If you are looking for an alternative way of installing third-party apps onto your iPhone or iPad, try AltStore. It’s a third-party app store with a difference and is completely free; read on for more details.
How to Download AltStore on iOS
Before you install AltStore, there are a couple of things you need to know. The most important thing is you will need your PC or Mac, but it is easy to do, and it is safe.
You will need:
- Your iPhone or iPad
- PC or Mac
- Official USB connection cable for your iOS device
Windows users must make sure they are using the official Apple version of iTunes. If you downloaded it via the Microsoft app store, delete it and download using the links below
Ready to download?
- Use the cable to connect your iPhone/iPad to your PC or Mac
- Open your desktop browser and use the links above to download the AltServer companion app from the AltStore website.
- On Windows, go to your Icon Tray (bottom of the screen) and click on the AltServer icon. Hover the mouse over Install AltStore and select your device
- On Mac, launch the toolbar and click on AltStore >Install AltStore, choosing your device
- Once AltStore is installed on your iPhone or iPad, leave AltServer open, your device plugged in and downloaded the apps you want
- Whenever you want an app or game, connect your device to your computer – do the same when there are app updates.
How to Use AltStore
- Launch AltStore on your device
- If you see an Untrusted Developer Error, open iOS Settings > General >Profiles, find and trust the developer
- Tap on the Settings app > Account>Sign in and sign in to AltStore using your Apple ID and password or app-specific password if you created one (it has to be the same one used to install AltStore from AltServer)
- Tap on Browser and find an app or game; tap the title to see the app details or tap on FREE to install it
- When it is installed, you can use it on your device the same way as you do other apps
Installing IPA Files
- Download the IPA file you want from the web onto your phone
- You should see the AltStore icon on the file; tap and launch the store
- The app will be self-signed and installed.
- If that does not function, tap the icon you see here on your screen
- Launch the file using AltStore and let it install
- Alternatively, open AltStore, tap on the plus icon, go to downloads and tap the file you want to install
- The app icon is on your home screen and also in the My Apps section in AltStore
Pros and Cons:
While there are several advantages, there are also disadvantages to AltStore app:
- You don’t need a jailbreak
- The apps are not revoked because you are creating developer certificates to sign the apps
- Works like Cydia Impactor to sideload files
- You can only have 3 active apps at any one time
- Your computer is needed for the companion app, AltServer and you must enable Wi-Fi sync on iTunes if you want to use Wi-Fi rather than cable
- You must refresh the apps every seven days if you are using a free Apple ID; those with paid developer accounts will be okay for 12 months
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the answers to the common questions about AltStore
What is AltStore?
It is an alternative iOS app store that does not need a jailbreak to work. It also doesn’t rely on Enterprise Certificates as you create your own.
Is it a Jailbreak?
No. It is an app installer that allows you to install and sign IPA files.
How Does AltStore Work?
Riley Testut developed the store using a feature provided by Apple to let developers test apps before they go to the store. The apps are self-signed on your PC or Mac and don’t need enterprise certificates, unlike other unofficial stores. This is also why you require your Apple ID to sign in. However, it does mean that you can only install three apps, and, as AltStore is one of those, you can install just two from the store.
What Apps Will I Find?
These are the most popular apps on the store:
There are not many apps there at the moment, but more are going to be added, Plus, you can sideload IPA files of your own.
What’s the Recommended Way to use AltStore?
These are the developer’s guidelines:
- Set up AltStore to open immediately you log in to your computer
- Leave your PC in sleep mode when you are not using it, with your device connected – this way, the apps are woken up and refreshed.
- Try to open AltStore at least twice a week; iOS can then prioritize it and ensure the apps are refreshed.
AltStore is well worth trying, so download it today and enjoy an alternative way of installing unofficial apps and games.