AltStore is the latest way of installing unofficial apps and games on your iPhone or iPad. It’s free to use and is entirely different from all the other unofficial app stores.
How to Download AltStore
Before you start, be aware that you need your PC or Mac to do this, and you will be installing a companion app. If you are using Windows, ensure that your iTunes is not from the Microsoft store; it must be from the Apple website. If it isn’t, delete it and use one of the links below to download it again:
Once you have done that, you are ready to download:
- Connect your iOS device to your computer with the official cable
- Open your Browser and download the AltServer companion app from the AltStore website.
- Windows users – open your icon tray, click the AltServer icon, hover the mouse over the Install AltStore option, and choose your device.
- Mac users – open your toolbar, click AltStore>Install AltStore and select your device.
- When AltStore has been installed to your device, leave your computer on with AltServer running and your device connected while you download the apps or games you want
- When you want apps or games on your device, or you need to update, connect your device to your computer and open AltServer. Alternatively, use Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes and make sure your device and computer are on the same network.
How to Use AltStore
- Open AltStore
- If an Untrusted Developer error appears, open Settings>General>Profiles and trust the profiles.
- Tap on Settings>Account and then Sign In. Use your Apple ID/password to sign in or, if you created one, the app-specific password you used when you installed AltStore.
- Tap the Browser and find whatever app or game you want to install. Either tap the title to see the details or install it by tapping FREE.
- Once installed, you can use it the same way as any other app.
How to Install IPA Files
You can also install external IPA files you downloaded from the internet:
- Find and download the IPA files to your iOS device.
- The file should show the AltStore icon – tap it, and the store opens.
- The app is signed and then installed
- Alternatively, click the icon, as shown below:
- Use AltStore to launch the file and leave it to install
- Another way is to launch AltStore, tap the + icon, and find your file in downloads; tap to install it.
- When you see the app icon on your home screen, it will also be in AltStore, under My Apps.
Pros and Cons
Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using AltStore.
- No need to jailbreak
- Because you self-sign the apps, there is no way for Apple to revoke the app certificates.
- Install the apps already in the store or download external IPA files
- Only three apps can be active at any one time on your device – one of those is AltStore.
- Your computer is required for the AltServer companion app, and you must either connect your device with the cable or enable Wi-Fi Sync.
- The apps must be refreshed every seven days for free Apple ID users every 12 months for those with a paid developer ID.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s everything you need to know about AltStore
What is AltStore?
An unofficial app store that allows you to create your own developer certificates to sign unofficial apps and games.
Is AltStore a Jailbreak?
No, and it doesn’t need one to work either. It is just an alternative app store that lets you sign IPA files.
How Does it Work?
The store was developed by Riley Testut using a feature that Apple provides developers so they can test their apps before submitting them to the store. That feature allows you to sign the apps yourself on your computer, with no need to use enterprise certificates as some other app stores do. This explains why your Apple ID is required, and it does mean only three apps can be active on your device – one of these is AltStore, so you can only install two more from the store.
What Apps Are There?
Not many right now, but more are being added in the near future. These are the most popular downloads:
What is the Best Way to Use AltStore?
By following the guidelines from the developer
- Set AltStore, so it opens as soon as you log into your computer
- Put your computer into sleep mode when it isn’t in use and leave your device connected. This is more important overnight so the iOS can wake and refresh your apps
- Open AltStore once or twice a week, at least. That way, it will be prioritized by iOS, and your apps will be refreshed
Try AltStore for yourself. It’s free and is a great new way to install unofficial content.