Chrome app management overview

Chrome web app pack

As an administrator, you can use the Admin console to control the Chrome apps and extensions that users can access. You can also configure Chrome apps and deploy them as kiosks.

View Chrome apps and settings

You can view and manage your Chrome apps from two different views. Access either view by going to Device management > Chrome management in your Admin console:

  • User settings–Manage policies across all your Chrome Apps, for groups of users. For example, easily see all apps that are blocked for a particular group of users.

    For steps on managing user settings, see Manage Chrome Apps by organizational unit.

  • App management–View a list of your Chrome Apps, where you con configure policies and settings for a specific app. This is also where you deploy an app as a kiosk app.

    For steps on managing App settings, see Manage individual apps on Chrome.

For tips on when to use each view, see below.

User vs. App view 

What are the main differences between the views?
Configure a Chrome app

App management gives you more control over your apps by letting you set a policy for a Chrome app using a config file that you upload. When a Chrome app supports a config file, it allows you to install customized policies and settings supported by the app.

For example, a digital signage kiosk app has a schedule of events that’s contained in a config file. A config file for a call center kiosk app would contain the VoIP server IP address and port number.

Kiosk settings

Refer to the documentation for the Chrome app to determine if the app supports a config file and if so, what customizations it lets you configure.

Deploy a Chrome app as a kiosk app

App management lets you deploy a Chrome app as a kiosk app and configure the app as a single app kiosk (the app launches automatically when the device boots).

View a list of your Chrome apps

Selecting App management shows you a list all of the apps configured across all org units in your domain. The list gives you details about each app, such as whether it’s blocked, installed, recommended in the Chrome Web Store, or is a kiosk app.

Chrome app management - app list

In User settings, the list of apps shown depends on the setting you are configuring, such as force-installed, whitelisted (allowed), blacklisted (blocked), pinned, or recommended apps. Basic information about app settings is shown, such as whether the app is inherited or local to that org unit, options to add or remove the app, and a link to the app in the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome app list in user settings

Search for a Chrome app

When you search for an app in User settings, you search the Chrome Web Store. The results list depends on whether you are looking at  force-installed, allowed, blocked, pinned, or recommended apps.

When you search for an app in App management, the default is to search the Chrome Web Store and all of your configured apps. Search results show all apps that match your search criteria, not just those that are force-installed, allowed, blocked, pinned, or recommended. For apps in the results list that have policies set by you, there is information about the settings, such as if it’s blocked or allowed for some users.

Select the right view for the task

Here are some recommendations of which app management view you would use for some common administrative activities.

  • Install multiple apps automatically (force install)
  • Block or allow all apps for everyone:
    1. Select the org unit in User settings.
    2. Select Allow all apps and extensions except the ones I block or Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow.
  • Block or allow all apps for everyone except for those I apps I choose:
    1. Select the org unit in User settings.
    2. Select Allow all apps and extensions except the ones I block or Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow.
    Or, in App management, select the apps to block or allow.
    The app list in App management includes all apps you have configured. The app list in User settings shows either all blocked apps or all allowed apps.
  • Block or allow one app for everyone:
    1. Select the app in App management.
    2. Block or allow its installation in the top-level org unit.
      Changing the setting in the top-level org unit affects everyone unless the setting is already overridden in a child org unit.
  • Block or allow one app for a set of users:
    1. Select the app in App management.
    2. Block or install it in the child org unit that contains only the targeted users.
  • Set a policy for an app using a config file:
    1. Select the app in App management and upload a config file.
How settings are inherited

Each app in a child org unit can have inherited or overridden settings from a parent org unit.

For example, if you add 3 apps to the top-level org unit, those apps and their policies are inherited to all child org units. If you then add an app to a child org unit, it is specific to that child but the child can still inherit apps added later to the top-level org unit.

When you add a fourth app to the top-level org unit, the app and its policies are inherited to the child–as long as the app is not already in the child and you have not overridden the top-level settings for it.

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