There are thousands of open source apps that aren’t available on App Store. Not all third-party apps outside the store are reliable and not all are risky. It depends on which app you are installing and the source of that app. Here’s a simple guide – how to sideload iOS apps to iPhone or iPad on Windows and Mac with the Cydia Impactor tool. No jailbreak is required for this to work!
There are other alternative ways to sideload IPA files and apps onto Apple’s iOS devices using Xcode, but that, comes with the limitation of having to either be using a Mac, or running a Hackintosh. Today, we got something to try out and bypass that limitation and relevantly achieving the same result, but this time on Windows and Mac, using the fantastic and extremely powerful Cydia Impactor tool.
First up: You will need to download the Cydia Impactor tool. It’s a free-of-charge download, and you can get it from cydiaimapctor.com. You’ll need to download the right version for your OS, so either macOS or Windows. Once that is done, extract the contents of the downloaded Cydia Imapctor package and save the files safe on the computing machine.
Secondary: Now, you will need to have the IPA file of the app that you want to sideload. This IPA will be entirely different for every application, though, but will have been created in the same manner. Note that DEB files don’t work with Cydia Impactor.
Third: Once you got your IPA file of the app you want to sideload, connect the iOS device in question to your Mac or PC via USB, and also make sure that the latest version of iTunes is installed on that machine.
Fourth step: Launch Cydia Impactor executable file from the stored files downloaded above.
Step 5: When Cydia Impactor is launched, select the connected device from the first dropdown.
Sixth step: Drag and drop the downloaded app’s IPA file onto the Cydia Impactor window. When asked for an Apple ID of an Apple Developer account (free or paid, both will work) to sign the app with for sideloading on the device.
Seventh: Enter a valid Apple ID and password of an Apple Developer account and click OK. It is important to note that using a free account ID will cause the app’s certificate to expire in 7 days, after which you will have to repeat this process. A full Apple Developer ID signs with those certificates that remain valid for a year.
In this step, when you receive a dialogue warning advising that any existing developer certificate will be revoked and replaced, select OK to continue.
Cydia Impactor will take care of that heavy lifting of fetching the relevant certificates from Apple’s developer portal, and will digitally sign the IPA to validate it. This may take a few seconds, so please wait patiently.
Once the app has been sideloaded and you see the app’s icon on the Home screen, head to Settings > General > Profile & Device Management and find the profile that it just installed for your app. Done! Need to tap on it and Trust the certificate to allow it to run.
That’s it. You can now go back to the Home screen and tap on the sideloaded app’s icon to run it on your non-jailbroken iPhone or iPad.
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