Starting with Xcode 7, Apple made it possible to sideload apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV using a free Apple ID. Although a paid developer account is still required to deploy apps to the App Store, users wishing to sideload open source apps on a personal device can do so with relative ease. In this post, we’ll show you how easy it is to create a free Apple developer account for sideloading apps using Xcode.

Creating an Apple developer account

Step 1: Visit developer.apple.com

Step 2: Click Member Center.

Step 3: Sign in with your Apple ID.

  • If you already have an Apple ID, you’ll just need to agree to Apple’s Developer Agreement to turn it into a free developer account. Type in your Apple ID and click Sign In.
  • If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you’ll need to create one first. Click Create Apple ID, and fill out the required information and click Continue. You’ll then need to sign in with the Apple ID that you just created, and go back to the Member Center.

Apple Developer Agreement

Step 4: On the Apple Developer Agreement page, click the first check box to accept the agreement and click the Submit button.

Your Apple ID now works as a free developer account. As stated at the outset, this account can be used for sideloading apps via Xcode. You will not be able to submit apps to the App Store, or download iOS, OS X, watchOS, or tvOS developer betas. A $99/year paid developer account is still required to enjoy those privileges.

Video walkthrough

Signing in with Xcode

Step 1: Download Xcode from the Mac App Store.

Step 2: Launch Xcode.

Step 3: Click Xcode → Preferences → Accounts and click the ‘+’ sign and choose Add Apple ID.

Step 4: Login with the Apple ID that you just enabled with free developer privileges.

You can now use Xcode to sideload apps on your favorite platforms. This tutorial can also be used in concert with our Apple TV 4 jailbreak tutorial.

This is a basic tutorial that will be referenced in future tutorials involving sideloading on the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. Stay tuned for additional discussion regarding sideloading apps.