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Unlock Your Apple TV: How to Download Apps Without the App Store

Explore the world beyond the App Store on your Apple TV. With our detailed guide, learn easy alternative methods like sideloading via Apple Configurator, and direct downloading from websites to access a wider range of apps and elevate your entertainment experience.

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Published Jan 29, 2024

Ever wondered if you can download apps on your Apple TV without using the App Store? Well, you're in the right place. This guide will show you how it's done.

While the App Store is the primary source of apps for your Apple TV, there are alternative ways to get your favorite apps. You don't need to be a tech guru to do this, just follow our easy steps and you'll be set.

Guide on Downloading Apps on Apple TV Without App Store

Aha, so you're interested in exploring the untapped pool of apps waiting to be discovered outside the realm of the App Store on your Apple TV. Pat your back for venturing into this tech-savvy path, and don't worry. We've got your back. What follows is an easy-to-follow guide on obtaining apps on your Apple TV without using the App Store.

First, you need to sideload apps. Sideload means installing apps from sources other than official stores. This method involves a bit of technical acumen, but hey, nobody said being an adventurer is easy, right?

Here's how you do it:

  1. Download Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac via a USB Type-C to USB A cable
  3. Your Apple TV should appear in the Apple Configurator window. If it doesn't, make sure the devices are correctly connected, and the Apple Configurator is up-to-date.
  4. Download the ".ipa" file of your desired app
  5. Drag and drop the ".ipa" file onto the Apple TV icon in the Apple Configurator.

The second method is to install through websites. Some sites specialize in hosting apps compatible with Apple TV. They allow you to download apps from their online platform and later sideload them onto your device. You're already familiar with sideloading, aren't you?

Explore these methods, and you'll find your Apple TV blossoming with new apps, each one filling your Apple TV experience with unique shades of entertainment, information, or utilities. As you can see, the App Store might be a convenient option, but it's definitely not the only one out there.

Alternative Ways to Get Apps on Apple TV

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No need to limit yourself to the App Store when it comes to finding apps for your Apple TV. There are alternative methods you can use that might just broaden your horizon and enhance your user experience.

One such method is by sideloading apps using Apple Configurator. Beneficial for those who can't find the apps they need on the App Store — it's a technical process requiring physical connection between your Apple TV and Mac. To begin, you'll need to download Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac with a USB cable, then select the app you wish to sideload. Apple Configurator will then install your chosen app onto your TV.

Sure, it sounds a bit tricky. But once you get the hang of it, you'll appreciate the flexibility sideloading offers.

Another avenue to explore is getting apps directly from websites. A number of websites offer apps that you can download and install on your Apple TV. You simply need to download the app to your computer, send it to your Apple TV via AirPlay, and then install the app from there.

There's a whole world of apps outside the App Store waiting to be discovered. These methods may require a little more tech savvy than usual, but they can open up new possibilities for your Apple TV. You're not just limited to the apps that Apple sanctions.

These alternative ways could really define the way you explore and interact with your Apple TV. Furthermore, they allow you to take control of your Apple TV beyond App Store limitations, exposing you to a wide range of intriguing apps you might not otherwise encounter.

So don't hesitate to take a step outside the App Store comfort zone and into the wider world of Apple TV apps.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Download Apps on Apple TV without App Store

We've discussed why sideloading and downloading apps directly from websites can be beneficial. Now let's look at the exact steps you need to follow to sideload apps on your Apple TV, and also to install apps from websites.

Sideload Apps using Apple Configurator

To sideload apps with Apple Configurator, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Apple Configurator on your Mac.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C or Micro-USB cable.
  3. Select your connected Apple TV under All Devices in Apple Configurator.
  4. Choose Add from the Actions menu at the top of the Apple Configurator window.
  5. Browse and select the app you want to sideload and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process.

Downloading Apps from Websites

For downloading apps from websites, use the following steps:

  1. Open a compatible web browser on your Apple TV.
  2. Navigate the organic search results to reach the developer's website of the app you're interested in.
  3. Click the download link to get the app's installation file.
  4. Follow the prompts to install the app on your Apple TV.

Practice makes perfect as you navigate new territories of app discovery. You'll soon realize the increased opportunity these methods provide in maximizing the functionality of your Apple TV. Meticulously fine-tuning these skills will bring a wider variety of apps to your Apple TV, beyond the confines of the App Store.

How to Get Your Favorite Apps on Apple TV Without Using the App Store

Unleashing the full potential of your Apple TV doesn't require a visit to the App Store. Just sideloading apps or downloading directly from websites could get you there. With a dash of innovation and a bit of tech-savvy acumen, your Apple TV can be as diverse as your smartphone. Let's delve right into these alternative methods.

Sideload Apps using Apple Configurator

If you're not familiar with the term, sideloading refers to the process of installing apps without using the traditional app marketplace. Here's how to do it:

  1. Step 1: Download Apple Configurator 2 from the Mac App Store.
  2. Step 2: Connect your Apple TV to Mac via USB.
  3. Step 3: Launch Apple Configurator 2 and select the connected Apple TV.
  4. Step 4: Choose the 'Add' option then 'Apps'.
  5. Step 5: Browse and select the app you wish to sideload.

Yes, it's that simple! Yet, do remember, the application file should be in .IPA format.

Downloading Apps Directly from Websites

Moreover, you can download apps from websites directly. An ample number of sites provide app files ready for download, but make sure to stick to legit and safe sources. Follow the steps below:

  1. Step 1: Open the browser on your Apple TV. Install one if you haven't already!
  2. Step 2: Browse to the website that you want to download the app from.
  3. Step 3: Navigate to the download link and select it.
  4. Step 4: Wait till the download is complete, then open the file to install it.

The advantage of these alternative methods springs from the access to apps beyond the walled garden of App Store. An array of niche apps, interesting games, and unique utilities await your exploration. So, venture beyond the familiar, your Apple TV experience is about to get a significant upgrade! Remember, great tech adventures often begin with stepping out of the confines of 'store recommended' apps.


You've now got a clear understanding of how to break free from the constraints of the App Store on your Apple TV. Sideload apps with Apple Configurator or download them directly from websites. It's both simple and beneficial, offering you a broader app selection. So, why not give it a try? Enhance your Apple TV experience by exploring these alternatives. Remember, it's all about making your viewing experience as enjoyable as possible. So, go ahead and start experimenting with these methods today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I download apps on my Apple TV without using the App Store?

You can download apps on your Apple TV without using the App Store by sideloading apps with the Apple Configurator or downloading apps directly from websites.

What is sideloading apps, and how does it work?

Sideloading apps refers to installing software from sources other than the official App Store. With Apple Configurator, you connect your device to your computer, add the app to Configurator, and it will automatically install it on your Apple TV.

Where can I download apps directly for my Apple TV?

Specific websites offer direct downloads of apps suitable for your Apple TV. Make sure to choose a trusted source that ensures the safety and compatibility of the apps with your device.

Why should I consider downloading apps outside of the App Store for my Apple TV?

Downloading apps outside of the App Store can give you access to a broader range of apps and enhance your overall Apple TV experience. It allows you to utilize apps not approved by or available in the App Store.

Are these methods safe?

While these methods are generally safe, it is crucial to use trusted sources when downloading apps directly from websites or sideloading. Always exercise due diligence to protect your device.

This article was originally published on 29 Jan 2024 but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.
Kyle Crisp
Kyle has been using Apple products for over 25 years. He loves helping people learn how to use their Apple devices.
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