Configure automatic updates or manually push updates to device-based VPP applications at the application level. This feature offers management of updates by AirWatch or allows you to push updates as a way to control application versions.

This feature does not work for managed distribution by Apple ID. The VPP application must be enabled for device-based distribution, also called distribution by device serial number. For general information about the managed distribution method by device serial number, see Managed Distribution by Device Serial Number . This topic includes supported operating systems, benefits, and the need for no VPP invitations.


Custom B2B applications and non device-based VPP applications are tagged as Not Applicable. These types of VPP applications are not supported for this feature.

System Behavior on Initial Setup

The system does not automatically queue application installation commands at the time you first configure Enable Auto Updates. Initially, AirWatch stores the currently available version number from the App Store in the database. As this is the initial version being recorded, it does not automatically trigger application upgrades.

When a newer version becomes available in the future, the AirWatch system that canvases the App Store for updates records that new version in the database. At this point, AirWatch can automatically trigger install commands for devices to perform application updates.

Enable or Push an Update

Enable automatic updates or push them manually. Disabling automatic updates and pushing them manually allows you to control what application versions are on devices.

  1. Navigate to Apps & Books > Applications > Native > Purchased.
  2. Select a device-based VPP application.

    The system displays the Enable Auto Updates option.

  3. Select to Enable Auto Updates.

    If you disable automatic updates, you can select Update App to push an update to devices if there is an update available.

Use Filters to Find Applications and Perform Tasks in Bulk

Use the Auto Update filter or the Update Status filter to find and act on applications.

Filter Example

Use these filters to enable automatic updates on multiple applications.

  1. Filter the Purchased tab by Auto Update > Disabled and Updated Status > Update Available.

    AirWatch displays the application results.

  2. Select all listed applications with the bulk-selection check box.

    This action triggers the UI to display the option to Enable Auto Updates.

  3. Select Enable Auto Updates to enable the feature in bulk.

Other bulk options include Manage Devices, Sync Licenses, Disable Auto Updates, Update App, More Actions > Notify Devices, and More Actions > View Events.

Update Notifications

Configure AirWatch to notify you about updates using the notification icon and email.

Notification Icon

The AirWatch Console sends notifications when it identifies an update. The bell icon in the upper right of the UI displays the number of notifications you have. Select the bell icon and look for the App Update Available notification.


If you prefer notification by email, select the Account Settings icon, which resembles a gear, at the bottom of the notifications window. Edit the Notification options.

Convert Non Device-Based Applications to Use the Feature


You cannot reverse an application back to the Apple ID-managed distribution system (user-based). Do not convert applications if the Apple ID is needed to manage your VPP applications.

If you want to use this feature on non device-based VPP applications, you can use the Enable Device Assignment option on the Assignment tab in the application's record. Select it to convert the application from the user-based (Apple ID) managed distribution system to the device-based method.

The system checks for updates every 24 hours by default. AirWatch identifies newly converted applications with the Pending Check status. After the system updates the application, it changes the status to Update Pushed.