How to Download IPA Files on iOS: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Downloading IPA files on iOS might sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite straightforward. IPA files are essentially app packages for iOS devices, and they can be installed without using the App Store. This can be useful for developers testing apps or for installing apps that are not available in the App Store.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Download IPA Files on iOS

Before diving into the step-by-step process, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you will be able to download and install IPA files directly onto your iOS device. This can be done without jailbreaking your device, but you will need a computer and an app called Cydia Impactor.

Step 1: Download the IPA file to your computer

The first step is to download the IPA file you want to install onto your computer. Make sure to download it from a reputable source to avoid any security risks.

IPA files are typically available from the developer’s website or from other trusted sources online. Be cautious of where you download from, as IPA files can potentially contain harmful software if obtained from untrustworthy sources.

Step 2: Download Cydia Impactor

Next, you’ll need to download Cydia Impactor, which is a tool that allows you to install IPA files onto your iOS device. It’s available for both Windows and macOS.

Cydia Impactor is a popular tool for installing unofficial apps on iOS devices. It works by signing the IPA file with your Apple ID, which is required to get the app onto your device.

Step 3: Connect your iOS device to your computer

Now, connect your iOS device to your computer using a USB cable. Make sure your device is unlocked and that you trust the computer if prompted.

During this step, Cydia Impactor should recognize your device. If it doesn’t, ensure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer, as this can sometimes resolve connectivity issues.

Step 4: Drag the IPA file onto Cydia Impactor

With your device connected, open Cydia Impactor and simply drag the IPA file you downloaded onto the Cydia Impactor window.

Dragging the file into Cydia Impactor will prompt you to sign in with your Apple ID. This is necessary for the app to install onto your device.

Step 5: Enter your Apple ID

After dragging the IPA file onto Cydia Impactor, you’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID and password. This is used to sign the IPA file so it can be installed on your device.

It’s normal to be wary about entering your Apple ID and password, but Cydia Impactor is a trusted tool. However, if you are concerned, you can always create a secondary Apple ID for this purpose.

Step 6: Wait for the IPA file to install

After entering your Apple ID, Cydia Impactor will begin installing the IPA file onto your iOS device. This may take several minutes, so be patient.

Once the installation is complete, the app should appear on your device’s home screen. Before you can open it, there’s one more step you need to do on your device.

Step 7: Trust the app on your iOS device

On your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Device Management, then find the profile that matches your Apple ID and trust it. This allows your device to run the app you just installed.

If you don’t trust the app, your iOS device will not allow it to open. This is a security measure to prevent unauthorized apps from running on your device.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully downloaded and installed an IPA file on your iOS device. You can now open the app and use it as you normally would any other app downloaded from the App Store.

Tips: How to Download IPA Files on iOS

  • Always download IPA files from trusted sources to avoid potential security risks.
  • Keep your iOS device updated for compatibility with Cydia Impactor.
  • If you encounter errors with Cydia Impactor, try updating it or reinstalling iTunes.
  • Create a secondary Apple ID for signing IPA files if you’re worried about security.
  • Some IPA files may require you to have a jailbroken iOS device to install or may not work at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IPA file?

An IPA file is an iOS application archive file which stores an iOS app. It contains all the assets and code needed to run the app on an iOS device.

Is it legal to download IPA files?

It depends on the source of the IPA file and the app it contains. Downloading IPA files for apps that you haven’t purchased or that are not available in your country’s App Store may be against Apple’s terms of service.

Do I need a jailbroken device to install IPA files?

No, you can install IPA files on non-jailbroken devices using Cydia Impactor.

Can I download IPA files directly on my iOS device?

Generally, you cannot download IPA files directly on your iOS device. They need to be installed via a computer using tools like Cydia Impactor.

What should I do if Cydia Impactor is not recognizing my device?

Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed and that your device is unlocked and trusts the computer. If the issue persists, try restarting both your device and computer.


  1. Download the IPA file to your computer.
  2. Download Cydia Impactor.
  3. Connect your iOS device to your computer.
  4. Drag the IPA file onto Cydia Impactor.
  5. Enter your Apple ID.
  6. Wait for the IPA file to install.
  7. Trust the app on your iOS device.


Downloading IPA files on iOS is a convenient way to access apps that may not be available in the App Store, or for testing purposes if you’re a developer. While the process involves a few steps, it’s relatively simple and doesn’t require you to jailbreak your device. Remember, it’s crucial to source IPA files from reputable providers and to use a trusted tool like Cydia Impactor for the installation. Following the steps and tips outlined in this article will ensure you can download and enjoy your desired apps without any hitches. So go ahead, give it a try!