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AltStore is a new way to install un-official apps on the iPhone

AltStore is the latest way of downloading unofficial content onto your iPhone or iPad; it’s free; you don’t need a jailbreak, so try it today.

altstore app knowtechie
Image: KnowTechie

If you are looking for a way of installing third-party apps and games on your iPhone or iPad, look no further than AltStore. It’s an alternative app store that offers all the apps and games that Apple won’t allow into their store, it’s free to use, and you don’t need a jailbreak.

How to Download AltStore:

AltStore is somewhat different from other alternative app stores in that you need to use your computer to install it on your device. For Windows users, your iTunes version must be from the official Apple website and not the Microsoft store. If you downloaded it via Microsoft, delete it and then use one of the links below to reinstall it:

Now you can download AltStore:

  1. Using the official cable, plug your iPhone or iPad into your PC or Mac
  2. Open your desktop browser and go to the AltStore website; download AltServer, an AltStore companion app
  3. Windows – launch your icon tray and click on the icon for AltServer. Hover your mouse over Install AltStore and click your device
  4. Mac – go to your toolbar and click on AltStore > Install AltStore; click your device
  5. Once AltStore has successfully installed on your iPhone or iPad, you can download whatever apps and games you want – do leave your device connected to your computer and AltServer running
  6. Updating the app or downloading games or apps from AltServer must be done with your device connected to your desktop and AltServer open. You can connect with the cable or use Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes to connect via the same Wi-Fi network

How to Use AltStore:

  1. Launch the store on your device – you may see an Untrusted Developer error
  2. If you do, note the developer name and open Settings > General > Profiles
  3. Tap the developer name in the list and tap Trust
  4. Now open AltStore again and tap on Settings > Account
  5. Tap on Sign In and use your Apple credentials or, if you used an app-specific password to install AltStore, use that
  6. Tap on the browser and search for a game or an app
  7. Tap the app title to see what it’s about or tap on the app and then on FREE to install it
  8. When it has installed, the app can be used the same as an official app

How to Use AltStore to Install External IPA Files:

AltStore also lets you install external IPA files:

  1. Using Safari browser on your device, download your IPA files from reputable sources
  2. You should see the AltStore icon on the file – tap it, and AltStore will open
  3. AltStore will sign the app and install it for you
  4. Alternatively, you can click on the icon that looks like this:
  5. Launch the file using AltStore and let it install
  6. Or you can open AltStore, tap on the plus icon and find your IPA file
  7. Tap it, and it will install
  8. Once it has installed, you can access it from your home screen and the My Apps section in AltStore

Pros and Cons:

AltStore has many advantages, but it also has a couple of disadvantages too:


  • You don’t need a jailbreak
  • Apple cannot revoke the app certificates because you are self-signing them
  • Choose from the built-in apps or install external IPA files


  • You can only have three active apps on your device at once, and one of those is AltStore
  • You must use the AltServer companion app, which requires your computer and your device has to be connected to your desktop using Wi-Fi Sync or the cable
  • You must refresh the apps once every seven days if you have a free Apple ID; paid IDs are okay for 12 months

Frequently Asked Questions:

These are the answers to all the commonly asked AltStore questions:

What is AltStore?

AltStore is an unofficial app store that lets you self-sign unofficial content by creating your own developer certificates.

Is it a Jailbreak?

No, AltStore is not a jailbreak, and you don’t need to install one either. It is an alternative app store, nothing more.

How Does AltStore Work?

AltStore is the brainchild of the popular developer Riley Testut. He decides to use a feature given to developers by Apple, which allows them to test apps before putting them forward for inclusion in the app store. The feature allows self-signing using a computer; because you are creating your own developer certificates, enterprise certificates are no longer required. This is why you need to use your Apple ID, and you can only have three apps active – as one of these is AltStore, you can download two more from the app store. When you want others, you’ll need to delete those already downloaded.

What Apps Can I Download?

There aren’t many apps in the store, but there are plans to add some more in due course. The most popular downloads from AltStore are:

  • GBA4iOS
  • Happy Chick Emulator
  • Provenance
  • iNDS
  • Chimera Jailbreak

How Should I Use AltStore?

The best way is by following the developer’s guidelines:

  • Make sure that AltStore is set to open when your computer is switched on/logged in.
  • When you are not using your desktop, leave it in Sleep mode with your device connected – that way, iOS can refresh your apps.
  • Make sure AltStore is used at least once or twice a week so that iOS will prioritize it and keep your apps refreshed.

AltStore is the latest way of downloading unofficial content onto your iPhone or iPad; it’s free; you don’t need a jailbreak, so try it today.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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