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Sideloading 20.03.2023
Sideloading iOS Apps: What It Is and How to Do It Safely
If you own an iOS device, you know that the App Store is the go-to source for downloading and installing apps. However, did you know that there is another way to install apps on your iPhone or iPad? It's called sideloading, and it allows you to install apps from outside the App Store. In this article, we'll explore what sideloading is, its benefits and risks, and how to do it safely.

What is iOS Sideloading?

Sideloading refers to the process of installing an app on an iOS device using a method other than the App Store. This can be done by downloading an app from a third-party source and installing it on your device using a computer or other means. While Apple doesn't officially support or recommend sideloading, it can be useful in certain situations.

Benefits of iOS Sideloading

One of the main benefits of sideloading is that it allows you to install apps that are not available on the AppStore. For example, you can install beta versions of apps before they are released to the public or try out apps that have been removed from the App Store for policy violations. Additionally, sideloading allows you to install apps that are not available in your country's App Store. Many people also use sideloading to install paid apps for free in order to try those apps to avoid paying for something that does not work as expected. This is called "Try before you buy".

Risks of iOS Sideloading

However, sideloading can also pose significant risks to your device's security. When you download and install apps from third-party sources, you expose yourself to potential malware and other security threats. Since Apple doesn't vet apps from outside the App Store, you can't be sure that the apps you download are safe.

Moreover, sideloading can compromise your device's security by bypassing Apple's strict security measures. When you install apps from the App Store, they go through a rigorous approval process to ensure they don't contain malicious code. In contrast, apps from third-party sources can bypass these security checks and install potentially harmful code on your device.

How to Safely Sideload iOS Apps

If you decide to sideload apps on your iOS device, it's crucial to take the necessary precautions to protect your device's security. Here are some tips to help you sideload apps safely:

You will need to use an Apple signing certificate to sideload apps.

Suggested article: Apple Signing Certificates: What They Are and How to Use Them

Use a trusted source and a reputable app installer: Only download and install apps from sources that are known to be safe and reliable, like AppDB, which is around since 2012 and has strict security checks on their content just like the App Store itself. If you want to install IPA files directly, use a reputable app installer such as Cydia Impactor or AppDB's "MyAppStore" feature.

Suggested article: Sideloading iOS Apps with AppDB: How It Works and Why It's Worth It

Check the app's publisher: Before installing an app, check the developer's or publisher's reputation and reviews online. If the publisher is unknown or has a poor reputation, avoid the app.

Install an antivirus: Install an antivirus app on your device to scan for malware and other security threats.


Sideloading iOS apps can be a useful way to install apps that are not available on the App Store. However, it also poses significant security risks, and users should take precautions to protect their devices. By using trusted sources, checking app publishers, installing antivirus, and using a reputable app installer, you can sideload apps safely and avoid compromising your device's security.