Re-download of Win32 apps unnecessary if "Make App MDM Managed if User Installed" option enabled on staged devices prior to enrollment


You can configure VMware AirWatch to assume management of Win32 applications using the Make App MDM Managed if User Installed option. This process however forces the application to be re-downloaded and re-installed on your end-user devices. For information about this feature, please refer to the Online Help article here. If the application packages are staged on the end-user devices prior to enrollment, the re-download step for Win32 applications for software distribution can be bypassed. 



The following requirements must be met:

  • Currently using VMware AirWatch's software distribution feature
  • Should have access to Windows Desktop (Windows 10) devices which are not yet enrolled with VMware AirWatch
  • Should have access to a server or external machine to export and import applicable Win32 applications. You will need to select a destination folder location for use by the scripts available here.

Note: If you intend to use the manual selection of the application packages from GUI, make sure to enable the Item check boxes option under View in File Explorer prior to running these scripts on any device. 


How to skip the re-download process of Win32 applications

  1. Configure and publish the desired Win32 applications with the setting "Make App MDM Managed if User Installed" option enabled.
  2. Download the scripts here to a local location to the machine which will house the exported Win32 applications.
  3. Select one of the staging devices to be the initial receiver of the applicable Win32 applications. Enroll this device with VMware AirWatch; Upon enrollment, the device will receive the Win32 applications published with the "Make App MDM Managed if User Installed" option enabled. 
  4. Run the export PowerShell script on the initial device and include a destination folder located on the server or other drive (you can either select an existing folder or create a new folder). The export PowerShell script copies all application packages from the application deployment cache folder of the first device to the destination folder selected. 
  5. Run the import PowerShell script on all other devices. On an enrolled device that doesn't have the apps installed in the targeted location, run ‘Import-CachedAirWatchApplications.ps1’ script to stage the compressed apps. To run, use the following command in the powershell terminal:

      • To Import all the apps via the command line:  .\Import-CachedAirWatchApplications -SourcePath "Path to Apps" -All
      • To show a UI that will allow for individual apps to be selected:  .\Import-CachedAirWatchApplications -SourcePath "Path to Apps"

    The script will then import the Win32 cached application packages from the folder present on the device to the devices in C:>Program Data>AirWatch>MDM>App Deployment Cache.

  6. Enroll any other devices with VMware AirWatch. The system will identify the Win32 applications on devices as user-installed based on the detection criteria flagged to assume management, and additionally evaluated the cache folder to determine if a re-download is needed. As the application packages are staged, the system skips the re-download and installation begins. 
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