What are certificates?

An iOS publication requires account needs 4 seperate files: 

One file that will sign the certificates and then 3 certificates. The file that will sign the certificates and one of the 3 certificates are used for all apps published under a developer account.

The two other certificates must be created from scratch for each new app you build,

Signing certificates

There are two certificates you need for signing the app and are created once. KEEP THESE SAFE. 

  1. The CertSigningRequest (CSR)
    The CSR is created from your computer which must be a Mac and is done from the Keychain Access.

  2. The iOS distribution certificate (iOS_Distribution). 
    This is created from the Member Center at developer.apple.com.

These two items must be stored in the main certificates folder for this developer account on your computer. Both of these will be used for every app you wish to create.

Our suggested hierarchy for storing certificates and app data, especially if you intend to have more than one app is as follows: 

    • << Account Name  >>
      • Signing Certificates
        • CSR
    • << App name >>
      • Certificates
        • Apple Push Services
        • Mobile Provisionning Profile
      • Screenshots
      • Images
      • Source



Create the CSR

This certificates must be created from the keychain access tool on your Mac.

Navigate to : 

Applications | Utilities |  Keychain Access.

From the menu select:

Keychain access | Certificate Assistant | Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority

Enter the email address of the developer account or any other email address as it doesn’t impact the certificate, enter the name of your developer account, and select "Saved to disk".

Save this in the folder you created before under the <<Account Name >> | Signing Certificates Folder

Create the iOS Distribution File

Follow these steps to create your certificate


  1. Login to your developer account here
  2. Click on "Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles"
  3. Click on "Certificates" from the menu
  4. Click the Plus icon
  5. