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iPhone: Permanently disable alternative app stores

iPhone: Permanently disable alternative app stores

Since March 7, Apple has been forced to give iPhone owners the opportunity to install apps from sources other than the manufacturer's App Store. With Mobivention, the first provider has already launched an alternative marketplace for apps – albeit initially only for business customers.

But there may also be iPhone owners who don't want this sideloading of alternative software stores for their smartphones. Unlike Android, installation from sources other than the store provided by the manufacturer is not blocked or enabled by default. But this situation can be changed.

Alternative app markets can be turned off

If you are an iPhone user and do not want to use AppStore alternatives at all, you can prevent installation. However, the menu item required for this is completely hidden – in a menu that can be used more or less as a parental control, for example to allow only certain apps or content on the iPhone.

This is how you turn off alternative app stores

The menu item appears below Settings – Screen Time – Restrictions – App installations and purchases. By default, App Installs & Purchases are greyed out. Therefore the menu cannot be opened. In order to change this, restrictions must first be allowed in principle.

Menu on iPhone using German Apple ID

If you then tap App Installs & Purchases again, you'll have several app installation options to choose from. Installation of new applications may be generally permitted or prohibited. The same decision can also be made for the Apple AppStore and other app marketplaces.

If AppStore alternatives are blocked, it's not just that installing new ones will be blocked. It is also no longer possible to download additional applications from markets that may already be installed. Whether and how this plays out in practice can only be tested once the first application markets are available to private clients.

Information about the possibility of installing alternative app stores

The bottom line is that the menu item also provides information about whether the iPhone in use is authorized to use alternative application markets. This is not the case if it was operated using an Apple ID from a country that is not part of the European Union or if it was used outside the European Union for more than 30 days.

Same menu on iPhone with US Apple ID


For “iPhone outside the EU”, the menu item for alternative software sources is missing. Instead, the Restrictions list contains the items iTunes & AppStore Purchases, Allowed Apps, and Content Restrictions.

In a separate message, you can read about other innovations planned for the iPhone.

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