According to this documentation, I should be able to retire an application while it is still deployed, the purpose being that those deployments are preserved. When I try to retire an appliation in SCCM v1706, it tells me:

"Configuration Manager cannot retire this application because other applications or task sequences reference it or it is configured as a deployment."

There are three deployments for this application - no task sequences etc refence it.

So is the documentation faulty or am I missing something here?

edit: as expected from the above error message I am able to retire the application as soon as I delete all deployments for it. So I guess the functionality of retiring applications (in SCCM 2012 this was "enable/disable" iirc) was changed at some point in Current Branch without adapting relevant documentation?

edit 2: I also posted this question in the Microsoft-forums and got an answer there which came as close to an explanation as can be for this topic: seems the documentation mentioned above is simply a little vague on the topic of deployments when retiring applications. The answer seems to be that retiring applications is not intended to preserve the deployment configuration, but it rather means that clients currently running that applications are not prompted to uninstall it.

3 Answers 3


Bad question: You have not read the document which clearly states:

Block quote

To delete an application, you must first retire the application, delete all deployments, remove references to the application by other deployments, and then delete all of the application's revisions.

Block quote

  • I do not want to delete the application just yet - I simply want to retire it and may delete it at a later time. I did read the documentation and it clearly states that: "When you retire an application, it is no longer available for deployment, but the application and deployments of the application are not deleted." Therefore I was of the impression that I can retire applications without first deleting its deployments. Jan 3, 2018 at 13:22
  • What is this document? I see no link to a document, and your quotes are missing. Only "Block quote" is present, which doesn't mean anything. Jan 3, 2018 at 16:04

I am certain in the past I have retired applications that had active deployments in 2012 or 2012 R2. My understanding then was existing deployments were preserved, but no new ones could be created. This is absolutely a change in functionality (or a bug).

Here is the 2012 era documentation: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg682031.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

When you retire an application, it is no longer available for deployment but the application and any deployments of the application are not deleted. Existing copies of this application that were installed on client computers will not be removed. Any revisions to the application will be deleted from Configuration Manager after 60 days. However, any installed copies of the application are not removed.

  • Also, I verified the change in behavior in our 1706 deployment. I was unable to retire an application that had an active deployment. Jan 19, 2018 at 13:36

SCCM 1706 has been out of support since 2018: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/configmgr/core/servers/manage/updates#historical-versions.

It's definitely time to upgrade.

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