I don't want to erase all my existing apps. I just want to install the .ipa file and KEEP all my existing apps. However iTunes says

Are you sure you want to sync apps? All existing apps and their data on the iPhone "Simon Strandgaard's iPhone" will be replaced with apps from this iTunes library.

I really don't want to click the "Sync Apps" button.

I could go home and open iTunes on my own computer, but I'm at my friends place. How to do get the .ipa on my iPhone?

3 Answers 3


You can use the iPhone Configuration Utility to side-load apps onto an iOS device without 'syncing' and erasing your current content.

Config Utility for Mac
Config Utility for Windows

Keep in mind, though, that this will only work if the app is correctly codesigned and the device is correctly provisioned.

  • ah, great to learn that there is a clean solution to this. Thank you Jasarien.
    – neoneye
    Jun 24, 2011 at 20:21
  • It works. I'm now at work and I can now install the .ipa files generated with FlashBuilder on my iPhone and it runs. A much slower workflow than with Xcode, but it's crossplatform instead.
    – neoneye
    Jun 27, 2011 at 7:23

You don't. Apple doesn't enable you to install ipas separately. If its downloaded from the appstore you can re download it directly on the device. Also, you cannot install ipas that are connected to your friends account, as they containcryptographic keys unavailable to you if you never downloaded the app.

  • The .ipa file is something I have made myself using my own provisioning profile and the device is my own iPhone. The iPhone is already set up for "use for developement". I have successfully deployed for my own iPhone many times before using Xcode. I wouldn't normally deploy apps for my own iPhone this way, but with Adobe tools then it's seems to be the way to do it.
    – neoneye
    Jun 24, 2011 at 13:42

If you have bought the app with your own iTunes account, you can simply open the App Store-App on your device, go to "Updates", choose "Purchased articles" and choose "Not On This iPhone". You can then pick the app from the list presented to you and touch the cloud icon to download.

It's not possible to sync an app that has been bought with a different iTunes account.

  • The problem is that the .ipa file is one that I have made myself with Xcode. My app is not yet in the app store.
    – neoneye
    Jun 24, 2011 at 9:30
  • Did you sign it with an Ad-hoc distribution profile?
    – René
    Jun 24, 2011 at 11:44
  • Actually I'm not at my friends place, but I'm at my work computer and I use Xcode4 both home and at work. Only my iTunes at home is synced with my iPhone. I can get my apps perfectly on my iPhone both at home and at work when using Xcode. I'm experimenting using Adobe FlashBuilder and it generates .ipa files which I would like to get on my iPhone, but since I'm at my job my iTunes is not synced with my device. I was hoping that there is some way to upload .ipa files via iTunes without erasing everything. I use my developer profile as I usually deploy with onto my own device.
    – neoneye
    Jun 24, 2011 at 13:31

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