How to troubleshoot mobile applications failing to install

General Troubleshooting

Devices Stuck In Pending Install

Generally speaking, if your device fleet has a large number of devices pending the installation of an application you pushed, then more than likely your devices are locked.  In order for devices to install applications, the device needs to be in an active state.

The best way to confirm this is to get a device in hand, and unlock the device.  If you are unable to get a device in hand or contact the end user, also confirm that you are not seeing "Installation Failed" messages in the Application device summary page.

Applications Failing To Install

The most common reason why applications do not install from AirWatch are that they do not install outside of AirWatch.  You should always test the application by sideloading it when faced with an installation error.  For iOS devices, applications can be sideloaded using Apple Configurator. For Android devices, applications can be opened and installed directly from an email, or by opening the application via File Manager.

Always make sure during an application upgrade that you increase at very minimum the minor version number of the application.  MDM has certain limitations when build number is used.

Collecting Device Logs

Please be sure to collect relevent device logs when attempting to troubleshoot why an application is failing to install on that device. See below for instructions on how to pull logs by device type:

Best Practices For New Applications


  • Make sure the application is not too large.  If you have a lot of content (videos, PDF files, ect.), the application should pull them from a remote location and should not be included within the application.
  • Make sure you have wireless networks available to your end users if you are pushing a large application.
  • Set proper expectations.  Because over the air installations require end user intervention, the larger the deployment the longer it will take for all your end users to actively use their devices.  You can calculate a good ceiling for your deployment by estimating 200 devices a day.
  • Note: Pushing applications during the provisioning of the devices should be instant, this only applies to existing enrollments

iOS Specific

  • Make sure that you have signed the application as an "In House" application in the Apple developer portal
  • Ensure your provisioning profile for internally developed applications is valid and up to date, as it is required to upload internal applications to the AirWatch console.
  • The privisioning profile should allow the application to be provisioned to all devices, rather than using ad-hoc provisioning.
  • If you plan on using the dynamic iTunes App store restriction, note that the installation will take longer since the devices will need to have the restriction removed before installing the application

iOS Volume Purchase Program Specific

  • If you are using user-based VPP licensing, AirWatch recommends customers follow the best practice of having one iTunes account per AirWatch user. Shared iTunes accounts between users may cause issues pushing your VPP applications.
  • You cannot use the dynamic iTunes App Store restriction with VPP or other purchased applications. This is a limitation due to purchased app requirements.

Windows Phone Specific

  • Some Windows 8.1 devices have a download limit of 20 MBs for applications.  Please keep this in mind when developing internal applications for these devices.

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