Installing VPP Apps with Meraki


 Deploying your Apps with VPP is relatively straight forward – though there are some things to be aware of to make the process run smoothly.

Assuming that everything is set up and ready to go with your solution. There are 4 steps!

  1. My List of Apps
  2. Purchase Licences
  3. Deploy Licences to Users
  4. Deploy Apps to the iPad

Please see the attached downloadable guide that will walk you through the process.  This guide has the same instructions as below, with easier to read illustrations.


Assuming that everything is set up and ready to go with your solution. There are 4 steps!
In this example we use Meraki – but this may apply to other systems.

  1. My List of Apps
  2. Purchase Licences
  3. Deploy Licences to Users
  4. Deploy Apps to the iPad

Apple wants every device to have an Apple ID.  Normally a user has their own device, but in schools we often have devices shared to many students.  For this reason we create generic Apple ID’s unique to the iPad. 

Where students have their own device for a period (or school life), or staff get assigned an iPad – then the recommendation is for users to create their own Apple ID.  This ID can be kept for life and disassociated with the school at a later date.

We use a utility created for the community to assist with the deployment.  Create a free account on

The reason we use this utility is because ;

  • A list of Apps can be created (by an admin or teacher that can later be added into the system)
  • The list links directly to the VPP easing the purchase of licences
  • The list clearly states the App ID Number, which is used in the App Deployment step.
  • Also a major benefit is that if you are supplied the list in this format, there is no mistake what App the school has asked for as there are sometimes many versions at different cost for some apps.

It is important to note that a Licence needs to be assigned to the Apple ID, before the App is deployed to the device.  If it is done the wrong way around the App will be deployed before the user has the licence – and in this case the user would be prompted to sign in and make the purchase. You do not want this to happen!

Also at this time, In-App Purchases are not compatible with the VPP programme. So where possible buy apps that are fully functional.  An example would be an app called ‘Puppet Pals’ where a free version exists (this may suit the school) and to upgrade the app you need to make in-app purchase which is incompatible with VPP.  However the developer also provides a paid app which is fully functional bypassing the need for in-app purchase.

Step 1 : My List of Apps

My list of Apps is FREE and easy to use.  It doesn’t need much explaining!

Go to

  • Creating an account is free
  • You can create as many lists as you need to.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_2_Image_0002


If you want you can even embed the lists on your website – this could be useful for communicating apps with your parents / peers.

You can make lists of:

  • iPad Apps
  • Mac Apps
  • Ebooks

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_2_Image_0004 iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_2_Image_0006


Step 2 : Purchase Licences

Now that you have your List of Apps we can start making purchases of licences (this applies to Free apps also).    

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_3_Image_0002

Apple-VPP-LogoNote the Volume App Symbol.   This will link us directly to the purchase page in the VPP where we can obtain licences.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_3_Image_0004

There are two very different ‘Distribution Types’. It is important to select ‘Managed Distribution’ for the type of deployment we are doing in this example.

Continue to make the purchase – make sure you are signed in with your supplied VPP account.

You will need a credit card, alternatively you can get VPP credit from us.

Step 3 : Deploy Licences

Now that you have your licences. Log into your Meraki Account.

Go to the VPP Tab.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_4_Image_0002

You should see all your licences as the example below.   

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_4_Image_0004

The licences automatically get imported in to Meraki every day – but you can force a sync if you need things to be quicker.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_4_Image_0005

If we set your system up we have already imported all of your users (Apple ID’s) – if you are doing this yourself you will need to import, invite, wait for users to accept, and possibly tag users if you need to arrange them in groups (e.g. Student/Staff/Cart #).

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_4_Image_0007

You can change the Scope & Auto Management – First select the Licences you wish to affect.  By doing this you can assign licences in bulk. iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_5_Image_0002

Alternatively you can click on the licence and manually apply.

We recommend that you wait a little before moving straight to the next step, just to give time for the licences to get assigned.

Step 4 : Deploy Apps 

Go to the Apps Tab.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_6_Image_0002 

There are 3 options – for normal apps for iPad Select ‘iOS app’

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_6_Image_0004

Click on ‘Add new’. – Selecting the iOS app option.

The following search box will appear:

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_6_Image_0006

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_6_Image_0008It is possible to search for the App that you want; but this is where errors can occur with the deployment. For example in search for ‘Puppet Pals’ we have many options to choose and a mistake may cause conflict between the licence and app selected, or the iPad may be prompting the user to sign in and make purchases for an App that has not been licensed.

To remedy this we refer to the list from Step 1.

Go back to

This time note (or copy and paste) the App ID# – this is the number in (BRACKETS)

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_7_Image_0002

Paste that into the search field and select ‘Lookup by ID   

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_7_Image_0004

There will be no mistake in the apps that we need to deploy.  Select ‘Add’ 

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_7_Image_0006

You will need to edit some parameters to assign to the correct devices.

Install devices : You can assign the apps to devices based on their tags – e.g. Teacher, Students or Cart etc

Purchase Method : In this example this needs to be changed to ‘VPP app assignment’ the other option of VPP codes is for a different purchase type (mentioned earlier) and also this is a licence type that cannot be revoked/reassigned.

Other options are optional and will not effect the deployment. 

 iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_8_Image_0002  

The Status gives you an idea of how many devices should receive the App Push (remember the licence must be in place first.)

Should you wish to skip this step (Stopping at Step 3) as you may want to assign but leave the download optional to the user, or you find yourself diagnosing if the licence arrived on the iPad that perhaps is not initiating the deployment you can:

Go to the iPad > Select ‘App Store’ > Select the ‘Purchased’ Tab 

Look for the cloud icon.  This indicated a licence is deployed to the user, but not downloaded onto the device.  The user can click on the cloud to initiate the download if required.

iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_8_Image_0006 iPad Meraki App Deployment - 4 Steps_Page_8_Image_0004


If you have any feedback for instructors or engineers, on improving resources or the service you receive please visit:

Getting in touch

You can reach me at:

If you need a site visit or support please get in touch.

Check out for sharing apps with other teachers and students.

Follow me on Twitter @cjacksonuk

Spread the word. Share this post!