GBA4iOS allows you to play Game Boy Advanced and Game Boy Color games on your iPhone without jailbreaking

We’re all fans of playing retro games on emulators for popular gaming platforms, but Apple unfortunately doesn’t allow such apps into the App Store, because of which jailbreaking usually remains the only other option. Today, we’ll tell you how to install a GBA emulator on your iPhone or iPod touch without jailbreaking.

Made by Riley Testut using ZodTTD’s existing gpSPhone codebase, GBA4iOS will run on iPhone and iPod touch without the need for a jailbreak. It has features like iTunes File sharing, “Open in” integration for ROMs, save support and more. (Note that to play games on the emulator, you’ll need to have GBA ROMs.)

gba4ios 3

Installing it is reportedly fairly simply.  You can visit GitHub link for more details.

Update 2: This method will no longer work, for more details read this post.

Update 3: GBA Emulator GBA4iOS 2.0 with iPad support was released recently. Check this post for more details.

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Categories: Emulators, GBA4iOS

  • ChrisShUK

    Made 2 Icons for me. One the emu and the other is the installer thats u/s and cant be deleted. Have a icon i cant load or delete. Also reboot did not remove it, nightmare!

    • gba

      Strange, made just one icon for me, and it went away easily with the cross

    • Jimothy

      Read my post.

  • Jzl

    After pressing blue “install app” button it opens new tab in safari starts building, and says “unknown error”. iP 5 no JB…

    • David Gyulai

      I also have this in ios6.1.3, i4s

  • Dsteve

    Made 2 icons for me can’t get rid of the install one, will have to do a restore I think.

    • Jimothy

      Look at my post.

  • Awesome

    Sweet! I got it to finally work!

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    3- Once the page completes cloning the GutHub repo you should see a blue “Next” button. Tap on that.

    there ‘s typo in that line. marc

  • Jimothy

    If you get both the icon and an installing icon, try this
    Go through the steps to install again with the app still installed and then when it starts to re-download, delete the extra icon.

    • Dsteve

      Nice one mate, that sorted it.

      • Jimothy

        No problem, just trying to help! Maybe iphonehacks should post that in the actual article and credit me. ;)

        • Jordan

          thank you! been trying so many different techniques and couldn’t get it to bugger off! took me a couple of tries but it worked :)

        • Marawan

          They updated their article and credited you!

    • AllShallEnd

      Hmm, this is not working for me. The Installing Icon stays there. can you post more specific details how to do it please?
      I download it, the installing icon stays and a GBA4iOS icon is created.
      I redownload everything (For the second time) and quickly delete the GBA4iOS Icon. It installs a new icon but the installing icon still stays there…

      • Jimothy

        Delete the installing icon, not the GBA4IOS icon.

        • AllShallEnd

          Thank you

          • Jimothy

            No problem. :)

    • Damian W

      worked like a charm

    • Oscar David Torres

      Hey! I´m having problems downloading the emulator. The instalation begins, but after finish instalation it says “could not download at this time please try again later”. I´m using an iPhone 4S. Help please!!

      • Jimothy

        Try rebooting your phone. iPhone 4S is the only iPhone I haven’t tested it on.

        • Andrew

          I tried that and it still won’t download, iOS 6.1.3 on a iPod Touch 4th Generation by the way

          • Jimothy

            Same iPod as mine and same iOS. It worked on mine. Maybe try a restore.

          • Sarah Hochberg

            this morning, mine wouldn’t open, so i deleted it and tried to redownload it and it said the same thing for me

          • Jimothy

            This weekend I will be retuning to my older devices to see if I can find a work around for this issue. I’ll post here on Friday or Saturday.

          • Angeolopez

            I have an iPod 4th gen and you need I change the year on it to 2012 and after it installs, open it up and then go set your date bak to normal

        • lucas

          how did you get it to work on iphone 4

      • Yale

        Have you tried changing your date to 2012 then changing it back to 2013 after download?

  • Chocogow

    I did this today on an apple store hahaha they got mad

    • sakis

      you shouldn’t do that in a apple store…..

  • Chocogow

    Emu4IOS is better cause it has more but this works 2

  • Kiwiholden

    I finally have pokemon on my iPad/iPhone something I’ve wanted since i first got my first iPhone.
    Plus about 170 other games to pick from.

    Is there any way apple could block people from downloading this in the future?

    • Jimothy

      It’s possible, but I’m not sure if they will.

  • Jakub Gadkowski

    Absolutely fantastic. Works flawlessly.
    And Macbuilds just blew my mind. This is so awesome for open source for iOS that a have no words!

    (OT rant: Disqus suck. 10 min lost on creating and confirming their account, when I just wanted 2 log in with twitter. Then my initial, longer comment went into oblivion)

    • iPhoneHacks

      Sorry about that, we’re frustrated with Disqus as well.

      • Jimothy

        Could you add my method of deleting the extra icon to the article? I feel as if it should be in there.

        • iPhoneHacks

          Thanks Jimothy, updated the post.

