[GUIDE] How to Code Sign iOS Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

We can run apps on your iOS devices that have been signed by trusted developers. If you want to run apps developed by yourself, you have to jailbreak your iOS device to sign ios apps.

In iOS App Development, signing your app becomes an essential step as signing allows the iOS to identify who signed your app and, also, confirm that the app has not been modified since it was signed.

If you are into iOS app development, you must have struggled with code signing of your app at some point, as it is one of the complicated and confusing tasks for iOS developers. But they can’t avoid code signing activities. 

In this article, we’ll be going to discuss bypassing the traditional iOS Code Signing and Provisional method and will use a free way to sign iOS apps. It’s useful for beta development when you are not ready to publish the app entirely.

Here’s an overview.

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What is Code Signing Apps on Apple?

Code Signing your app assures the user that the app is under development, it hasn’t been modified since it was last signed and it is from a known source. For integrating app services, installing it on a device, or uploading it on the Apple app store, it must be code signed with a valid certificate issued by Apple. Usually, it costs 99$/year to signing apps via Apple’s developer account.

Code Signing confirms that no change has been made since the developer signed the code; this means there is no chance of getting attacked or changing of code by some attackers when developers have written it.

In short, code signing makes the app more secure for the user. However, the iOS codesign doesn’t protect users from attacks on dynamic content, e.g. when the app is loading data from third-party applications or sources.

With the help of this article, users can sign the iOS app without using an Apple developer account and can sign the iOS app for free.

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What is Xcode?

iOS is an integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS just like Visual Studio Code, or Notepad++ for windows. If you are an iOS developer, you must have used Xcode to create, manage your app, and to upload them to Appstore. This is all you need Xcode for, to know more about it, please click here.

Xcode uses the codesign command-line tool for signing the iOS app once its development is done. Xcode enables us to use customized signing for better controls while singing iOS apps. Apple started providing automated code signing from Xcode 8.

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Requirements for Sign iOS Apps for FREE: 

Make sure you have your tools right. Here are the prerequisites for this process:

  • Mac OS X 10.9 or higher, for signing the application.
  • Xcode 7 or later.
  • A cable for connecting your iOS device to the Mac.
  • In case you’re having an APPLE TV 4, you will need either a USB-A to USB-C or USB-B to USB-C type cable.
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Download Xcode and iOS App Signer:

Download Xcode

Download iOS App Signer

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How to use iOS App Signer?

Here are the simple steps to sign ios apps using iOS App signer.

Step 1: Open Xcode. If you don’t have it downloaded, you can download it from the link mentioned given above. After opening Xcode, create a new iOS application. If your device type is tvOS, then create a tvOS application.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 2: Enter the name you want to like something unique or fancy, as your code name.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 3: After completing the previous step, Xcode will show “No matching provisional profiles found” complain, and there will be a ‘Fix Issue’ button. Press it.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 4: You may see a pop up asking you to sign in to an Apple ID, add your Apple ID account.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 5: Next, you will see something like this over your screen, Select your ID and click on the choose button.

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[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

 If you have additional devices

  •     Plug in your device.
  •     Find and go to the product menu.
  •     Under destination, select your tab.
  •     Start over from step 3

After following the steps correctly, Xcode will stop complaining.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 6: Open the App Signer, choose and select the deb, your signing certificate, and the provisioning profile.

[Note: If you already have a paid developer account or a signing certificate and provisioning profile, just choose your signing certificate and the profile and continue with the remaining steps.]

[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

Step 7: Now, you’re ready to give an output filename. Click Start and then select an output filename.[GUIDE] How to Code Sign Apps with XCode + iOS App Signer?

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Congratulations. You have completed all the steps to sign iOS Apps and ready to deploy your application.

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Conclusion:

Earlier, iOS app developers were having a lot of difficulties in signing the apps. The conventional method of signing the app needs an Apple developer account, and for getting an Apple verified certificate, it costs 99$. To avoid facing these problems, we come up with a new method of signing your iOS app using Xcode and iOS app signer.

With the help of this article, users now can code sign iOS app for free and without an ‘Apple developer account.’ This will surely help users who are into beta development and want to test their apps. Enjoy making iOS apps, signing them, and share your experience with us in below comment section.

Thank You for reading. If you have any further queries, don’t’ forget to reach out. Let me know in the comments below. I will try my best to help you out. For more such guides and tutorials, keep following HiTricks.

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I'm a freelancer and like to write on the newest technologies and topics around it. I also have experience in graphical works too.

2 Comments
  1. Hello and thank you for your contribution.
    I have created a developer account and want to sign an app, but it doesn’t work as I heard it.

    could you help me with this?

    Leave a reply