Apps get deleted and data loss in iOS while changing smart group

Contributor III

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give a warning to everyone that uses smart mobile device groups to distribute apps. We had a bad morning today in our scenario. Here's what happened:

  1. all apps for secondary school students are scoped to a smart group IOS_SECONDARY_STUDENTS

  2. criteria for the IOS_SECONDARY_STUDENTS is that the iPad belongs to any of these smart groups:


  1. criteria for IOS_GRADE8_STUDENTS, for example, is the position of the user, which is for example “Graduation2020”

  2. as the school year changes, I have changed the criteria to affect the graduation year change, so devices that were in the group IOS_GRADE8_STUDENTS, will now go to IOS_GRADE9_STUDENTS

  3. even though both groups are in IOS_SECONDARY_STUDENTS, as I changed the graduation year as criteria, all apps and even some configuration profiles started to deinstall, and then proceeded to reinstall

Not really sure why this happened, so we opened up a ticket with JAMF and will post their explanation here. A very dangerous thing to happen for sure!


Valued Contributor III

@St0rMl0rD Can you detail how you 'changed the criteria to affect the graduation year change'? Is there a chance that a student device was not a member of IOS_SECONDARY_STUDENTS for a short while, perhaps while their Position was removed from one grade level and before they were added to the new?

I have a very similar method and I did not see this when I 'graduated' my students up a month ago.


Contributor III

Nevermind, it was a mistake in our logic.

Valued Contributor III

@St0rMl0rD I hate those!! Especially when I plan the logic! :)

Contributor III

I know this is a bit stale but one suggestion, since grade progresses from year to year but graduation year of a class does not, it may be easier to have a set of grade level apps targeted to a grad year of students, so you'd instead have 

IOS_GRAD2028_STUDENTS (today's grade 6 students) 
IOS_GRAD2024_STUDENTS (today's grade 10 students)

So the students' device pools stay the same, assuming that those stay with the students, and the apps change out as needed by grade level. Of course, it's always in the tricky logic arrangements...