Install an adhoc preview

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   While the instructions are the same for Windows and Macintosh, unless I know that you're installing on a Windows
   machine, I typically send a Macintosh-ready .zip file, which gives some Windows users problems.  If you want to
   install on Windows, let me know, and I'll send you the app as an .ipa file, which is more to Windows' liking.
   (.ipa files work on Mac, too, but it's an extra step that I don't yet do automatically.  Some day, I'll incorporate that
   into my build script, then everything will Just Work™ for everyone.)

From time to time, you may receive an adhoc preview of an app. This is a special copy of an app that has been encoded to run specifically on your device (and perhaps a few others.) As such, it is different from an app available in the AppStore, and has a different installation process.

Adhoc apps come with a special provisioning profile that associates that app with a particular group of devices. The first time you install the app, you must also install the provisioning profile. After that, you do not need to reinstall the provisioning profile unless either

  • The profile expires (as of this writing, they're good for a year.)
  • The profile changes (for example, if you add another device.)

After that, you need only install the app, itself.


  • You should have received all of the materials you need in a single .zip file, which should unzip into a single folder.
  • Verify that the folder contains the application (a package ending with ".app") and a provisioning profile (a file ending with ".mobileprovision").
  • Plug your iPhone or iPod-touch into your computer.
  • Launch iTunes.

If this is the first time installing an ad-hoc app with this provisioning profile you will need to...

Install the provisioning profile

  • Drag the provisioning profile (file ending in ".mobileprovision") onto the iTunes icon in your dock.
    • If you are asked to replace a profile with the same name, do so.
    • On Windows, you may have to drag the profile to the Library section, not the Devices section.

Whether or not you install the provisioning profile, next, you...

Install the app

  • Drag the application (package that ends in .app) onto the iTunes icon in your dock.
  • In iTunes, select your device in the column along the left hand side.
  • In iTunes, select the Applications tab, along the top of the window.
  • Make sure that the application to be installed is listed in the list of applications and is selected.
  • Press the APPLY or SYNC button (lower right corner.)
    • Wait a bit for the sync to complete. Do not disconnect your device during the sync.


  • Ideally, the app will be installed on your device, and you can run it.
    • The purpose of adhoc apps is to allow users to experiment, and provide feedback about how the app can be made better. Please take notes and be sure to forward your thoughts to the developer.
    • Because this process is fragile, and subject to unexplainable errors, please let your developer know when you either successfully install ("it worked") or if you have any problems.


  • If you see an error message similar to "App could not be installed on this device because it could not be verified", that indicates that there was a problem in signing the app for your device. Contact your developer to obtain a fresh build. (This "just happens", sometimes. We're not entirely sure why.)
  • If you get an error message similar to "An error has occurred: 0xEA0000008", that indicates that your device has gotten into "a funny state." To rectify it:
    • Hold the power button down until you see the "slide to power off" control.
    • Slide to power off the device.
    • Wait several seconds for it to finish powering off.
    • Hold the power button for several seconds until you see it begin to power-up again.
    • Wait for the device to finish powering up.
    • Repeat these steps from the beginning.
  • Error numbers other than 0xEA00000008 could mean a variety of things, including various forms of corruption of either the ad-hoc profile or the app-build. Contact your developer for more information.