If you are looking for an alternative way of installing unofficial content on your iPhone or iPad, take a look at AltStore. Packed with goodies, its free doesn’t need a jailbreak and will offer a completely different app store experience.

How to Download AltStore

For this, you will need your Windows PC or Mac as you must install AltServer, which is a companion app. For Windows users, it is important to note that iTunes must be downloaded via the official Apple website and NOT from the Microsoft store. Use the links below to download the correct version:

Now you can download AltStore:

  1. Connect your computer and iOS device
  2. Using your desktop browser, download AltServer from the Altstore website.
  3. Windows – go to your icon tray, click on AltServer and hover the mouse icon over Install AltStore – choose your device
  4. Mac – go to your toolbar and click on AltStore>Install AltStore – choose your device
  5. When AltStore is on your device, keep your computer on and AltServer open with your iPhone or iPad connected to download games or apps.
  6. Anytime you want to install apps or update, connect your device to your computer, open AltServer and go ahead. Or enable Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes to do it without needing the cable -your computer and device must be on the same Wi-Fi network

How to Use AltStore App

  1. Launch AltStore
  2. If you see an Untrusted Developer error, go to Settings>General and tap Profiles. Trust the AltStore profile
  3. In AltStore, tap Settings>Account and sign in using your Apple details or an app-specific password (must be the same way used for installing AltStore)
  4. Tap on Browser, find an app or game, and tap on FREE to install it
  5. It will be available to use once installed

How to Install IPA Files

AltStore also allows you to install external files:

  1. Using the Safari browser, download any IPA file you want – it will show the AltStore icon once downloaded
  2. Tap the icon and AltStore opens, signs the file, and installs it
  3. Alternatively, you can click on the icon (as seen below)
  4. Launch the file using AltStore and wait for it to install
  5. Another method is to open AltStore and tap the + icon
  6. Find the file in Downloads and tap on it to install it
  7. Whichever method you use, the app icon will appear on your home screen and in My Apps in AltStore

Pros and Cons

AltStore has advantages and disadvantages, just like any app:

Pros:

  • No jailbreak required
  • The app certificates cannot be revoked because you are self-signing them
  • Use the apps already included in the store or download your own from the internet

Cons:

  • You can only have three active apps at any time, one of which is AltStore
  • You need your computer and the AltServer app to install apps and to update
  • If you use a free Apple ID, you need to refresh the apps at least once in every seven-day period

Frequently Asked Questions

These will give you all the information you need about the AltServer app store

What is AltStore?

AltStore is an unofficial app store containing IPA files that you sign by creating a developer profile. You can also install your own files downloaded via the internet.

Is it a Jailbreak?

No, AltStore is not a jailbreak, and you do not need to install one to use it either. It is an app store, nothing more.

How Does AltStore Work?

Riley Testut developed AltStore using a developer feature provided by Apple to allow developers to test apps before they submit them to the official store. It allows you to sign the apps yourself, without needing to use Enterprise certificates that can be revoked. This is why you need to use your Apple ID and, as long as you refresh the apps at least once a week, they cannot be revoked.

What Apps Are in AltStore?

AltStore is relatively new and, right now, it doesn’t contain many apps. However, more will be added, and you can download your own. These are the most popular apps in the store right now:

  • GBA4iOS
  • Delta Emulator
  • Provenance
  • iNDS
  • Unc0ver

Are There Any Guidelines on Using AltStore?

Yes, the developer advises you use it in this way for the best experience:

  1. Ensure that AltStore opens as soon as you switch on/log in to your computer
  2. When you are not using your computer, leave it in sleep mode and, at night, connect your device. iOS will then wake the apps and refresh them
  3. Ensure that AltStore is opened once or twice a week at least so that iOS can prioritize it and refresh

AltStore is a unique kind of third-party app store that offers untold benefits and advantages. Try it for yourself today, see what you’ve been missing out on.