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Get started with app deployment in Microsoft Intune


Updated: August 1, 2015

Applies To: Microsoft Intune

The Apps workspace in the Microsoft Intune administrator console provides information about detected and managed apps. The following pages are available:

Apps workspace page



Lists app deployment alerts and the current status of your cloud storage.

Detected Software

Shows the software inventory data that Microsoft Intune detects on managed computers. Software inventory is only available for computers. Therefore, Intune does not detect or list apps for managed mobile devices. You can perform the following tasks from the Detected Software workspace:

  • View app properties

  • Add license agreements for detected software


The Apps page is where the apps that you want to deploy to your managed computers and mobile devices is uploaded, deployed, and managed on an ongoing basis. You can perform the following tasks:

  • View and modify app properties

  • Add license agreements to managed apps

  • Manage app deployments

  • Add new apps

  • Edit the properties of managed apps

  • Delete apps

The Microsoft Intune Software Publisher starts when you add or modify apps from the Microsoft Intune administrator console. From the publisher, you select a software installer type that will either upload apps (programs for computers or apps for mobile devices) to be stored in Intune cloud storage, or link to an online store or web application.

Before you begin to use the Microsoft Intune Software Publisher, you must install the full version of Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0. After you install the .NET Framework, you might have to restart your computer before the Microsoft Intune Software Publisher will open correctly. For details, see Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (Web Installer).

All apps that you deploy must be packaged and uploaded to Microsoft Intune cloud storage. Before you deploy apps, make sure there is enough storage space available to upload the app. A trial subscription of Intune includes 2 gigabytes (GB) of cloud-based storage that is used to store managed apps and updates. A paid subscription includes 20GB, with the option to purchase additional storage space at 1GB increments by using the Microsoft Intune Extra Storage Add-on. The following rules apply to purchasing additional cloud-based storage for Intune:

  • You cannot purchase additional storage during any Intune pre-release or trial period.

  • You must have an active paid subscription in order to purchase additional storage.

  • Only billing administrators or global administrators for your Microsoft Online Service can purchase additional storage through the Intune account portal. To add, delete, or manage these administrators, you must be a global administrator and sign in to the Intune account portal.

  • If you are a volume licensing customer who has purchased Intune or the Microsoft Intune Add-on through the enterprise agreement, contact your Microsoft Account Manager or Microsoft Partner for pricing information and to purchase additional storage.

  1. In the Microsoft Intune account portal, in the left pane under Subscriptions, click Manage.

  2. On the Billing and subscription management page, click the Intune subscription for which you want to purchase additional storage.

  3. On the Subscription details page, by Optional add-ons, click Add more.

  4. On the Select number of licenses page, under Optional add-ons, enter the additional number of GB of storage that you want to buy for the Microsoft Intune Extra Storage add-on. For example, if you currently have 20 GB, and you want to add another 10 GB, enter 10.

  5. On the Review important information page, review the order summary information, and if it is correct, click Place order.

  6. The Order confirmation page opens to display the order details. Click Finish to complete the process.

Intune lets you deploy the following software installation types:

Use the Software Installer installation type to:

  • Upload a signed app package to Microsoft Intune cloud storage and make the app available to users through the Microsoft Intune company portal.

  • Upload apps that will be deployed to computers that run the Intune computer client.

  • Install apps on managed mobile devices from an installation file, bypassing the app store (known as side loading).

Use the following table to help you understand the different software installer file types:

Software installer type


Windows Installer (*.exe, *.msi)

  • The Windows Installer files must support silent installation, that is, without requiring user intervention. If your app uses any other type of Setup file, or requires user interaction during setup, that app cannot be installed by using Intune.

    Refer to your app documentation to find the relevant command-line options, such as /q, to force the app to install silently on the managed computers.

  • Any additional files and folders that are required by the app’s setup program must be available from the location that you specify for the app setup files.

  • In most cases, Windows Installer (.msi) and Windows Installer Patch (.msp) files do not require any command-line arguments to be installed by Intune. Check your app documentation. If command-line arguments are required, they must be entered as Name=Value pairs (such as TRANSFORMS=custom_transform.mst).

