Disclaimer: We don’t recommend Installous or any other Installous alternatives in any manner to Install .IPA files. Developers put a lot of effort to create apps and what’s a dollar or two to spend on buying these apps? The only reason we post on these alternatives is to help users try out costly apps before they decide to purchase it. Under no circumstances should this be misconstrued as supporting piracy or piracy-related apps.

SSH is a Unix ecosystem process where you gain access to the file system and make modifications to it. Since iPhone is built on iOS, which is a stripped down version of Mac OS X – which has its roots in Unix shell – you can practically SSH into your iPhone to gain access to a variety of folders in it.

Now, since Steve wasn’t in favor of letting users access the file system (much less interested in the whole concept of files and folders), he designed the iOS to be sealed shut for regular users. Others – say, hackers – could gain entry through SSH which isn’t all that open either.

SSH can be a simple way to install IPA files directly on your iPhone or iPad. In the absence of a program like Installous and AppSync, you’ll probably need to SSH into your iPhone to install IPA and DEB files. Basically, any file that can be installed will have to be rooted through SSH.

To do this, you’ll need:

  • A SSH client, like Winscp (Windows) or Cyberduck (Mac)
  • A jailbroken iDevice
  • OpenSSH (which can be installed from Cydia on your iDevice)
  • IPA file (downloadable from places like http://apptrackr.cd)
  • A Mac/PC
  • A working Wi-Fi internet connection
  • A cup of coffee because this will take some time

Don’t Miss: iFunbox: Installous Alternative to Install IPA Files

Installing IPA files on iPhone or iPad without Installous and iTunes

#1: Setting up SSH
First, you’ll need to setup the SSH. To do this:

  • Install and open the Winscp/Cyberduck application you downloaded
  • Connect your iPhone/iPad to your home network (WiFi) and note the IP address of your iDevice (Settings -> Wifi -> Tap on the blue icon against the network you’re on)
  • Enter the IP address in the SSH software (Winscp/Cyberduck)
  • Enter these values: admin/username: root; password: alpine (if alpine does not work, use dottie)WinSCP Connection
  • SSH will now connect to your iPhone/iPad and you will see an FTP-like interface.applications1

#2: Changing IPA to APP
You’ll now have to get the app out of the IPA file you downloaded. To do this:

  • Rename the “.ipa” file to “.app.zip” (for example, if the app is Tweetie.ipa, you will rename it to Tweetie.app.zip)
  • Using an unzipper, access the contents of this new renamed file (double-click Tweetie.app.zip to open in your unzipper)
  • Now, from the contents, open the folder that says Payload
  • Extract the folder that has a “.app” extension (Tweetie.app) to your desktop

#3: Install, Respring & Go!

  • Now, in the SSH window, go up one level in your iPhone file directory
  • Find the folder called ‘stash’ and open it
  • Find a folder called “Applications” and open it
  • Drag and drop the “.app” file into this folder (Tweetie.app -> Applications)

Change the file permissions:

  • Now, right click this dragged folder and then click on Properties
  • In the text box where there’s a number (0755), change it to 0777 and check the box where it reads “Set group, owner and permissions recursively”properties
  • After all this is done, reboot/respring your iPhone and you should be able to see the newly copied app on your iPhone!

So that’s it. This is how you get IPA files onto your iPhone without using iTunes, Installous or any other software. All you need is an SSH client and some time off other schedules.

  • Cheers

    my cup of coffee got cold before i could finish. lol!!

  • Zn000

    Works Great ! thanks for this tutorial . :)

  • DAN

    Can’t believe how long it took me to find this method. Using Installous/AppCake was such a pain in the A. Thank you! Just got GTA: San Andreas

  • Befetti

    We’ll laid out.
    Leaves a question of how do I remove an app that’s has been installed in this way. It seems to be treated as a system app?

    • http://www.igeeksblog.com/ iGeeksBlog

      Ah ha. Good question. We’ve not really looked into it. You should check this one out though. It works: http://stackoverflow.com/a/6981164

  • http://about.me/iamradj radj

    http://apptrackr.cd doesn’t seem to work anymore. Any idea how to get an IPA from App Store? Even just the free ones?

  • Manuel

    I have done all the steps and it seems that is installed but when I reboot the ipad does not appear the APP. Do you know whay? Any idea? Thank You

    • http://www.igeeksblog.com/ iGeeksBlog

      I don’t think Installous has been updated to work with iOS 8. Also, you need a new version of AppSync which is still in beta. You might to wait it out.



    • johnny bravo

      The same here…

  • jasrosa