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Goodnotes for Schools and Businesses - Frequently Asked Questions

Since July 8, 2023, access to Goodnotes 6 through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager has changed. In order to continue usage, you will need to have a License Key to fully install and use Goodnotes 6 on your institutes' devices. Below are some frequently asked questions related to our Goodnotes 6 product for both businesses and schools.

If I bought GoodNotes 5 via Apple Business Manager previously, do I have to pay again?

Yes, if you are looking to use Goodnotes 6 in your business, then you must now purchase a License Key for either of our available business products, Goodnotes for Business or Goodnotes for Enterprise. For more information relating to our business licensing, please reach out to our team via this form.

If you would prefer to continue using GoodNotes 5 and you have bought the app prior to April 2022, then you are welcome to do so and you will need to follow the instructions here.

For Educational Institutions using Apple School Manager looking to re-download or install the app, please have your IT Administrator complete this form with your request to regain free access. Your response must include the name of the school/institution, the number of seats/users you would need on your license and your email address, so that we can generate your license key and return to you as soon as possible.

Will this change require my school / institution to migrate to a new app or install a new version of GoodNotes 5 or Goodnotes 6?

This change in deployment does not alter the app you're using, so no migration would be necessary with this change.

Simply contact us for a License Key and your app usage will continue with no disruption to your institute's daily workflow. If you already have a License Key, you can upgrade your configuration using the steps in this article. If you have upgraded and now want to downgrade back to GoodNotes 5, you can do so using the steps in this article.

Whilst this will not affect your institute's daily workflow or cause any data loss, it's always good practice to encourage students and teachers to regularly back up their notes.

What’s the difference between Goodnotes for School and Goodnotes for Business/Enterprise?

Both businesses and schools require a License Key to use the app, however the avenue of purchase/download differ slightly, as the app is available through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager respectively.

Goodnotes for School is still a free service for educational institutions and offers the ability to disable some limited features.

Businesses now have two separate purchasing tiers, Goodnotes for Business available here and Goodnotes for Enterprise. The latter is a new tier of product which offers disabled features, shorter support wait times and dedicated account support. If you would like more information on either product, reach out to us using this form.

If you are using GoodNotes 5 and have an installed License Key, the top of the in-app settings will show 'GoodNotes for Institutions' for all institutional users, school or business.

If you are using Goodnotes 6 and have an installed License Key, the app shows information relevant to your purchase. The in-app settings will now show 'Goodnotes for School', 'Goodnotes for Business' or 'Goodnotes for Enterprise' depending on your avenue of installation and business plan.

Can I disable any in-app features?

Yes, for Goodnotes for School and Goodnotes for Enterprise customers only! Offering you the option to disable iCloud Sync, Auto Backup, Marketplace, Community & AI features among others.

For more information on the features that can be removed and for what tiers, please see this article.

Can I upgrade or downgrade between business tiers?

You have the option to upgrade between Goodnotes for Business and Goodnotes for Enterprise during your subscription year. The difference between the base tier and the upgraded tier will be pro-rated.

Can I buy the retail version of Goodnotes 6 for my business instead?

Yes of course. You can still buy the retail app via the App Store personally, however this will not have the option to disable features or be managed by your MDM, as it will be a personal purchase to your device Apple ID and will not be deployed through Apple Business Manager. In order to deploy through Apple Business Manager, you would need a License Key and a relevant MDM software to deploy. This can only be obtained through our education licensing team or our business team.

My License Key has an issue and isn't working as expected?

You might see different messaging from your License Key depending on your installation environment, or if there has been a change made to your configuration.

  • If your License Key fails it's validation - this may occur due to no internet connection or there was a server error. Simply connect the target device to the internet and the installation should complete.
  • If your License Key shows it's heartbeat has expired - this may occur if your end-users do not connect to the internet for 30 consecutive days and can lead to the device becoming invalid on the License Key, as the License connection needs to validate to provide full functionality. To reconnect, simply launch Goodnotes again with an established network connection.
  • If your License Key shows it's Device Limit has been reached - this will occur once you run out of seats on your License Key.
    For Business users, this may mean you need to redistribute seats in order to free up previously assigned ones, or that you need to buy more for your License Key. Contact our Enterprise team for further information on purchasing additional seats or reassigning current seats.
    For Educational users, this may mean that you either need to redistribute seats on your key or that you require further seats on your deployment. Contact our Educational Licensing email you received your License Key from, for further information.

For more information, please see our dedicated help article for License Key FAQs