2.3. Permissions

2.3.1 - Screen Recording

The first time a macOS device is viewed in Classroom the Screen Recording permission will be triggered. This permission is required to share the screen of the device. It is a one-time permission that is accepted at the user level meaning each user on the device will get asked the permission individually. The client needs to quit and restart in order to use the permission.

1. Open System Preferences when the Screen Recording permission dialog appears.

2. You may be asked to enter your administrator username and password to change system preferences.

3. The "ImperoRelay" needs to quit and reopen in order to use the permission. Clicking on the "Quit & Reopen" button restarts the client.

4. Once approved the "Learners Relay" appears under the Privacy tab of system preferences.

3. Uninstallation

The following uninstallation guide describes the process of removing the Backdrop macOS client.

1. Download the Impero Backdrop Uninstaller tool here.

2. Extract the zip file and run the Impero Backdrop Uninstaller app.

3. The uninstaller now prompts you for the password of the local administrator account.

4. Delete any items labeled Impero from the Keychain Access app. (Optional)

4. Debug Logs

Debug logs can be accessed from the Mac console app. 

To open the Mac console app press command + space to bring up the spotlight and search for the console.

Click on "Start" to start capturing logs

once started click on Errors and Faults to see if there are any Backdrop faults or search for "Impero" to filter the console view.

To export,  highlight the logs and use the share function to exports to a note or to mail it.

5. FAQ and Troubleshooting

I am not being prompted to login, is the application working?

If you are using automatic log in you are not prompted to log in to Backdrop. Verify the website to see if you appear in the classroom.

If you are not using automatic log in and you are not prompted to appear. Verify that the Impero Daemon and Learners Relay processes are running in Activity Monitor.

Finally, verify your Internet connection. The software requires an Internet connection to work properly. If you have recently fixed a problem with your Internet connection, it is necessary that you restart your macOS device.

If you are still having problems, double-check that the user has the correct application permissions set as described in the installation steps.

I have checked the logs, the client is struggling to connect to IoTHub / Backdrop?

Double-check that the system has the correct Network Access.

Check that your 3rd party firewalls, MDM solutions, or Webcheck is not blocking the solution.

I can not see the live feed in Backdrop or broadcasting a student's screen does not work?

On the student's macOS device:

Verify that your 3rd party firewalls, MDM solutions or Webcheck is not blocking the Impero application.

If the macOS device's firewall is on, you might need to add the Learner's Relay application in as an exception:

Open System Preferences.

Click on the Security or Security & Privacy icon.

Select the Firewall tab.

Click on the lock icon in the preference pane, then enter an administrator name and password.

Click on the Firewall Options button.

Click on the Add Application (+) button.

Use the Finder to select the Impero application in the Applications folder.