Did you know there are secret apps on the Apple App Store?


Did you know that Apple allows developers to distribute unlisted apps, also known as secret apps, through the App Store. These hidden apps can benefit businesses and educational institutions by preventing anyone from accessing their app while being able to secretly host them on the App Store.

Let’s find out more about unlisted apps and how they work.

What are unlisted apps?

person holding a phone

Unlisted apps are apps you can download through the App Store but, unlike listed apps (the normal apps you normally encounter and use), you can’t find them by searching the App Store. Instead, you must use a special link to view and download unlisted apps.

Without the link, no one can find or use these apps. This is ideal for applications that are only intended to be accessed and used by limited users, making unlisted applications ideal for specific organizations, special events, research studies, and other use cases. similar use. They can be used by students, employees, franchisees, etc.

Related: Apple tackles App Store scams with new ‘Report a problem’ button

Why do organizations use secret apps?

A person using a telephone.

Businesses and educational institutions use unlisted applications to distribute software to employees, students, or business partners without also making it available to everyone else. Businesses can use unlisted apps to distribute information to internal staff or to host sales tools.


For example, insurance companies can develop an app that brokers can use as a sales tool when selling insurance directly to a potential customer, reducing the amount of paperwork used. It makes sense that a company wouldn’t want to make this app available to the general public.

You may have come across an unlisted application at a special event, such as an exhibition, conference, or job fair. Someone at this event may have used a special company app to show you something on a tablet.

Educational institutions may use unlisted applications to distribute course materials and as a way to communicate with students around their courses. This would reduce the need for students to connect to the internet to download course materials and reduce the number of emails they receive as everything would be housed under one roof.

How to find and download an unlisted app

Typing on Smartphone

If you need to use an app that is not listed, you will need to get the link to download it. If you are a student, your educational institution may share it with you. If you are an employee, your employer can provide you with the link. If you own a franchise, the franchisor must make it available to you.

The fact is that due to the exclusivity of unlisted apps, you can only access them through the link provided by Apple to the developer. The app developer or owner will then decide who can have access to the secret app and communicate the link accordingly.

Related: The best apps you can use to prioritize tasks at work

After using the link, the App Store will open to the app description and look like a normal app, or the app will start downloading immediately. However, if you leave this page, you will need to use the link to find it again.

What to do if you can’t download a secret app

If you’ve used the link but can’t download a secret or unlisted app on your iPhone, you should try all the usual troubleshooting steps you would take for a normal app. This may include restarting your device or reconnecting to the App Store. If none of these troubleshooting steps work, it’s worth contacting the app developer or owner to see if they can offer any further help, as there may be an issue with the app itself. .

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