If you want a new way of installing third-party content on your iOS device, take a look at AltStore. You don’t have to jailbreak, it’s free to use and offers a completely different experience to other stores, official or otherwise.
How to Download AltStore:
You are going to need your computer to do this as you need to install a companion app called AltServer. This is how AltStore gets installed on your device and how you refresh the apps to stop them from being revoked by Apple. If you use the Windows OS, make sure you are using iTunes from the official Apple website. IF you have installed the Microsoft app store version, delete it and reinstall using the links below:
Now you are ready to download AltStore:
- Plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer and open your desktop browser
- Open the linked AltStore website and download AltServer
- Windows – launch your icon tray, click on AltServer, hover over Install AltStore and click on your device
- Mac – launch your toolbar, click on AltStore > Install AltStore and click on your device
- Wait until AltStore is on your device – you will see the icon on your home screen.
As you use AltStore to download apps and games, make sure you leave your computer running and your device plugged into it. You need to do this every time you want to install something – or you can enable Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes – and when your computer is not in use, leave it in sleep mode with AltServer running. Connect your device overnight when you are not using it so the apps can be refreshed.
How to Use AltStore:
- Tap the icon to open AltStore
- If you see an Untrusted Developer error, tap on Settings > General > Profiles, tap the AltStore option and tap on Trust.
- Open AltStore again and tap Settings > Account
- Sign in using your Apple ID or an app-specific password if you created one
- Tap on the browser and search for an app or game to install
- Tap on it to see what it is about or tap FREE beside it to install it
- Use it the way you would any other app
How to Install External Files:
AltStore also lets you install external IPA files from the internet:
- Search for and download your chosen files from reputable websites
- Tap the AltStore icon on the file and AltStore will open
- Wait – AltStore will sign and install the app
- You can also open AltStore and tap the + icon
- Tap on the file in your download and it will be installed
- The app can be accessed from your home screen and from My Apps in AltStore
AltStore Pros and Cons:
AltStore has its pros and cons as any app does:
- You don’t need to jailbreak
- The app certificates cannot be revoked by Apple
- Choice of pre-installed apps or download your own
- You can only have three active apps on your device, including AltStore
- You need the AltServer companion app on your computer and your device needs to be connected by cable or Wi-Fi Sync to refresh and download apps
- You must refresh the apps every seven days if you have a free Apple ID to stop the app from crashing
Frequently Asked Questions:
These are the most commonly asked questions and tell you everything you need to know about AltStore
What is AltStore?
It is an unofficial iOS platform that lets you install unsigned IPA files by creating your own developer certificates.
Is it a Jailbreak?
No, and you don’t need to jailbreak to use it either. It is nothing more than an unofficial app store.
How Does AltStore Work?
Developed by Riley Testut, AltStore uses an Apple-provided feature that allows developers to test their apps before they go to the official store. It allows you to create your own developer certificates to sign the apps but this is why you need to provide your Apple ID and why you can only have three active apps at any one time.
What Apps Does AltStore Have?
It doesn’t have a huge amount of pre-installed apps at the moment but this number will increase over time. Don’t forget that you can download your own IPA files and install those. Some of the popular downloads from AltStore include:
How Should AltStore be Used?
By following the developer’s recommendations:
- Have AltStore set to open as soon as your computer is logged in
- When you are not using your computer leave it in sleep mode and when possible connect your device – AltServer must be running on your computer. This way iOS can wake your apps and refresh them
- Try to open the store at least once a week so the apps can be refreshed
AltStore is one of the newest ways to install unofficial content and it’s completely free, so try it on your device today.