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How To Download iPhone/iPad Apps without Using an Apple ID

Posted by Jamie on October 12, 2018

Looking for alternative ways to download apps without using Apple iTunes 12.7? Want to stay legal but work around the system? Want to overcome the loss of the App Store in iTunes? If you said yes to any of those, this tutorial is for you. I’m going to discuss installing apps without the iTunes 12.7 and without jailbreaking.

The headline was prompted by comments we had received about the loss of the App Store in iTunes version 12.7. While you can still download all the apps you want directly onto your device, those of you with multiple devices didn’t want to have to keep download the same app multiple times. While the actual subject relates to the App Store, lots of the comments referred to the Apple ID. I’m taking that as meaning you want to load apps as you used to before the disappearance of the App Store.

Bye bye App Store

Things used to be so simple as an Apple owner. You bought your iPhone or iPad, installed iTunes, set up an account, got your Apple ID and linked your phone to your account. You then had a complete self-supporting ecosystem where you could buy music and apps and load them onto your devices with ease.

iOS 12.7 changed all that with the removal of the App Store. Where you could once download apps onto your Mac and manage your mobile devices from there, you now have to download apps directly onto your device. Fine in some ways but not so great in others. So what is an iDevice owner to do?

You have three main options. You could:

  • Use a third party tool to sideload apps onto your device.
  • Jailbreak your device so you can use alternative app stores.
  • Use an older version of iTunes released by Apple that still supports the App Store.

Use a third party tool to sideload apps onto your device

There are lots of tools online that offer to download apps without using your Apple ID or iTunes. Some of them may work but I know some of them don’t because I have tried them. The upside is that you gain control of what you put on your device and how you use it. The downside is that you lose control over what is installed on your device and open up your phone or tablet up to malware.

The other downside of using third party tools is that your Apple ID is added to the digital signature of the app as it is installed.

Jailbreak your device so you can use alternative app stores

Jailbreaking is now easier than ever and there are dozens of tools that walk you through the entire process. It takes less than fifteen minutes and allows you to take control of your phone like Apple never intended.

The upside is that you can use alternative app stores, install any app you like and gain access to iOS core files. The downside is that jailbreaking voids your warranty and you don’t always know what you’re installing. If you’re paying $1000 for an iPhone X do you really want to void the warranty? Do you really want to risk it with malware?

While the App Store ecosystem may be restrictive, it is so Apple can ensure the quality and safety of apps. You won’t get that with jailbroken apps.

Use an older version of iTunes released by Apple that still supports the App Store

The real alternative that works, will not void your warranty and maintains the safety and security of your device is to use an older version of iTunes. In answer to the cry of the millions of people lamenting the loss of the App Store in iTunes 12.7, Apple have released iTunes 12.6.3.

Officially, this was to support enterprises who used iTunes to manage multiple devices but anyone can use it.

  1. Visit this page on the Apple website.
  2. Select the text link that relates to your computer OS.
  3. Download iTunes 12.6.3 and install it.
  4. Connect, register and sync as you normally would.

This version of iTunes seems similar in almost every way to iTunes 12.7. I don’t know if iTunes 12.6.3 will still be supported and see the forward revisions the release version will. As Apple needs to keep enterprise on side in the face of better Android devices, I would imagine that it will do something to help keep business using Apple devices.

Using iTunes 12.6.3 is a far better alternative than jailbreaking or using third party app installers. iTunes may be restrictive but it is entirely for our own benefit!

Know any other ways to load apps without using an app loader or jailbreaking? Tell us about it below if you do!

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