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The default way to install an iOS app was through iTunes. Having not used iTunes in several years, I'm trying to put an app on an iPad I have, and can't for the life of me find the iOS store in iTunes.

What am I missing?

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You're not missing anything. Late in 2017 in iTunes 12.7, Apple removed iTunes ability to access the iOS App Store. Using iTunes 12.7, the only way to access the iOS App Store was via the iPhone itself.

Many users disliked this change, as it's harder to navigate and review apps on iOS than it had been using macOS. A month or so later, Apple retreated and offered a version of iTunes that restores iOS App Store availability. This version of iTunes is 12.6.3, and you can read more about it on this Apple page. iTunes 12.6.3 can be installed even if one has already installed 12.7. The Apple page cited above contains a link to download iTunes 12.6.3.

I am very happy to have iOS App Store access back on macOS.

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  • 1
    Superb answer, terrible Apple. Thank you, I’ll look into downgrading ASAP. Mar 1 '18 at 5:36
  • 3
    "This version of iTunes is not compatible with macOS Mojave"
    – Jawwad
    Nov 11 '18 at 19:08
  • @Jawwad - yup, this was a very short-lived solution unfortunately.
    – Tetsujin
    May 18 '19 at 13:36
  • @Jawwad but compatible with Windows 10 ;-)
    – ttimasdf
    Nov 12 '19 at 2:02
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You can browse iOS apps in your favorite web browser at https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios/id36?mt=8. Unfortunately, you can't make purchases (or see what you've purchased, or download IPAs, or...). But at least you can view screenshots, reviews, etc on a bigger screen.

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On MacOS - as suggested in other comment you can:

  1. Search it via webpage at https://www.apple.com/app-store/

  2. The key to easy installation depends on your browser

    • Safari: use share button in top right corner and pick Airdrop and your iPhone Your iPhone must be setup to handle airdrop - use same iCloud account on both Mac and iPhone, connect to same wifi. You can also long press wi-fi button to enable sharing with contacts.
    • Chrome - you need to have it on both macOS and iPhone. Click in the address field and on the right side a small button to open tab on other device will show up - use it to pass the tab to iPhone and then select in mobile chrome in popup "card was received": "Open"
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Even though they’re still keeping the build on the website, it does look a lot like a temp workaround. ‘Tech support is only for the latest versions of iTunes’ also is a bit of a red flag.

Since Apple is clearly dropping this feature, I thought I’d get into the thread and tell you about our solution. We have app pretty great app management features in our iOS management software iMazing, including download of IPAs. This functionality is 100% free, and followed the same paths iTunes did, so it’s also 100% legit (no download if you haven’t bought the app already). More info about it in our blog: https://imazing.com/blog/imazing-2-5-download-apps

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