How to install .ipa on iPhone and iPad

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The great thing about having an iPhone or iPad is that you can install new Applications (Apps) on your device. You can install these Apps from the official App market using iTunes. On this page I will show you how to install downloaded .ipa files on your iPhone or iPad.

What is an .ipa file?

An .ipa file is an installation archive for applications for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. These .ipa files can be installed on your Apple device to install new applications. Most of the .ipa’s are protected by Apple’s DRM technology.

When you want to install an iDevice application from the App Store what actually happens is that an .ipa file of that App is downloaded to your device after which that .ipa file is installed.

Sometimes you will want to download .ipa files from external sources (like for example this website), simply because your App Store is not working or because the App you want is not available in the App Store for your country.

Install .ipa Apps with SSH

Secure Shell (or SSH) is cryptographic communication protocol that allows you to communicate with your iPhone or iPad from your computer. Please follow the steps below to use SSH to install .ipa Apps on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Download and install an SSH program (for example winscp or cyberduck)
  2. Find the IP address of your iPhone/iPad by going to Settings>WiFi and tapping on the blue icon next to the network you are on.
  3. Enter this IP address in the ‘host’ field.
  4. For the login data use the following: username=root, password=alpine (if this doesn’t work try dottie)
  5. Now we will need to extract the actual application from the .ipa file. To do this rename your .ipa file to an .ipa.zip file.
  6. Now open this zip file using for example winzip/winrar and extract the .app folder from the payload folder in the .zip.
  7. Using your SSH client move what you have extracted to the /stash/Application folder on your iPhone/iPad.
  8. Now right click on the .app folder and change the permissions to 0777 by checking all the boxes.
  9. Now all you need to do is respring/restart your iPhone or iPad and your App is installed!

Install .ipa with iFunbox

iFunbox is an application that allows you to SSH into your iPhone. This way you can edit or browse around the file system of your iPhone or iPad. Using iFunBox you can allso install IPA files. Please follow the steps below to install ipa files using iFunbox.

  1. Download and install iFunbox.
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad with your computer using USB.
  3. Select the device in iFunbox.
  4. Select the ‘Install IPA’ option in iFunbox.
  5. Select your .ipa file, the installation of the App will now begin.
  6. Once finished respring/restart your iPhone to use the application.

Note: Sometimes you need AppSync for this to work, if so please install it.

Do you got another working method to install iOS applications on your iPhone or iPad? Please share your method below in the comments!

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2 Comments

  1. Not James May on

    Thanks a lot, the second method didn’t work for me but I got it to work using the first method!

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