Update January 19, 2021: Apple has canceled this server-side change and it is once again possible to side-load unsupported iPhone and iPad apps on a Mac M1. We don’t expect it to last long, so if there are any iPhone or iPad apps you want on your Mac, download them sooner rather than later using iMazing.
Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple would soon begin blocking users from side-loading iPhone and iPad apps on their M1 Macs. Now, Apple has officially flipped the server-side switch to implement this change.
This means that it is no longer possible to use an app like iMazing to side-load unsupported applications from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac M1.
As an update, Apple Silicon Macs allow users to run iOS and iPad applications on their Mac, but developers can choose not to allow their own apps to be installed on the Mac. This is the path that many developers have taken, making the change required in App Store Connect to remove their app from the Mac App Store.
But with that said, to date, it is possible to manually install iOS apps like Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook on a Mac M1 using their respective IPA files downloaded with a valid Apple ID. Many people used tools like iMazing to complete this process.
9to5Mac has now confirmed that, starting today, this is no longer possible if the application is not available on the Mac App Store. Apple has activated the server-side switch needed to block the installation of iPhone and iPad applications on Apple Silicon Macs.
Video: How to Side Load iPhone Apps on Mac M1
The change applies to Mac M1s running macOS Big Sur 11.1 and the developer or public beta of macOS Big Sur 11.2. The only difference is that users running macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta will see a more specific error message.
Here is the error you will see when you try to install an unsupported iPhone or iPad app on your Mac M1 running macOS 11.2 beta:
If you try to side-load an iPhone or iPad app on a Mac M1 running macOS 11.1 Big Sur, you’ll see an error saying the app installation failed and you need to “try again later”.
If you’ve already side-loaded an application from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac M1, it will still work fine. This change only affects new application installations. Also, if you previously downloaded an .IPA file, you can still install it.
The change itself was made to the App Store system which provides the actual .IPA file and is all part of Apple’s APIs that handle the operating system’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) protections. For this reason, an alternative solution is unlikely to arise in the future.
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