AltStore is the latest in a long line of third-party app stores, making it easy to download unofficial content. However, this one works in a different way to other stores, so read on for all the details.
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How to Download AltStore on iOS:
Downloading AltStore is pretty simple to do, but you cant download it straight to your device. Instead, you need to install the companion app, AltServer, onto your desktop computer first. Windows users must ensure they have downloaded iTunes from the official Apple webpage and not the Microsoft store. If you are unsure, delete iTunes from your computer and use the links below to install it again.
Now you can begin the process of downloading AltServer and AltStore
- Use the official cable to connect your device to your computer
- Open your desktop browser and download the AltServer app from the AltStore app page.
- Windows – go to the icon tray, click on the AltServer icon and place the mouse cursor over the option for Install AltStore; choose your device
- Mac – go to the Toolbar, click on AltStore and then Install AltStore. Click your device from the list
- When AltStore has been installed, you can start installing apps. To do that, either enable Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes or connect your device and use AltServer to install the apps
How to Use AltStore
- Launch AltStore on your iPhone or iPad
- If an Untrusted Developer error appears, go to Settings>General and click on Profiles. Trust the developer
- Go to AltStore and tap Settings>Account
- Use your Apple ID or app-specific password to sign in
- Tap on Browser, find a game or app and tap Free next to it to install it
Installing IPA Files
AltStore also lets you install external IPA files too:
- Use Safari browser to download an IPA file – only use reputable, safe sources
- You should see the AltStore icon on the downloaded app; tap it
- AltStore opens, and the app is signed and then installed
- Another way is to tap the icon like this one:
- Install the file using AltStore
- Alternatively, tap the plus icon in AltStore
- Go to downloads, tap the file, and wait for it to be installed.
- You will see the app on your home screen and in My Apps in AltStore
Pros and Cons
Like any app, AltStore has pros and cons
- You don’t have to install a jailbreak
- Apple cannot revoke the app certificates because you create your own developer certificates
- It is also possible to sideload external IPA files
- You are limited to three active apps – one of those is AltStore
- AltServer companion app is required on your desktop, and you need to use your cable or Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes to install and refresh apps
- You must refresh the apps every seven days to ensure they cannot be revoked
Frequently Asked Questions
Here, we answer the questions we get asked the most often about AltStore:
What is AltStore?
It’s one of the latest unofficial app stores, but this one is different. Each user creates developer certificates of their own, enabling them to sign the apps themselves. Plus, there is no need to jailbreak, and it’s free to use.
Is it a Jailbreak?
No, AltStore is not a jailbreak. It is nothing more than an app store that lets you sign and install unofficial apps.
How Does AltStore Work?
AltStore was developed by Riley Testut using a developer feature provided by Apple to those who pay for a developer certificate. The feature allows developers to test apps before they put them in the store. That feature allows each user to create developer certificates and sign their own apps, but there are some limits. First, you can only have two apps active on your device at any time. Second, you need the AltServer companion app to install apps on your device, and lastly, the apps must be refreshed every seven days to ensure the app certificates cannot be revoked.
What Apps Will I Find in the Store?
There aren’t too many apps right now, but the developer is adding more in the near future. In the meantime, these are the most popular AltStore downloads:
- Delta Emulator
You can install IPA files of your own and sideload them into AltStore too.
How Should AltStore Be Used?
By using these guidelines recommended by the developer:
- Set up AltStore, so it automatically launches when your computer is turned on/logged in
- Leave your computer in sleep mode when you are not using it and ensure that AltServer is left on. Make sure your device is connected so that your apps can be refreshed.
- Make sure you use AltStore once or twice a week to allow iOS to prioritize it. That way, your apps will all be refreshed.
AltStore is one of the latest third-party app stores, very different from the others, and well worth a try.