What is Sideloading and Cydia Impactor

Read this article to know how to do Sideloading on your iOS devices. What exactly does the term represent and how a tool called Cydia Impactor helps in this job.

Sideloading is a term you tend to hear quite a bit of these days. It is a way of installing applications onto the iPhone or iPad that have not got the approval nor the authorization needed from Apple to go in the official app store. These files are the IPA files – iOS App Store Package files – and, not so long back, a jailbreak would have been needed to install them. Not anymore. Now we have a tool called Cydia Impactor that does the job for us, without having to go through Cydia first.

What is Cydia Impactor?

Cydia Impactor is an incredibly useful tool for all iOS users. It was developed by the man behind Cydia, Jay Freeman (Saurik) and used to be for removing Cydia without affecting your iOS version. That tool has been renamed as Cydia Eraser while Cydia Impactor was repurposed and is now the easiest way to install unofficial unsigned files onto an iPhone or iPad. It is a tool that is under constant development, but, right now, there are several very useful features that can be used straightaway:
  • Package Installation – easy installation and management of IPA and other packages
  • Unlocking Bootloader – lock/unlock bootloader easily
  • Root Your Android Device – Cydia Impactor also works to root Android devices on v2.3 up to v5.0. All you have to do is plug your device into your computer, launch the tool, and click Start – it should take a minute at most.
  • USB Drivers Included – rather than having to hunt for the USB drivers online and download them, they are all built into the tool; all you have to do is manually download them from Cydia Impactor.
It also works on all iOS devices, a bonus when you consider that most of the recent jailbreaks are limited to either the 32-bit devices or the 64-bit devices, not both.

How To Use Cydia Impactor

Cydia Impactor is a user-friendly tool, very simple to use. To use it, you will need the tool, the IPA file for the app you are installing, your Mac or PC, iPhone or iPad, and cable.

Before you Start

Before you dive into using Cydia Impactor to install your apps, there are a couple of things to do first.
  1. Update iTunes to the latest version if you haven't already. Open it, click Help > Check for Updates and follow the in-app instructions for downloading.
  2. Make sure your iPhone or iPad has at least 50% battery charge
  3. Make sure you are using Wi-Fi internet connection
  4. Have your Apple ID to hand, If you would rather not use your normal Apple account, set up another free one for use with Cydia Impactor.
This is really quite simple to do, just follow these instructions as written
  1. From your Mac or PC browser, go to the Cydia Impactor site and download the tool for your operating system.
  2. Next, download the IPA file for the app or game you want on your device – please make sure you use the official links we provide; otherwise, you could be downloading a whole lot of trouble
  3. Extract the IPA and save it to your desktop so you can find it again later
  4. Connect your iPhone or iPhone to your computer using the official cable
  5. Open Cydia Impactor and let it pick your device up
  6. When you see the device name in the window drag the IPA file into it
  7. Put in your Apple details and wait for Cydia Impactor to sign and install your app or game onto your device
  8. The app appears on your home screen when it is installed

Fix Untrusted Developer Error

Using your app or game is as simple as tapping the icon, but you haven't installed it from an official source, and that causes a problem for Apple. Because they do not recognize the developer, they won't allow the app to run, but you can fix this with a couple of steps:
  1. Note the name of the developer from the message
  2. Open your Settings app
  3. Head through General into Profiles
  4. Find the developer in the list and tap the name
  5. Tap on Trust, and then you can use the app or game.

Updating Cydia Impactor

Cydia Impactor is a fantastic tool, but it will only work properly if it is updated as and when needed. You should ensure that you check for updates as often as possible:
  1. Open the Cydia Impactor tool
  2. Click the tab that reads 'Impactor'.
  3. Click the 'Check for Updates' option
  4. If there is an update, the tool will guide you in installing it

Another way is this - when you first use Cydia Impactor, click 'Check automatically' on the dialog box that pops up. This way, the tool will be automatically updated as and when the updates are released.

Troubleshooting Cydia Impactor

There are a couple of errors that you might face when you use Cydia Impactor. The first is a provision.cpp:150 error and, if this appears, it will be because you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Apple ID. Disable this and try again. Make sure you re-enable it when you have your apps.

The second error is one that tells you that you need an app-specific password. Generating one of these is quite easy:
  1. Open your browser and go to the Apple ID website
  2. Sign in and make sure two-factor authentication is disabled
  3. Click Security > Edit
  4. Click App Specific Password
  5. Type a name for the password – preferably something that relates to the app you want to download
  6. Click Generate and copy the password to your clipboard
  7. Use this password with your Apple ID to sideload that app again using Cydia Impactor
Sideloading apps and games is a very common thing now, given that Cydia really isn't seeing much support these days. With the lack of proper jailbreaks now and with the likelihood that we see even fewer utilities in the future, Cydia Impactor is the best tool for the job, making installation pretty easy. Have a go, see what apps you can get onto your device.


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