One of the main reasons to jailbreak your iPhone is either downloading tweaks that enhance the iPhone experience or sideloading apps that aren’t available on the App Store. However, AltStore (alternate store) let you sideload apps on your iPhone without jailbreaking, let’s see how.
For the unknown, AltStore is an open-sourced project created by Riley Tesut where you can install apps without jailbreaking your device. It implements Apple’s own feature where developers can test out their own apps before publishing to the App Store. If you wish to understand how it works, you can read more about it here.
Install AltStore on iPhone and Computer
AltStore isn’t a standalone app for your iPhone, it runs a server on your computer and updates the apps on your iPhone. The apps which are installed using AltStore work only for seven days and need to be refreshed or it will be removed automatically due to Apple’s strict policies. The server ensures your apps stay alive forever as long as you connect your iPhone to the AltStore server once a week. The steps to install AltStore on Mac and Windows are exactly the same with just one small difference in Step 2. You shouldn’t face any problem during the setup.
Step 1: Go to the AltStore website and download the application for your computer. It is available for both macOS(10.14.4 and above) and Windows( only 10).
Step 2: Unpack the file and install the server by running the file. You shouldn’t face any problem with macOS during installation, however, Windows users may get an error message if you have iTunes installed on the Windows computer.
If you’ve installed iTunes from Microsoft Store, remove it completely from your system before proceeding further. Go to Control Panel> Uninstall a program> right-click iTunes> Uninstall.
Now, delete iTunes library files from your computer which will prevent the smooth installation of the iTunes setup. Go to This PC> C: drive> Users> PC NAME> Music> iTunes folder. Delete this folder and all the files inside of it( if that’s not important, otherwise just move it somewhere else).
Step 3: From here on, the process for both macOS and Windows is exactly the same. Start the AltStore server on your computer, it would start and show up on Apple’s Menubar and Windows Taskbar. Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable and click the ‘Install AltStore‘ and select your iPhone.
Step 4: The server would ask you to enter the Apple ID credentials, enter the details and click OK. If you’ve two-factor authentication turned on, you will have to generate an app-specific password for AltStore Server. Go to your Apple account by clicking this link on a web browser and log in with your Apple ID credentials.
Step 5: Scroll down to Security Settings and click ‘Generate Password‘, give it a name and click ‘Create‘. This password will be used a few more times so note it down somewhere.
Step 6: Now, go back to the AltStore Server running on the computer and install the AltStore app by entering your Apple ID and the app-specific password. It would take a few minutes to install the app and when it does, the app will show up on the iPhone’s home screen. You can then remove the USB cable.
Step 7: The app won’t open just yet, we’ll have to verify the app in the Settings. On your iPhone, go to Settings> General> Device Management> your Apple ID> tap ‘Trust’.
Step 8: Now, you’ll have to enter your Apple ID and the app-specific password in the app. Open the AltStore app on your iPhone, go to the Settings tab, and tap ‘Sign in with Apple ID. Enter the credentials and that’s it, your AltStore is all set up and ready to go. Happy Sideloading!
Step 9: The only thing left to do now is enabling Wifi sync. As I mentioned earlier, the apps which you sideload using AltStore only work for seven days and need to be refreshed. That’s what AltStore Server is for, it will automatically refresh the sideloaded apps on your iPhone via Wifi. The only requirement is that you connect your computer and iPhone to the same Wifi at least once a week. This won’t be a problem for most people as your iPhone would probably be connected to the home network anyway.
To enable Wifi sync, connect your iPhone to the computer using the USB cable and open iTunes, go to your iPhone, and under Options tab check the box against ‘Sync iPhone over Wi-F‘ and click ‘Done’. Now, AltStore Server would automatically refresh the sideloaded apps every seven days.
How to install AltStore
This was a quick way to install AltStore on your computer. It is a decent software with an easy installation process. I agree, Windows application doesn’t work as smoothly as the iOS counterpart but you can effortlessly fix it in minutes. What do you think of this method, let me know in the comments below.