How to Install App Store Apps Without the App Store


The App Store is the go-to download center for every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch user. However, iOS allows administrators to disable access to the App Store through MDM profiles and the restrictions settings. Some MDM profiles cannot be removed, and other management profiles send a notification to the administrator when they are removed. This means that you might not be able to install apps on your device. In some of these cases, you could just bypass the restrictions password, but if you don't want to, then this guide is for you.

I've written this guide using a Mac, so steps might be a little different for Windows users, though it should still be very similar.

Things You'll Need


Step 1

Open iTunes on your computer, and switch to the Apps section using the drop-down menu under the media controls in the top left hand corner.

Step 2

Switch to the App Store tab of iTunes, using the menu in the middle of the same control bar that the drop-down menu was in.

Step 3

Download the app(s) you want.

Step 4

Switch back to the "Library" tab of iTunes.

Step 5

Right click on the app you'd like to install.

Step 6

On macOS, click "Show in Finder". It should say "Show in Windows Explorer" on Windows.

Step 7

Go to the Dropbox website.

Step 8

Make an account if you don't already have one, then log in. If you already have an account, just log in.

Step 9

Drag and drop the .ipa file iTunes highlighted in Finder or Windows Explorer into your Dropbox, in the folder you want it to be in.

Step 10

Hover over the file listing to show the "Share" button.

Step 11

Click the "Share" button.

Step 12

There should be a blue "Show Link" link somewhere on the page. Click it.

Step 13

The link should be shown. Copy it.

Step 14

Paste the link somewhere (in TextEdit/Notepad, or even in your browser's navigation bar).

Step 15

The link should end in "dl=0". Change the 0 to a 1, so it ends with "dl=1".

Step 16

Send that link to yourself, whether by email, iMessage, or some other means.

Step 17

Download Saurik's Impactor from its official website. Don't worry, it's safe (as of the writing of this tutorial, June 30th, 2017).

Make sure you download it for the operating system you're using. If you're using a Mac, it's probably macOS. Otherwise, it's probably Windows.

Step 18

Download the latest version of App Installer from the official GitHub repo.

Step 19

Open Impactor.

Step 20

Plug in your iOS device. If you're using Windows, wait for the drivers to install.

Step 21

Once Impactor recognizes your device, drag and drop the .ipa file for App Installer that you downloaded to the textbox that has your device's name in it.

Step 22

You will have to put in your Apple ID and password. Put it in. It's safe, as of June 30th, 2017.

Step 23

If you are subscribed to the Apple Developer Program, there may be a box telling you to choose which certificate to use. Choose one. If you are not, or you don't know, skip this step.

Step 24

Wait for the app to install. If there's a plist error of some kind, ignore it.

Step 25

Open App Installer from your home screen.

Step 26

There's a text field in the middle of the screen. Copy the link you sent yourself earlier, and paste it in the text field.

Step 27

Press the "Install" button.

Step 28

Wait for a message saying something along the lines of "file.io would like to install App Installer" to pop up. Press "Install".

Step 29

Go back to your home screen, and wait for the app to install, then open it.

While it's installing, make sure you're logged into the App Store with the same account that you used to download the app on your computer. You can check this in the Settings app under the "iTunes and App Store" section. If you're not logged in, log in.

Step 30

When you open the app, there may be a dialog box asking you to put in your Apple ID and password. Enter your Apple ID credentials. This is 100% safe as long as you did download the app directly from Apple using iTunes. The app should finish opening with no problems.


That's it, you've downloaded an App Store app without using the App Store on your iOS device! If you like these tutorials or you want to hear more from me, please follow me on Twitter @JustinAlexP.