App Package for Android (*.apk file)

The App Package for Android is not available as a software installer type until you set the Mobile Device Management Authority to Microsoft Intune.

For details, see Set up Android management with Microsoft Intune.

App Package for iOS (*.ipa file)

  • To deploy iOS apps, you must have a valid .ipa package

  • The .ipa package must be signed by Apple and the expiration date indicated in the provisioning profile is still valid. Intune can distribute enterprise certificate iOS applications. Not all Apple developer certificate apps are supported.

  • Your enterprise must be registered for the iOS Developer Enterprise Program.

  • Make sure that your organization’s firewall allows access to the iOS provisioning and certification web sites.

For details, see Set up iOS management with Microsoft Intune.

Windows Phone app package (*.xap, .appx, .appxbundle) 

Before you distribute a Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1 app package, you must set the mobile device management authority to Microsoft Intune, set up users, and obtain an enterprise mobile code-signing certificate. For details, see Set up Windows Phone management with Microsoft Intune.

Windows app package (.appx, .appxbundle)

The Windows appx package for Windows RT and enrolled Windows 8.1 devices is not available until you set the mobile device management authority to Microsoft Intune, provision users, obtain a code-signing certificate, and sideloading product activation keys. For details, see Set up Windows Phone management with Microsoft Intune.

Use the External Link installation type when you have a:

  • URL that lets users download an app from the online store. This installation type is supported by the following device platforms:

    • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

    • Windows RT

    • Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1

    • iOS

    • Android devices

  • Link to a web-based app that runs from the web browser.

    This installation type is available to all devices supported by Intune.

External links are made available to users through the Microsoft Intune company portal.

Use the Managed iOS app from the app store installation type to manage and deploy iOS apps that are free of charge from the iOS app store. You can deploy this installer type as a required install to make it mandatory on managed devices (which also makes it available to install from the mobile web portal), or deploy it as available to let users download it from the mobile web portal. You can also associate mobile application management policies with compatible apps and review their status in the administrator console. Managed iOS apps are not stored in your Intune cloud storage space.

This section provides an overview of the app deployment process in Intune.


More information

Ensure that the app you want to deploy is supported by Intune.

Create groups of users or devices to which you can deploy the app.

Use groups to manage users and devices with Microsoft Intune

Publish the app to Microsoft Intune cloud storage.

Publish mobile device apps to Microsoft Intune cloud storage

Publish computer apps to Microsoft Intune cloud storage

Deploy the app to mobile devices or computers using the deployment action you require.

Deploy apps to mobile devices in Microsoft Intune

Deploy apps to computers in Microsoft Intune

Monitor the app deployment.

Monitor mobile device apps

Monitor computer apps

When you deploy apps, you can choose from one of the following deployment actions:

  • Required install – The app is installed onto the device, with no end-user intervention required.


    For iOS devices that are not in supervised mode, the user must accept the app offer before it is installed.  For information about using supervised mode in Microsoft Intune, see Use iOS configuration policies to manage device settings with Microsoft Intune.


    For Android devices, the user must accept the app offer before it is installed.

  • Available install – The app is displayed in the company portal, and end-users can install it on-demand.

  • Uninstall – The app is uninstalled from the device.

  • Not applicable – The app is not displayed in the company portal, and is not installed to any devices.


Required install

Available install


Not applicable

Windows app package (deployed to a user group)





Windows app package (deployed to a device group





App package for mobile devices (deployed to a user group)





App package for mobile devices (deployed to a device group)





Windows Installer (deployed to a user group)





Windows Installer (deployed to a device group)





External link (deployed to a user group)





External link (deployed to a device group)





Managed iOS app from the app store (deployed to a user group)





Managed iOS app from the app store (deployed to a device group)





When two deployments, with the same deployment action are received by a device, the following rules apply:

  • Deployments to a device group take precedence over deployments to a user group. However, if an app is deployed to a user group with a deployment action of Available and the same app is also deployed to a device group with a deployment action of Not Applicable, the app will be made available in the company portal for users to install.

  • The intent of the IT admin takes precedence over the end-user.

  • An install actions takes precedence over an uninstall action.

  • If both a required install and an available install are received by a device, the actions are combined (the app is both required and available).

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