Manually installing apps on an iPhone may sound daunting, but it’s actually a straightforward process. All you need to do is download the app’s installation file (known as an IPA file) onto your computer, and then use a program called Cydia Impactor to install it onto your iPhone. It’s a handy technique for when you need to install apps that are not available in the App Store.
After installing an app manually, it will function just like any other app downloaded from the App Store. You can open it, use it, and update it as needed. Keep in mind that you may have to trust the app on your iPhone before it can be opened.
In the age of digital convenience, the App Store is the go-to place for iPhone users to find and install new apps. But did you know that there’s another way to add apps to your iPhone that doesn’t involve the App Store? Yes, you can manually install apps on your iPhone. This might sound like something only tech-savvy folks would do, but it’s actually a process that anyone can learn.
But why would you want to install apps manually? Well, sometimes the apps you want aren’t available in your country’s App Store, or maybe you want to install a version of an app that’s no longer available. Or perhaps you’re a developer who wants to test an app before submitting it to the App Store. Whatever the reason may be, manually installing apps on your iPhone is a useful skill to have.
This article is for anyone who wants to expand their iPhone’s app horizons beyond what’s available in the App Store. Whether you’re a casual user or a developer, this guide will walk you through the steps to manually install any app on your iPhone.
Step by Step Tutorial: Manually Installing Apps on an iPhone
Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve by the end of this tutorial. We’ll have an app that’s not available on the App Store installed and running on your iPhone. Ready? Let’s go.
Step 1: Download the IPA File
Find and download the IPA file for the app you want to install onto your computer.
The IPA file is the app. Think of it as the box containing all the parts needed to build your app on your iPhone. Make sure to download it from a trusted source to avoid any security risks.
Step 2: Download Cydia Impactor
Download and install Cydia Impactor on your computer.
Cydia Impactor is the tool that will help us bridge the gap between your computer and iPhone. It’s like a delivery truck that will transport the app (IPA file) to your iPhone.
Step 3: Connect Your iPhone to Your Computer
Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Just plug in your iPhone as if you were going to charge it using your computer.
Step 4: Open Cydia Impactor
Launch Cydia Impactor and ensure it recognizes your iPhone.
You’ll know it’s connected when you see your iPhone’s name appear in Cydia Impactor. If it doesn’t, try disconnecting and reconnecting your iPhone.
Step 5: Drag and Drop the IPA File
Drag and drop the IPA file onto the Cydia Impactor window.
This is the moment of truth—transferring the app from your computer to your iPhone.
Step 6: Enter Your Apple ID
Input your Apple ID when prompted by Cydia Impactor.
This is for verification purposes. Cydia Impactor needs to know you’re the rightful owner of the iPhone.
Step 7: Trust the Developer Profile
On your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Device Management’ and trust the developer profile associated with your Apple ID.
This is like telling your iPhone, “Hey, I trust this app; let’s go ahead and use it.”
|Control Over App Versions
|Manually installing apps allows you to control which version of an app you have on your iPhone.
|Access to Unavailable Apps
|You can install apps that are not available in your country’s App Store or are no longer available for download.
|No Need for a Jailbreak
|You can install apps manually without having to jailbreak your iPhone, which keeps your device secure.
|Risk of Security
|Downloading IPA files from unverified sources can put your iPhone at risk of malware.
|It’s more complex than just downloading from the App Store and may be off-putting for some users.
|Potential for App Instability
|Some manually installed apps may not work as reliably as those installed from the App Store.
Manually installing apps on an iPhone is a nifty trick, but it’s not something that Apple officially supports. That’s why it’s crucial to only download IPA files from sources you trust to minimize the risk of malware. It’s also worth noting that some apps will require you to re-trust the developer profile every seven days, or after every reboot, due to Apple’s security policies.
Another aspect to consider is app updates. Unlike apps downloaded from the App Store, manually installed apps won’t update automatically. You’ll need to keep track of updates yourself and repeat the manual installation process when a new version is released.
Lastly, remember that manual installation of apps is primarily intended for testing purposes or for apps that you cannot get through regular channels. It’s always best to download apps from the App Store when possible for the best user experience and security.
- Download the IPA file for the app.
- Download and install Cydia Impactor.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer.
- Open Cydia Impactor and ensure it recognizes your iPhone.
- Drag and drop the IPA file onto the Cydia Impactor window.
- Enter your Apple ID when prompted.
- On your iPhone, trust the developer profile.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an IPA file?
An IPA file is an iOS application archive file that contains the app.
Can I install any app using this method?
You can install any app for which you have the IPA file, as long as it’s compatible with your iPhone.
Is manually installing apps safe?
It’s safe as long as you download IPA files from trusted sources and follow the steps correctly.
Do I need to jailbreak my iPhone to manually install apps?
No, you don’t need to jailbreak your iPhone to manually install apps.
Will manually installed apps receive updates?
No, you’ll have to manually update the app by installing the updated IPA file.
Manually installing apps on an iPhone is like opening a door to a whole new world of apps that aren’t available in the App Store. While it’s not as straightforward as clicking ‘Download’ on the App Store, it’s a powerful skill that can help you in many situations, from accessing region-locked apps to testing apps in development.
Remember to prioritize security by only downloading from trusted sources and enjoy the freedom of manual app installation on your iPhone.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.