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How to Use AltStore app on iPhone

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AltStore is the latest in a long line of unofficial app stores for the iPhone or iPad and it is completely different from all the others. You don’t have to jailbreak and it’s free so read on to find out how to get it on your device.

How to Download AltStore:

Unlike other alternative stores, AltStore requires two things – your PC or Mac and the companion app called AltServer. Windows users need to be sure that they are running the official Apple version of iTunes and not the Microsoft store version. If you are unsure or know you are using the wrong one, delete it and reinstall using the links below:

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Now you can download AltStore

  1. Plug your iOS device into your computer and download AltServer from the official AltStore website
  2. Windows – go to your icon tray and click on AltServer. Hover the mouse cursor over Install AltStore and click on your device
  3. Mac – go to your toolbar and click AltStore > Install AltStore; click on your device
  4. AltStore will be installed on your iPhone or iPad.

From here on, you should leave your computer switched on (in sleep mode if you are not using it) and AltServer running in the background. Connect your device when you want to install apps or games, update them, refresh them or more – this can be done using the official cable or iTunes Wi-Fi Sync

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How to Use AltStore:

  1. Open AltStore on your device
  2. If you see an Untrusted Developer error, tap on Settings > General > Profiles and trust the AltStore profile
  3. Open AltStore again and tap Settings >Account
  4. Sign in using your Apple ID or app-specific password if you created one to install AltStore
  5. Tap the browser and choose an app or game to install – tap it to see what it’s about or tap FREE to install it
  6. When it is installed, the icon goes on your home page and it is ready to use

How to Install External IPA Files:

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Because AltStore doesn’t have as much content as other similar apps, you can sideload your own IPA files downloaded from the internet:

  1. Use Safari browser to download your files
  2. Find the file and tap the AltStore icon
  3. AltStore will open and the app is installed
  4. Alternatively, open AltStore and tap on the plus icon
  5. Locate the file you downloaded and tap it
  6. Wait for the icon to appear on your home screen and the app is installed

You can also access downloaded apps in the My Apps section in AltStore

Pros and Cons:

As with any app, AltStore comes with a few pros and cons


  • You don’t need to jailbreak
  • The apps are self-signed so Apple cannot revoke the app certificates
  • Choose from pre-installed apps or sideload your own


  • You can only have three active apps at any one time, including AltStore
  • You need to install the AltServer companion app on your computer and your device needs to be connected via cable or Wi-Fi Sync to install and update apps
  • The apps need to be refreshed every seven days with a free Apple ID, 12 months with a paid developer on.

Frequently Asked Questions:

These are the commonly asked questions and they tell you all you need to know about this store:

What is AltStore?

It is a third-party app installer that lets you install unsigned apps by creating your own developer certificates.

Is it a Jailbreak?

No. AltStore is not a jailbreak, nor does it need one. It is just an app store that allows you to install unsigned IPA files.

How Does AltStore Work?

Riley Testut developed the store and included a developer feature provided by Apple. Using that feature, developers can test apps before they are sent to the store and that is what allows you to sign your own developer certificates to install the apps. However, it is also why you can only have three active apps at a time and why your Apple ID is needed.

What Apps Does AltStore Offer?

Right now not very many but the developer will be adding some more as time goes on. In the meantime, you can use AltStore to sideload external files so you can have pretty much any app or game you want. The following are the most popular downloaded apps from the store:

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

How Should I Use AltStore?

The developer suggests you use the store like this:

  • Ensure that AltStore is set to open when your computer is logged on
  • When not using your computer, put it in sleep mode and, preferably overnight, plug in your device so iOS can wale your apps and refresh them
  • Open the app at least once a week so iOS prioritizes it and refreshes your apps

AltStore is completely free and is something very different from other app stores. Try it on your device today and have the apps and games you really want.



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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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