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[GoodNotes 5] How to install GoodNotes for Institutions via MDM

Please note: While our License Keys do not need a reinstallation of the app in order to install effectively, we would encourage all users to ensure they have an appropriate backup in place for their data before completing the deployment. This can be achieved through iCloud Sync, Auto Backup or a Manual Backup.

From December 31st, 2023 for institutions looking to use the app, you will need to have a license key to continue access to GoodNotes for Institutions on your devices.

In order to use the license key you will need to install the app via your MDM solution using a .plist file.

Follow these steps in order to install GoodNotes for Institutions:

To add your license key via MDM software, you will need to create a property list file (.plist file) containing your license key and upload it to the GoodNotes app using your MDM software. Keep in mind that the user interface may differ among MDM software platforms. Additionally, please ensure your end-user devices are connected to an internet connection during installation, otherwise the License Key will not validate properly.

The following steps outline the process using SimpleMDM as an example:

  1. Locate the GoodNotes app within your MDM software.
  2. Navigate to the section called "Managed Configuration" (this name may vary slightly in different MDM platforms).
  3. Input the configuration plist file containing your license key.
    Here is an example of a configuration plist file:
    Be sure to replace AAAAAA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-DDDDDD-123456-V3 with your own license key.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

See below for a visual representation of the process:


Once all steps are complete, launch the app, accept the terms and you can start using GoodNotes! You’ll see the message regarding your key status as valid, please click OK to dismiss it.

Keeping data safe during installation:

Despite the new licensing being in place to assist downloads of the app, there is no concern for any data loss, as the app would simply update in order to abide by the license key deployment. There’s no need to migrate any documents; your library will be there as is once you enter the license key. It's important to note, that we always encourage users to have a backup in place regardless of any changes and all end-users can do so via iCloud Sync, Auto-Backup or a Manual Backup.

Other instances:

  • If you see the message below on any devices, it is because the license key is invalid. Contact your IT Administrator for help, or alternatively if the License Key is not functioning as expected, reach out to us here.IMG_0338.PNG
  • Alternatively, if you see the message below, then access to GoodNotes for Institutions has expired and you will require a new license key to continue receiving access:IMG_0101.PNG

For Managed Configuration:

Mobile Device Management software has the capabilities to send XML files that configure apps to managed devices within the network. Once the file is received by a managed device, the OS notifies the app that settings have changed and the app changes to match. You can use the same plist file written above for this process and for more information, see this developer guide from Apple.