Learn how to use Apple Configurator to deploy copies of paid apps using redemption codes purchased from the Volume Purchase Program (VPP).
Apple Configurator can install free apps from the iTunes Store and enterprise apps that have embedded provisioning profiles. It can only install paid apps from the iTunes Store when you import a spreadsheet of valid Volume Purchase Program (VPP) redemption codes downloaded from the VPP portal by a registered VPP program facilitator or authorized purchaser.
The Volume Purchase Program is only available to eligible education and business users in certain countries. For information about the Apple Volume Purchase Program for Education, see The Apple Volume Purchase Program. For information about the Apple Volume Purchase Program for Business, see App Store Volume Purchasing for Business.
If you are not eligible for a Volume Purchase Program, you cannot use Apple Configurator to install paid apps from the App Store, but you can still use all other functions of Apple Configurator.
Purchasing VPP apps
Purchase VPP apps on the Mac where you will run Apple Configurator. Do not use the same VPP spreadsheet on more than one computer.
If you use the same spreadsheet on more than one computer running Apple Configurator, codes that are deployed on one computer will not be available on others.
If you are purchasing redemption codes that will be managed on more than one Apple Configurator computer, you should break up your purchase so that you download one spreadsheet for each computer.
If you already have a single spreadsheet that contains codes to be used on more than one computer, you can download additional copies of the spreadsheet from the Volume Purchase Plan website. Open each spreadsheet and delete some of the codes from each copy of the spreadsheet. Make sure that each code exists in only one copy, then distribute the copies to the Apple Configurator computers.
If you do not already have a copy of the app on your computer, use the first redemption code in your spreadsheet to purchase it in iTunes. After using this code, re-download the spreadsheet and import it into Apple Configurator again. This allows Apple Configurator to automatically reassign this code to one of your devices.
Use an Apple ID that is not the ID of the VPP program facilitator or designated purchaser to log into the iTunes Store. Enter this same Apple ID if Apple Configurator prompts you when importing an app or installing an app to a device. Make sure your Mac is authorized to use purchases made on this iTunes Store account. iTunes allows you to use the same Apple ID on up to five computers.
Adding apps to Apple Configurator
You can import a purchased app into Apple Configurator using the + button in the App panel. Or, you can select the app in iTunes, Control-click and select Show in Finder, then drag it into the Apple Configurator App panel or onto the Apple Configurator icon in the Dock.
After adding a paid app to Apple Configurator, import VPP codes for it. Click the indicator with the numeral 0 in it to reveal the VPP Code Management sheet and click Import Redemption Codes…, then select the spreadsheet containing your redemption codes. The redemption codes will be listed in the second column.
Installing apps to devices
You can install a purchased app on as many devices as you have redemption codes. Each time you install an app on a device, Apple Configurator marks one code as redeemed (it becomes grey and a checkmark is placed next to it). That code cannot be used again.
If a code is found to be invalid (has already been redeemed or is not a legitimate code) it will appear dimmed (grayed out) with a checkmark but with an explanatory note in its tool tip.
When an app is installed on a device, Apple Configurator records the name and serial number of that device. If the app is deleted from that device, Apple Configurator will reinstall the app on that device without using another redemption code.
Removing apps from devices
If you use Apple Configurator to remove a redeemed VPP app from a supervised device, Apple Configurator marks the corresponding redemption code as available. It can be reassigned to a different device supervised by this copy of Apple Configurator for this Mac only. It is not available for redemption by other Macs or iOS devices.
If you unsupervise a supervised device, all apps will be removed from the device and the redemption codes used to install those apps will be marked available for reassignment. If you simply remove a device record from Apple Configurator, the redemption codes for any apps on that device will not be available for reassignment.
The list of redemption codes cannot be edited. However, you can add new codes to the list by importing additional spreadsheets.
The database in which Apple Configurator records the use of redemption codes is your only record of the valid use of those codes. Be sure to maintain a backup of the Mac on which you use Apple Configurator.
If you lose the Apple Configurator database, your users will retain rights to use the apps already installed on devices, and you can reimport any spreadsheets to install additional apps on devices using unredeemed codes. But if an app is deleted from a device after you lose the database, Apple Configurator will be unable to determine the device’s rights to that app, and you will need to redeem another code in order to reinstall the app.