Reorder automatic approval rules

Re-arranging the automatic approval rules defines which automatic rules take precedence. Re-arrange automatic approval rules into the desired order by dragging and dropping them on the Automatic Approval Rules screen. After re-ordering the Automatic Approval Rules can be re-run. This in turn modifies the approvals for patches to be rolled out to your customer devices (and groups of devices). The phased roll out of patches can be achieved by a combination of modifying automatic approval rules over time and setting them up with delays.

Re-arranging automatic approval rules enables you to:

  • see what you have configured that affects devices on multiple levels at the same time,
  • review and make rules more efficient by reducing the number of automated approval rules to configure,
  • minimize the number of automatic approval rules and ensure they run in the desired order. For example, you can ensure that a specific declined rule (decline Java 8 updates) can be placed before a general approve rule (approve all patches, which does include Java). This way, the decline rule runs before the approve all rule, preventing the Java update.
  1. Click ConfigurationPatch Management.
  2. Click Automatic Approvals.
  3. Click and drag the rules to the desired order.
  4. Hold the Shift or Control keys to select and move multiple rules at the same time if they are for the same customer or site. If you select two rules for different customers will not be moveable.

  5. Rules that are created from higher levels are not moveable. For example, at the Customer level, you cannot move an SO level rule. You can however, move a Customer level rule from the SO level.

  6. Click Save.

N-able N-central executes the auto approvals in the configured order. The Run Rule Now feature also respects the rule ordering. For more information see the help topic Automatic patch approvals.


Users can order their auto-approval rules via simple drag-and-drop mechanism and the order is persisted after hitting the SAVE button at the bottom of page.

There are some constraints:

  1. You can only order items on your current level or any level below (you cannot move SO-level rules if you're on the customer level view).

  2. You can only move items within the same customer level (you cannot place a SO-level rule between another customer-level rule or a rule from one customer in between rules from another).

  3. You can move more than one item at once if none of previous constraints are violated.

  4. Rules from lower customer levels are always displayed first (site-level rules are at the top of table, customer-level rules are below site rules, SO-level rules are below customer ones, and system-level rules are below those on SO).

  5. Any resulting approvals also have precedence rules. Read more about Patch Approval Hierarchy.


We have 3 ways of executing Auto-approval Rules:

  • Run Rule Now (Clear and Re-evaluate): Rules are executed from bottom-to-top and each executed rule can overwrite results from the rule executed before it.

  • Run Rule Now (Preserve Settings): Rules are executed from top-to-bottom and results created by one rule are not overwritten by the next executed rule.

  • Automatic execution (when some new patches are reported to N-central): Same behavior as Run Rule Now (preserve settings).