If you’re responsible for managing iPads you’ve probably already installed apps. But I often get asked, “how do you update iPad apps with Apple Configurator?” We show you how.

If you’ve already installed apps with Apple Configurator, you already know most of the update process!  If you missed our guide to installing apps with Apple Configurator check it out here. If you’re already familiar with the process, onward!

Updating and Installing iPad Apps With Apple Configurator

First update the app in iTunes in the same way you would if it were your personal iPad. This will download the updated version of the app to your computer, then it’s just a case of installing it with Apple Configurator.

  1. Open Apple Configurator and browse to the apps section for the iPads you want to update.Screen-Shot-2013-03-11-at-14.39.53
  2. Click the + button at the bottom left of the apps pane.
  3. Browse to Mac HDD > Users > Your User Name > Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Mobile Applications
  4. The downloaded updated app files will be stored here. Select the apps you wish to update — you can select multiple apps at once. You can compare app versions with the ones listed in Apple Configurator by right clicking on the app and selecting Get Info.
  5. Once you click Open you should get a notice asking you to confirm if you would like to replace the old version of the app with the new one. Click Replace.Updating ipad apps with Apple Configurator
  6. Apple Configurator will now import the updated app. Depending on the size of the app this process can take anywhere between a few seconds and several minutes.Updating ipad apps with Apple Configurator
  7. Once your updated apps have been imported, make sure that they are checked so that they install on your selected iPads.

    Selecting an app in Apple Configurator

  8. Now click the Apply button.Apple Configurator Apply Button
  9. Your updated apps will now be installed.

About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.


  1. just read your article on how to use the configurator to update apps …. THANK YOU. it was simple and straightforward … and it worked.

  2. So I updated my apps, re-imported them, plugged in the iPads. Configurator totally refreshed them. Now when I open the app store on the iPads, it lists 11 updates needed for one, 13 on the other, and all the listed updates are ones that I already re-imported. The Configurator apps list for each iPad shows the updated versions of the apps. The iPads simply have an “Open” button next to each update, not “Update” or “Download”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the apps on the iPads are actually up to date. Or are they? Please advise…

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