Manage app licenses

You can purchase annual licenses for select apps from your Chromebook provider and activate them for users in Google Admin console. Apps verify the license when users sign in using their Google Account.

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

Step 1: Purchase app licenses

You can purchase app licenses with a Chromebook or separately from select Chromebook providers. When app licenses are purchased with a Chromebook, they will automatically transfer to your organization when the device is enrolled. When app licenses are purchased separately, you must redeem them in Admin console using your order number.

Confirm app licenses purchased with your Chromebook

Before you begin enroll your Chromebook using Chrome Education Upgrade.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. ​Click Apps & extensions.
  4. Click the App Licensing tab.
  5. Click the app license you want to confirm.

  6. Check the total number of app licenses to confirm that the app license purchased with your device transferred to your organization when the device was enrolled.

Redeem app licenses sold separately

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. ​Click Apps & extensions.
  4. Click the App Licensing tab.
  5. In the lower-right corner, click Add Add.
  6. Enter the order number provided by your Chromebook provider and click Check.
  7. Confirm that the app listed and the license quantity match your order.

Step 2: Turn app licenses on or off for users

When a user first signs in to an app with their Google Account, the app claims a license. Once claimed, the license remains with the user until they move organizational units, the license is turned off for their organizational unit, or the license expires.

Turn app licenses on

Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. ​Click Apps & extensions.
  4. Click the App Licensing tab.

  5. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.

  6. Select the app.

  7. Change the app license to ON.

  8. Click Save. If you configured a child organizational unit, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit's settings.

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

API access and admin contacts

When you turn app licenses on for the first time, you’ll be 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 organization or for 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 the apps. This information will be shared with the app developer so that they can contact the admin with any additional resources and requirements.

Step 3: Sign in to apps to claim app licenses

After you turn app licenses on, users can sign in to an app with their Google Account to claim a license. Licenses are not automatically assigned to users. With each new license claimed, the allocated count for that app license will increase and the available count will decrease. 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. Supported platforms are listed (with icons) next to the app name on the App Licensing tab.

Optional steps and features

Reserve app licenses for organizational units

You must be a super admin to perform these steps.

Once 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. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. Click Apps & extensions.
  4. Click the App Licensing tab.

  5. Click the organizational unit for which you’d like to reserve licenses. 

  6. Click the app license you’d like to reserve.

  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Details panel.

  8. Enter the number of licenses you’d like to reserve for the organizational unit. You can reserve up to the number of available licenses.

  9. 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. 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. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. Click Apps & extensions.
  4. Click the App Licensing tab.

  5. Select the app you want to review.
  6. Under License usage, click the left and right arrows to review the activity for each month.

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 Chromebook provider. Who should I contact?

Please contact your Chromebook provider for help enrolling or redeeming app licenses.

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

Please 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. Admins can 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.

Can I enable app licenses for Google Groups?

Not at this time. App licenses can be turned on or off for your entire organization or organizational units.
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