      • Jimothy

        “Guys, Jimothy came through again! I don’t know if anyone else has figured it out, but you can switch your date to any day before July 16th and the emulators will install! No Airplane Mode required! I’ll post more details about any other work around. iHacks, credit me again please? :)
        Also, it seems to work after I just turn the automatic time back one. This was done on iPhone 5 iOS 7 Beta 3. ”
        Posted this on the newer article. This was the only way I could think that you would see it.

  • JM

    Maybe Cydia can be installed now via OTA too :)

    • Rounak Jain

      You mean Jailbreakme dot com? ;)

      • Jimothy

        Hah, I thought the same thing!

        • F*** dan

          Nope Cydia needs system permissions this only uses OpenGL

  • Wendell

    Anyone here guys, if i dont use a pc how should i open the gba file with the app. Ls help. Thanks

    • Guest

      open it on your device use safari

      • Wendell

        most of the files are in zip, and no option to choose the GBA app..any other options.. thanks

        • iPhoneHacks

          Did you try this on your iPhone?

          • Wendell

            Got an ipad mini here…and problem is dont have a pc to use…so was trying to check if there’s any option to directly get the gba file so it will be read by the app without using a computer

          • Jimmy badsol

            I’m trying this on an Iphone 5, running ios6.1.2 and when i open a rom in safari there is no option to open the file in GBA4iOS; only dropbox and iFile.
            Any idea how to fix?

  • Jack

    Error 37?

  • Hyperone

    this worked great for me on my iPad 2 lots of great gba games to play now thanks
    guys still cant wait for a jailbreak for 6.1.3 for my iPad 2 :-(

    • engelke2013

      There won’t be a jailbreak for 6.1.3. Why would there be with iOS 7 coming in the next couple of months or so?

  • weeiiee

    what is the ipa name of this app in itunes mobile app folder.. thanks just want to back up this one like VLC

  • Doug

    Will this still work if you don’t have the latest iOS?

  • Mr Mother

    When I download it, just before it finishes it says “could not download at this time please try again later” I’m on an ipad 4th gen with latest software updates. Any advise? Could it just be the servers or has it been blocked in an update?

    • frank

      same here

      • Evate


    • Alex

      Ya it won’t download for me either jimothy plz help!!

    • Rounak Jain
      • Sam

        Its worked on mine, just change yr date 15 july 2013

    • Helpforu

      Change your iPad date to 2012 in settings

    • ben

      change your date to before July 15, 2013. that should work.

    • Xx7moozx4

      try making your date to 2012 then downloade it then make your date like how it was befor after downloading it and i think it will work

    • Anthony

      Set your iPad back 2 years in general them go to date and time or get ios7 and it will work :)

    • Justin

      Try to switch ur date before July 2012 it should work then

    • Mrlolz

      We’ll you need to go your settings and make the date before 2012

  • Jack

    Hey I downloaded it and it says can’t be downloaded at this time !! Help

  • Jack

    I’m on an iPhone 4 with latest software

  • Jack

    I’m on iPhone 4 and it says can be downloaded!!! Help plz!

  • Jack

    And latest

  • Jack

    Iohone 4 And latest
    Says cant be downloaded help!

  • Alex

    I’m on iPhone 4 latest software won’t download!!! Help?

  • Buccnastie

    I used the emulator for about 3 days , now it won’t even open

  • jasmin

    if yours doesnt work got to settings>general>date and time and turn off time set automatically and press set date and time and dont change the time just change the date and make sure when you change the date make it be before jul 16 cause thats when it got patched up by apple so i set my date to june 20 cause thats when it wasnt patched then after redownload gba4ios on you ios device and it will work :D ps is you are having trouble just reply to me what problem your having :P

  • Zack

    Hey guys it won’t let me download the app there is no option go it anymore because I had it then I accedentally deleted it so I can’t get it if you have any information please email me at

  • Devin

    It won’t install for me

  • Savan Patel

    i cant download anymore or what??? cause its saying u must download before july 16 and its gone now

  • Wannagetpokemon

    Where’s the blue button

  • zigzagoon

    Hey Guys,

    to get the emulator, you must first CHANGE THE DATE ON YOUR DEVICE TO BEFORE JULY 15th for the app to install, otherwise it will say “could not download at this time”.

    Hope this helped :D

  • bob

    there is no download button for me. any suggestions

    • Whatever

      why wont anyone address this!

  • ThelilYoLOGaL

    When I download this it replaces my screenrecorder app with this one. Why does it do that?

  • Gi

    I don’t see any downloadlink! :(

  • Big D

    Can’t open the AppStore after downloading any help me:(

  • Beca

    i tried downloading roms and when I get to the page that says in the top corner it says “open in gba4ios” but it doesn’t work. I already have the app installed & everything. Help?

  • loco

    its only for iphone

  • EzDog

    Im heaps keen for cheats

  • Mike Schwart

    Hey I turned my phone off and now pokemon fire red wont turn on. Any suggestions?

  • Alex

    there is no install word in my iphone web page~ how?

  • Pippin

    When will this be back up to download? It says you have to be a developer to download it now?

  • steve

    what happens if my iphone has a system update?

    • iPhoneHacks

      Go to the Settings app and navigate to General -> Date & Time and tap on the Set automatically toggle to turn it off, and set the date and time manually.

