How to Install IPA on a Mac

Updated July 20, 2017

Apple, the company known for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, uses IPA files for apps on those devices. IPA files, short for iPhone applications, are simply archive files that store the files necessary for the application to run. Users normally never see these files, as apps are usually installed using iTunes or the device itself. However, if you want to transfer your iTunes account and all associated files to another Macintosh computer, you will install the IPA files. Fortunately, using iTunes, this is easy to do.

Open iTunes.

Click "File," then "Add to Library" or press "Command" and "O" to open the "Add to Library" dialogue window.

Browse to where your IPA files are stored. Click an IPA file to highlight it or hold the "Command" key and click multiple IPA files.

Click "Choose" to install the IPA files on your Mac. The apps will display in the "Apps" category in iTunes.

Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your Mac using its USB cable. Once iTunes recognises the device, click the "Sync" button on iTunes to install the apps on the device.


IPA files are usually stored in the /Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/ folder in your user account. You can install IPA files on your map by dragging the files from the Finder window onto the iTunes window.

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About the Author

Mike Guilmette has written, designed and edited for newspapers in Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. He has worked with the "South Bend Tribune" and "The Daily Advance," and has also edited works of fiction and news websites. Guilmette received a B.S. and B.A. from Lake Superior State University, specializing in recreation management and computer maintenance and repair.