What is Microsoft Intune app management?

As an IT admin, you can use Microsoft Intune to manage the client apps that your company's workforce uses. This functionality is in addition to managing devices and protecting data. One of an admin's priorities is to ensure that end users have access to the apps they need to do their work. This goal can be a challenge because:

  • There are a wide range of device platforms and app types.
  • You might need to manage apps on both company devices and users' personal devices.
  • You must ensure that your network and your data remain secure.

Additionally, you might want to assign and manage apps on devices that are not enrolled with Intune.

Mobile Application Management (MAM) basics

Intune mobile application management refers to the suite of Intune management features that lets you publish, push, configure, secure, monitor, and update mobile apps for your users.

MAM allows you to manage and protects your organization's data within an application. With MAM without enrollment (MAM-WE), a work or school-related app that contains sensitive data can be managed on almost any device, including personal devices in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios. Many productivity apps, such as the Microsoft Office apps, can be managed by Intune MAM. See the official list of Microsoft Intune protected apps available for public use.

Intune MAM supports two configurations:

  • Intune MDM + MAM: IT administrators can only manage apps using MAM and app protection policies on devices that are enrolled with Intune mobile device management (MDM). To manage apps using MDM + MAM, customers should use Intune in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.
  • MAM without device enrollment: MAM without device enrollment, or MAM-WE, allows IT administrators to manage apps using MAM and app protection policies on devices not enrolled with Intune MDM. This means apps can be managed by Intune on devices enrolled with third-party EMM providers. To manage apps using MAM-WE, customers should use Intune in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. Also, apps can be managed by Intune on devices enrolled with third-party Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) providers or not enrolled with an MDM at all. For more information about BYOD and Microsoft's EMS, see Technology decisions for enabling BYOD with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).

App management capabilities by platform

Intune offers a range of capabilities to help you get the apps you need on the devices you want to run them on. The following table provides a summary of app management capabilities.

App Management Capability Android/Android Enterprise iOS/iPadOS macOS Windows 10
Add and assign apps to devices and users Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assign apps to devices not enrolled with Intune Yes Yes No No
Use app configuration policies to control the startup behavior of apps Yes Yes No No
Use mobile app provisioning policies to renew expired apps No Yes No No
Protect company data in apps with app protection policies Yes Yes No No 1
Remove only corporate data from an installed app (app selective wipe) Yes Yes No Yes
Monitor app assignments Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assign and track volume-purchased apps from an app store No No No Yes
Mandatory install of apps on devices (required) 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Optional installation on devices from the Company Portal (available installation) Yes 3 Yes Yes Yes
Install shortcut to an app on the web (web link) Yes 4 Yes Yes Yes
In-house (line-of-business) apps Yes 5 Yes Yes Yes
Apps from a store Yes Yes No Yes
Update apps Yes Yes No Yes

1 Consider using Windows Information Protection to protect apps on devices that run Windows 10.
2 Applies to devices managed by Intune only.
3 Intune supports available apps from Managed Google Play store on Android Enterprise devices.
4 Intune does not provide installing a shortcut to an app as a web link on standard Android Enterprise devices. However, Web link support is provided for multi-app dedicated Android Enterprise devices.
5 LOB for AE are supported, but the apps need to be published privately to Managed Play.

Get started

You can find most app-related information in the Apps workload, which you can access by doing the following:

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

  2. Select Apps.

    The Apps workload pane

The apps workload provides links to access common app information and functionality.

The top of the App workload navigation menu provide commonly used app details:

  • Overview: Select this option to view the tenant name, the MDM authority, the tenant location, the account status, app installation status, and app protection policy status.
  • All apps: Select this option to display a list of all available apps. You can add additional apps from this page. Additionally, you can see the status of each app, as well as whether each app is assigned. For more information, see Add apps and Assign apps.
  • Monitor apps
  • By Platform: Select these platforms to view the available apps by platform.
    • Windows
    • iOS
    • macOS
    • Android
  • Policy:
    • App protection policies: Select this option to associate settings with an app and help protect the company data it uses. For example, you might restrict the capabilities of an app to communicate with other apps, or you might require the user to enter a PIN to access a company app. For more information, see App protection policies.
    • App configuration policies: Select this option to supply settings that might be required when a user runs an app. For more information, see App configuration policies, iOS app configuration policies, and Android app configuration policies.
    • iOS app provisioning profiles: iOS apps include a provisioning profile and code that is signed by a certificate. When the certificate expires, the app can no longer be run. Intune gives you the tools to proactively assign a new provisioning profile policy to devices that have apps that are nearing expiration. For more information, see iOS app provisioning profiles.
    • S mode supplemental policies: Select this option to authorize additional applications to run on your managed S mode devices. For more information, see S mode supplemental policies.
    • Policies for Office apps: Select this option to create mobile app management policies for Office mobile apps that connect to Microsoft 365 services. You can also protect access to Exchange on-premises mailboxes by creating Intune app protection policies for Outlook for iOS/iPadOS and Android enabled with hybrid Modern Authentication. You must meet the requirements to use policies for Office apps. For more information about requirements, see Requirements for using the Office cloud policy service. App protection policies are not supported for other apps that connect to on-premises Exchange or SharePoint services. For related information, see Overview of the Office cloud policy service for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise.
    • Policy sets: Select this option to create an assignable collection of apps, policies, and other management objects you've created. For more information, see Policy sets.
  • Other:
    • App selective wipe: Select this option to remove only corporate data from a selected user's device. For more information, see App selective wipe.
    • App categories: Add, pin, and delete app category names.
    • E-books: Some app stores give you the ability to purchase multiple licenses for an app or books that you want to use in your company. For more information, see Manage volume-purchased apps and books with Microsoft Intune.
  • Help and support: Troubleshoot, request support, or view Intune status. For more information, see Troubleshoot problems.

Try the interactive guide

The Manage and protect mobile and desktop applications with Microsoft Endpoint Manager interactive guide steps you through the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center to show you how to manage devices enrolled in Intune, enforce compliance with policies, and protect your organization's data.

Additional information

The following items within the console provide app related functionality:

  • Microsoft Store for Business: Set up integration to the Microsoft Store for Business. Afterward, you can synchronize purchased applications to Intune, assign them, and track your license usage. For more information, see Microsoft Store for Business volume-purchased apps.
  • Windows enterprise certificate: Apply or view the status of a code-signing certificate that's used to distribute line-of-business apps to your managed Windows devices.
  • Windows Symantec certificate: Apply or view the status of a Symantec code-signing certificate.
  • Windows side loading keys: Add a Windows side-loading key that can be used to install an app directly to devices rather than publishing and downloading the app from the Windows store. For more information, see Side-load a Windows app.
  • Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager: Displays information about the Configuration Manager connector including last successful synchronization time and the connection status. Select a Configuration Manager hierarchy running version 2006, or later to display additional information about it.
  • Apple Business Manager location tokens: Apply and view your iOS/iPadOS volume purchased licenses. For more information, see How to manage iOS and macOS apps purchased through Apple Business Manager with Microsoft Intune.
  • Managed Google Play: Managed Google Play is Google's enterprise app store and sole source of applications for Android Enterprise. For more information, see Add Managed Google Play apps to Android Enterprise devices with Intune.
  • Customization: Customize the Company Portal to give it your company branding. For more information, see Company Portal configuration.

For more information about apps, see Add apps to Microsoft Intune.

Next steps