Volume Purchase App Assignments

App distribution with Jamf Now is a simple process when you integrate with Apple's volume purchasing. Volume purchasing provides the best way for organizations to centrally purchase and deploy apps. When you purchase apps for managed distribution, your organization can assign apps to an employee's Apple ID or device while retaining ownership of the app. Jamf Now requires the use of volume purchasing to deploy paid iPad or iPhone apps, or any Mac or Apple TV apps.


For iPad or iPhone with iOS 12.3.x or earlier, users must delete built-in versions of the following apps on their devices before Jamf Now can manage the apps. After deletion, deploy apps using volume licenses via Jamf Now. Affected apps include: Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Garageband, iMovie, Clips, iTunes U, and Apple Store.

Devices that are open enrolled will prompt users to permit the installation of every new app that Jamf Now sends commands to install. It does not matter which app assignment type is selected. Device users of open enrolled devices must then approve each app in order for the app to be installed the first time.

Device-Based App Assignment

Jamf Now allows you to distribute apps directly to devices for managed distribution. When managed distribution is device-based, user registration with volume purchasing is not required and users do not need to provide an Apple ID. Apps distributed directly to devices do not appear in the user's own App Store purchase history and cannot be updated by users.

General Requirements
  • iOS 9 or later

  • macOS 10.11 or later

  • tvOS 9 or later

  • Straightforward deployment process (no invitation or Apple ID sign-in required)

  • Automatic app updates are managed by Jamf Now

  • Requires an app license for each device, even for one person with multiple devices

  • Apps assigned directly to a device will not be included in an iCloud or iTunes backup

  • If you assign an app to a specific device, the assigned app is not included in backups of that device

Apple ID-Based App Assignment

Jamf Now allows you to distribute apps to users with managed distribution. When managed distribution is Apple ID-based (user-based), it involves user registration and user assignments.


To accept Apple ID-assigned apps on Apple TV, users must associate their Apple ID with volume purchasing on another device using their same Apple ID (for example, an iPad).

  • Employees with multiple devices do not need multiple app licenses

  • Apps assigned to a user's Apple ID will appear in the Apple ID purchase history

  • Apps will automatically update with the Automatic App Updates device setting enabled

  • Apps are included in device backups along with the user's local documents and settings stored on that device

  • The user requires an Apple ID, and the owner of the Apple ID keeps the app

  • An administrator has to invite the user to accept the app

Changing the License Assignment Type for an App

Jamf Now allows you to distribute apps directly to devices or to users for managed distribution. You must select either device-based or Apple ID-based app assignment (also known as user-based app assignment). By default, new Jamf Now accounts are set to device-based app assignment.

  1. Log in to Jamf Now.
  2. Click More Settings.
  3. Click Apps.
  4. Select device-based or Apple ID-based app assignment under App License Assignment Type.
  5. (Optional) If Apple ID-based app assignment is selected, you can select the Invite users to associate their Apple ID with volume purchasing at time of enrollment checkbox.

    If selected, when a device enrolls, users signed in to the App Store on the device will automatically be prompted to allow "Apps and Books assignments" from your Jamf Now account. The user must agree to Apple's terms and conditions to receive apps.


    The invitation will only be sent when an Apple ID is signed in to the App Store. If a user cancels the invitation, you can manually send an invite to sync with Apple ID from the device dashboard.

    If deselected, users are invited to associate their Apple ID with volume purchasing before a volume purchased app is installed.

  6. Click Save Settings.
After updating your license assignment type, it may affect the number of licenses needed for your devices. Jamf Now will display the number of licenses needed for each app. If you do not have enough licenses, you will need to purchase additional licenses from Apple.