  • Anonymous

    In the README you said there’s an install button but all i can see is an update README

  • george

    if my iphone needs a system update and i don’t want to crash my iphone because apple will detect it so what do i do?

  • HELP!

    i downloaded a rom (hacked version of firered (sienna) ) and it downloaded perfectly fine. when i tried to open it with gba4ios, it says no installed apps support opening this file. it is a gba file.

  • Downloadingformybro

    Can’t find any blue button please help me!

  • Jack

    Set ur date back before July 15 be it will work.

  • Zeke

    Mine doesn’t have the blue button should i use a computer???

  • Dr.Pepper

    Does anybody know when people can do cheats on gba4ios

  • Dr.Pepper

    And mr mother is your date set back to 2012 if it is then it might just be because they did block that app but what do l know

  • Sophie

    How do u download it it says there’s a button to download but where?

  • Nathan

    So i downloaded this, and within 20 minutes of installing, somehow, my phone lost all ability to do ANYTHING related to the internet without a wifi connection. I could have all 5 bars and LTE available, and i cant even do a freaking google search. I have an iphone 5 with iOS 6.4.1. I went to settings and reset my network settings, and it fixed the problem, but the game didnt work. I reinstalled the game and everything still worked fine until about 20-30 minutes later when everything stopped working again. Is there any way to fix this?

  • Randomguy

    Okay, So…
    I have an Iphone 4S with version 5.1.1 and i’ve done the whole date thing but when it starts to install it stops and says “could not download at this time” then gives me the option to say done or close… Ive tried multiple days in a row and it never works. Help!!!

  • Joe bob

    It worked for 2 days and i got super far on pokemon red. Then now i click on the app and my screen turns black for about a second then goes back to my screen with all the apps?

  • Zeke

    It still won’t work for me could i upload it from the computer

  • hello

    i downloaded but most of the games don’t work.

  • Buddy

    Does this affect the preformance of the system? I want to download it on my iPhone 5 but worried that is wi mess it up

  • Matthew Tracy

    Awesome but what about emu hacks like omega firered or snakewood

  • Bryce

    Change your date to 2012

  • onelove

    does this contain any viruses

  • Marianas

    Will the emulator still work with ios7?

  • Meowscopes

    Can this app use control pads?

  • MAtt

    I downloaded it where are the games how do it get games on It

  • Harry

    I downloaded the app and 2 roms just fine (on ios7) but the next day whenever I open the app it just closes. What should I do??

  • dude

    I can’t do it HELP!

  • Jo

    Ever sence i got it it stopped my App Store so i can’t use it. Is this an effect of having it?

  • Noooooo!!

    So ok… My app finally started constantly crashing, so I decided I needed to re instal it….. If the Github link now says, it can’t make a secure connection, yet it worked a couple days ago… Does this mean apple found this..? Or is there something else wrong..?

  • Pokemon kid

    It’s not working for me, the install app button is not showing up, what do I do?

  • Nathan

    It wouldn’t work for my iPhone4s, it says “404 page not found” what’s wrong with it…I still have ios6 so if that has to do with anything

  • Amber

    It won’t let me download it, are we still able to??

  • Damn

    GitHub link does not work

    • Ludwig Sven

      same here and i already did the date change to 2012 thing.. Github link could not open because of safari couldn’t establish a secure connection in the server.

  • Hihihihihello

    There’s no blue button

  • Baron

    I changed my date to July 14th 2012 and it still doesn’t work saying it cannot download at this time… I have a 2nd gen.. (>.<) and i can't update to iOS 7 because my itunes thinks that 5.1.1 is the latest update…

    • Tabes

      Same here -__-

  • Jack

    I’m using a iPad 1 the zip file won’t let me open it how do I get it to work?

  • Devin

    Howcdo you get the pokemon game for i pad

  • I have *** a the time with you


  • Aaron

    Does this thing work on ios4?

  • isbn12345

    HELP i cant when i press download a message appears that says safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid any help??

  • David Ebo

    okay! so i downloaded gba4ios and succesfully installed it on my phone, then what? where to download pokemon? forgive my ignorance.

  • Bob

    Go to this link and click downloads and then scroll till you see GBA4IOS and click it and install (you must have your date on July 16 2010) and it does work!!!!!!

  • Frank Lee

    Didn’t work on my 5C

  • Whatever

    THIS DOESNT WORK. There is no install button and no one will address the issue

  • Paul Thomas Kostelich

    Lmfao I’m so surprised this crap worked. A++++ to the internet for this.

  • Ludwig Sven

    Guys, I changed my date before 2012. how come i can’t go to the link anymore? it says “Safari cannot open the page because it could not establish a secure connection to the server.” what should I do?

  • Erasto.

    why doesnt it work when you change the time to present

  • Onomatopoeia man

    You have to have your devices date back before February 18 2014, then it will work

  • Tario

    I have an iPad 5.1. Can it work on mine?


    u have to download the 1.6.4 version of GBA4IOS if u have a ios 4 ipad.



  • Ash ketchum

    How about in ipad how to download??