FAQ

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Why does installing apps with AltStore freeze?

This could happen for a number of reasons. If you’re experiencing this issue, please check the following:

If you’re still having issues, we recommend making a hotspot from your phone and connecting to it from your computer. However, you’ll need to do this whenever you need to refresh apps, so consider this a last resort.

What apps are available in AltStore?

Right now, Delta is the only app listed in AltStore. However, the priority post-launch is expanding AltStore to support 3rd party apps, so expect that soon!

Do I need to worry about “revokes”?

No. Other alternative app stores use “enterprise certificates” to allow people to install apps. However, this is explicitly disallowed by Apple, resulting in them actively shutting down, or “revoking”, these enterprise certificates used by other app stores. This causes apps to stop opening every once in a while until a new enterprise certificate can be obtained.

Because AltStore doesn’t use enterprise certificates, there is no fear of Apple shutting down AltStore by revoking a single certificate (since each person technically now has their own signing certificate).

Why do you need my Apple ID?

Apple allows anyone with an Apple ID to install apps they’ve built themselves onto their devices for testing. AltStore uses your Apple ID to communicate with Apple's servers on your behalf and perform the necessary steps to prepare your account for installing apps onto your device.

Do you save or send my Apple ID to anyone besides Apple?

Your Apple ID is never sent to anyone but Apple. AltStore does save your Apple ID so it can refresh apps for you automatically, but it is stored securely in the device’s keychain. AltServer does not save your Apple ID, and requires you to enter your credentials each time.

What does it mean when it says I need to use an “app-specific password”?

You have enabled two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, which means AltServer/AltStore is not allowed to sign in with your normal password. Instead, you must go to appleid.apple.com and create a new “App-Specific password”. You can then use this new password when AltServer/AltStore asks for your Apple ID.

I lost my app-specific password, how can I retrieve it?

If you didn't save your app-specific password, there might not be a way to recover it. However, you can generate a new app-specific password from appleid.apple.com and use that; you don't need to use the same app-specific password as before.

Why does it say my apps will expire in 7 days?

Unfortunately, apps that have been installed using non-developer Apple IDs (in other words, Apple IDs not tied to a $99/year Apple developer account) are only valid for 7 days, at which point they will no longer open. To compensate for this, AltStore will periodically attempt to refresh your apps in the background, and you can always manually refresh your apps from within AltStore.

How long before apps installed with a developer Apple ID expire?

Apps installed with a developer Apple ID expire after a year.

Does AltServer need to be running to install/refresh apps?

Yes, AltServer must be running and on the same WiFi network as AltStore when installing or refreshing apps.

Does this mean I need to keep AltServer running 24/7?

No. AltStore periodically checks in the background to see if it’s on the same WiFi network as AltServer, and if so refreshes your apps. This means as long as this check succeeds at least once during the 7 day period, your apps will never expire.

For best results, we recommend setting AltServer to automatically run in the background when turning on your computer, and then just leave your computer in sleep mode every once in a while (Windows users might need to allow network connectivity when the computer is sleeping).

Will letting AltServer run in the background drain my battery or affect my computer’s performance?

No. When running in the background, AltServer does nothing but wait for incoming connections from AltStore.

How can I increase the frequency AltStore refreshes apps in the background?

iOS determines how frequently to wake AltStore in the background based on how often you open the app. For this reason, we strongly recommend opening AltStore at least once every few days. Otherwise, iOS might decide you no longer are using the app and stop waking it in the background.

AltStore says “Could not find AltServer” when trying to refresh.

This means AltStore could not discover a running AltServer on the same WiFi network. If you’re getting this error even when they are on the same WiFi, it’s possible your WiFi network (and/or possibly your computer’s firewall, if you have one) is blocking communication between devices. If possible, configure your network settings to allow devices to discover each other on the network.

I’m unable to change my network settings to allow devices to communicate with each other (such as on school/work/public WiFi).

Support for installing/refreshing apps without WiFi is currently being worked on. In the meantime, you can make a temporary WiFi hotspot by connecting your computer to your phone’s Personal Hotspot, or by creating an Ad Hoc WiFi network on your computer and connecting your iOS device to it. Both these methods will allow your computer and phone to communicate with each other.

How can I see if AltStore is refreshing apps for me in the background?

On the Settings tab, swipe up with 3 fingers 3 times to make a "Debug" section appear. You can then press "View Refresh Attempts" to see a log of all the times AltStore attempted to refresh in the background.