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Managing an App that is Currently Installed as an Unmanaged App


The Casper Suite v9.82 or later allows you to convert an app from an unmanaged state to a managed state after the app has been installed on a mobile device. This allows you to take over management for unmanaged apps that have already been installed.

Management occurs silently on supervised devices, and users are prompted to allow management on unsupervised devices. If the user declines to manage the app on their unsupervised device, they will be prompted to manage the app the each time the device checks in with the JSS until management is accepted.

The app will visibly update on the device when it is managed. In the JSS, the management action is displayed as an install command in the management history for the device.


  • Casper Suite v9.82 or later
  • Managed app requirements are met (For more information, see "Managed App Requirements" in the Casper Suite Administrator's Guide.)


  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.
  2. Click Mobile Devices at the top of the page.
  3. Click Apps. On a smartphone or iPod touch, this item is in the pop-up menu.
  4. Click the app you want to convert from unmanaged to managed.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. On the General pane, ensure that Make app managed when possible is selected.
  7. Select Make app managed if currently installed as unmanaged.
  8. Click Save. The app immediately becomes managed on supervised devices and will become managed on unsupervised devices when the user accepts the management prompt.

Additional Information

For more information about app management, see the "Understanding Managed Apps" section in the Casper Suite Administrator's Guide.

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SOLVED Posted: by joelande

Is the app deleted and reinstalled with this process?

Is there any potential for data loss?

SOLVED Posted: by St0rMl0rD

As far as I could see now, the app doesn't even reinstall, it just changes state from unmanaged to managed. I've only tested it with Adobe Acrobat Reader, and the user data stayed intact. I will test it more extensively further and will see.

SOLVED Posted: by St0rMl0rD

Also, as far as I know, the managed apps that are deployed directly to devices will not back up the data via iCloud (or iTunes), so manual ways of data backup have to be used for that.

SOLVED Posted: by cdenesha

If a dev is watching this thread - I wish instead of 'Install App' it placed 'Convert App to Managed' in History. It is a small thing so I'm not creating a Feature Request.

SOLVED Posted: by BVikse

Does converting an app to managed consume VPP licenses? Is this different for paid or free apps?

SOLVED Posted: by BVikse

I emailed my TAM and got the following:

In my testing if the user already owns the app, it does not take up a license from the JSS when the app becomes managed.

I'll add the following caveat: If the app is already installed without an associated Apple ID, such as Pages or Keynote that are automatically installed on all new iPads, it will consume an MDM license. I am not sure if this happens whenever the app is scoped to the device or when the app becomes managed.

SOLVED Posted: by cdenesha

I don't think managed vs. unmanaged has anything to do with the licensing - just how it is installed and how data is managed. Your allocated VPP Managed Licenses are all based on Scope, not how many are installed.

Thus, on the Mobile Devices side, if in the app configuration you check 'Assign VPP Content' it will assign a license to every iPad in scope, regardless of whether it is already installed or not. This is why you don't see the license count change when an Unmanaged app becomes Managed. Also, when the new iPad with Pages on it is scoped for Pages, that is when the license is allocated.

On the Users side, if in the VPP Assignment you scope to certain users then that is how many licenses you have allocated. There is no checking to see if the user already owns it.

SOLVED Posted: by sstungate

So if i am correct..If an app like Keynote is installed before you go through the VPP Fulfilment then you get the license for this and select the "Make app managed if currently installed as unmanaged" check box then the user will not get prompted to input an Apple ID on the iPad when they open the app if the iPad is supervised.

SOLVED Posted: by cdenesha

@sstungate Correct they already have it installed and will not be prompted. (Behind the scenes they will have been allocated a license even though they already own it, but that doesn't get in the way.) Of course, now that it is Managed.. when you unscope them from the app it will be removed from their iPad.

SOLVED Posted: by sin27

"and will become managed on unsupervised devices when the user accepts the management prompt"

What happens when a user rejects the management prompt? User cannot access the app anymore?


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