Do Offline Store for Business apps update automatically?

No – even though Offline Store for Business apps sync automatically with Intune, end users need to reinstall them to get the latest version. Let’s dive in and see how.

If you’ve never set it up, deploying Microsoft Store for Business apps with Endpoint Manager couldn’t be easier. Just go to Tenant administration > Connectors and tokens > Microsoft Store for Business and follow the 3 quick steps. But – what if you want to deploy offline apps?

Store for Business connector

There are three primary reasons you would want to deploy offline Store for Business apps: 1) you’re blocking the Store for Business, 2) to include in your imaging process, or 3) your users don’t have Azure Active Directory accounts. The first point should get some additional clarity – if you’re blocking the Store for Business using a GPO or MDM setting, Online Store for Business apps will fail to install. And the confusing situation, for your users, is Microsoft has a variety of self-service apps stores (Intune Company Portal, Store for Business, Software Center), so maybe you DO want to block the Store just to make it less confusing (although it’s not recommended, mainly because of this update process). If so – now you need to deploy offline apps.

To deploy offline apps, go to the Store for Business > Manage > Settings > Show offline apps set to On:

Offline apps slider

Now when you search for an app, a dropdown will be shown and let you select Offline as the app type (if the app supports that type of licensing):

Offline licensing

Back in the MEM console, you will see your apps listed with (Online) or (Offline) now depending on the license type:

License type in MEM console

Once an app is synced over, we just need to edit the properties to be available (or required) to our end users. Be sure to use User license type.

Then our users can install the app from Company Portal on their device, none the wiser that it is an offline version:

Company Portal offline application installation

Now we wait for an update

If we check Settings, we know that the Skype version we just installed was 15.68.96.0:

Windows 10 Settings

After a few weeks of waiting, there’s a newer version available (15.72.94.0). So if we open the Company Portal, which is distributing the offline Skype app, we see that’s it’s installed – but there’s no option to update it.

Company Portal app

If we click into the app, we do see the option to Reinstall it:

Reinstall app option

After clicking the option, we’ll see that the app is downloading:

Offline app downloading

And now if we go back to the Settings app, we’ll see that it’s a newer version:

Skype advanced settings

So far, that’s the best way I can find to update offline Store for Business apps for Intune managed devices. Let me know in the comments if you find another way! Happy deploying 🎁

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