Manage app licenses

You can purchase licenses for select apps using Google’s app licensing system. Then, in the Google Admin console, you can activate and manage the licenses and track usage at scale. Apps verify the license when users sign in using their Google Account.

Note: You will see the App Licensing tab in the Admin console only after you have purchased one or more app licenses.

Step 1: Purchase app licenses

You can purchase app licenses for select apps by working directly with the app developer’s team. Explore the available apps in the Chromebook App Hub marked with the App licensing integration. Depending on the app developer’s licensing program and your needs, you can purchase a fixed number of licenses or an unlimited number of licenses for your domain.

Both fixed number and unlimited licenses are redeemed in the Admin console using an order ID.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

  3. Click the App Licensing tab.
  4. In the lower-right corner, click Add Add.
  5. Enter the order ID provided by your app developer and click Check.
  6. Confirm that the app listed and the license quantity match your order. 
    Note: For unlimited licenses, the quantity is Unlimited. If the app developer has set an expiration timeline for the licenses, you will see a license expiration date.

Step 2: Turn app licenses ON or OFF for users

After purchasing and redeeming your licenses, you can control license access by turning licenses on or off for entire organizational units or groups. 

When a user claims a license (step 3) by signing into an app with their Google Account, the license remains with the user until they move organizational units or groups, the license is turned off for their organizational unit or group, or the license expires.

Before you begin:

  • To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit or group.
  • Some apps have multiple license types, for example teacher and student. Instead of the ON and OFF options, you will see OFF and the names of the license types available. Select the appropriate license type to turn them on

Turn on app licenses

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

  3. Click the App Licensing tab.
  4. To turn app licenses on for an organizational unit, do the following:
    1. Select Organizational units. Optional: To apply the setting to a department or team, at the side, select an organizational unit.
    2. Select the app.
    3. Change the app license to ON.
  5. To turn on app licenses for a group, do the following:
    1. Select Groups.
    2. Select the group to which you want to apply the setting. For details, see About Google Groups.
    3. Select the app.
    4. Change the app license to ON.
  6. Click Save.

If you turn an app license off, it is removed from users within 24 hours.

API access and admin contacts

When you turn on app licenses for the first time, you are prompted to approve API access for the app. This approval allows the app to check your license status without prompting you for API access. Super admins can approve API access for the entire organization or for individual organizational units. Delegated admins can only approve API access for the organizational units they’re assigned to.

After granting API access, provide the name and email address of the admin and others in your organization that are responsible for managing the apps. This information is shared with the app developer so that they can contact the admin with  additional resources and requirements.

Step 3: Sign in to apps to claim app licenses

After you turn on app licenses, licenses are not automatically assigned to users in the enabled organizational units or groups. Instead, users must first sign in to an app with their Google Account to claim a license.

As each new license is claimed, the allocated count for that app license increases and the available count decreases. For unlimited licenses, the available count is always Unlimited but the allocated count changes accordingly. If you reserve licenses for the organizational units (see below) and have not yet met the reserve, the allocated and available counts will not update.

Licenses are first claimed and then continuously verified when users sign in with their Google Account. Different apps require different steps to sign in—some sign in automatically when the app loads, others require users to manually sign in with their Google Account. In either case, the app verifies the app license during sign-in and automatically unlocks content and features with no additional username or password required.

App licenses work on any platform that the app developer chooses to support. For each app, supported platforms are listed, with icons, next to the app name on the App Licensing tab in the Admin console.

Optional steps and features

Reserve app licenses for organizational units

You must be a super admin to perform these steps.

After licenses are enrolled or redeemed, they’re assigned by default to a license pool for your entire organization. If you want to purchase licenses for users in a specific organizational unit (and not for general usage across the organization), you can reserve licenses for that organizational unit.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

  3. Click the App Licensing tab.
  4. Click the organizational unit where you want to reserve licenses.
  5. Click the app license you want to reserve.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the Details panel.
  7. Enter the number of licenses you want to reserve for the organizational unit. You can reserve up to the number of available licenses.
  8. At the top, click Save.

Monitor license availability and usage

You can monitor how many licenses have been purchased, allocated, and are still available for each app. For licenses that expire, you can see how many licenses are expected to expire for the current month. You can then plan to purchase more licenses from the app developer, if needed. You can also track usage data (which has a 24-hour delay).

To see license availability and usage for an app:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

  3. Click the App Licensing tab.
  4. Select the app you want to review.
  5. Under License usage, click the left and right arrows to review the activity for each month.

View user license detail and assign or revoke licenses

You can see if a user has a particular license assigned to them and assign or revoke that license for that user if needed. You can also see if the user is allowed to use a license based on their organizational unit or group. 

You can only search for and view users within organizational units for which you have the VIEW_USER privilege.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenApps & extensionsand thenUsers & browsers.

  3. Click the App Licensing tab.
  4. On the left, select Users.
  5. Search for and select the user whose license details you want to view. 
  6. Select the app to view the license access and assignment details. 
  7. (Optional) You can also assign or revoke license if the user has access to the app. Do one of the following:
    • Click Assign licenseand thenAssign to assign the app license to the user.
    • Click Revoke licenseand thenRevoke to revoke the assigned app license from the user.

Troubleshoot

I moved a user account in my directory. Did I lose an app license?

No. When user accounts are moved or removed, their app licenses are returned to the pool so they can be claimed by a new user.

I’m having trouble redeeming the app licenses I purchased from my app developer. Who should I contact?

Contact your app developer for help enrolling or redeeming app licenses.

I’m having trouble verifying an app license inside of the app. Who do I contact?

Contact the app developer for support with Google Sign-In or unlocking features and content in an app. 

I turned on an app license, but the app isn’t installing correctly on users’ devices. What should I do?

Turning on app licenses for users does not automatically install that app for users. You can use the Admin console to allow or force-install an extension, Android app, or Web app on the Users & Browsers tab.

Why do I need to provide contact information to developers?

Apps often offer additional settings, features, and content that require developers to follow up with admins over email.

Why do I need to grant API access to apps?

App licenses must be verified by an API call to Google’s servers. Granting API access on behalf of your users reduces complications and ensures that they don’t inadvertently decline API access and block app license verification.

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