Moving from User- to Device-based Volume Purchasing Assignments

Device-based volume purchasing assignments (also referred to as "VPP-managed distribution") allow you to distribute apps directly to a computer or mobile device without requiring an Apple ID. This is an ideal model for organizations that assign one device per user, or organizations that assign many users per device. This model is not ideal for organizations that assign multiple devices per user.

Note:

If multiple devices in your environment share the same Apple ID, ensure that you have enough managed distribution licenses for an app before you move from user- to device-based assignment for that app.

If your organization is currently using user-based app assignments, you can use the workflow in this article to move to device-based assignments. The transition involves the following steps:

  1. Verifying that the apps are device-assignable

  2. Turning off notifications

  3. Revoking apps from users

  4. Assigning apps to devices

To ensure that the transition process goes smoothly, it is recommended that you move your apps to device-based volume purchasing assignment during a time when there is low activity on the Jamf Pro, and avoid revoking and reassigning all of your apps on the same day.

Note: Using user- and device-based app assignments in the same environment can make app management complex, especially with multiple administrators. It is recommended that you use one model or the other.

General Requirements

  • Computers with macOS 10.11 or later and/or mobile devices with iOS 9 or later

  • A volume purchasing account set up in Jamf Pro

  • App Store apps or VPP store apps (including custom B2B apps) purchased through Apple's Volume Purchasing

Step 1: Verifying that Apps are Device-Assignable

Not all apps support device-based assignments. Use Jamf Pro to verify whether an app is device-assignable.

  1. Log in to Jamf Pro.
  2. Navigate to the appropriate App Catalog:
    • For macOS apps, click Computers at the top of the page and then click Mac App Store Apps.

    • For iOS apps, click Devices at the top of the page and then click Mobile Device Apps.

  3. Click an app and then click the Managed Distribution tab.

    If the app is not device-assignable, a message similar to the following displays: "Content not available to assign to mobile devices".

Alternatively, you can verify whether an app is device-assignable in Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager by searching for the app and viewing its information. "Device Assignable" is displayed below the app name if the app supports device-based assignments.
App details view in a distribution portal

Step 2: Turning off Notifications

When an app is revoked from a user, the user is notified that the app is no longer assigned to them. Turn off that notification so users are not notified.

  1. Log in to Jamf Pro.
  2. In the top-right corner of the page, click Settings.
  3. Click Global Management.
  4. Click Volume Purchasing.
  5. Click the account and then click Edit.
  6. Deselect Notify users when an app is no longer assigned to them and then click Save.

Step 3: Revoking Apps from Users

  1. In Jamf Pro, click Users at the top of the page.
  2. Click Volume Assignments.
  3. Click the assignment and then click Edit.
  4. Click the Scope tab and remove users from the scope as needed.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click Search VPP Content in the sidebar and search for the apps that were revoked.
  7. Refresh the page to see the number of apps in use decrease.

Step 4: Assigning Apps to Devices

  1. In Jamf Pro, navigate to the appropriate App Catalog:
    • For macOS apps, click Computers at the top of the page and then click Mac App Store Apps.

    • For iOS apps, click Devices at the top of the page and then click Mobile Device Apps.

  2. Add a new app or edit an existing one.
  3. Click the Scope tab and add devices to the scope.
  4. Click the Managed Distribution tab and select Device Assignments.
  5. Select Assign VPP Content.
  6. Choose a VPP account and click Save.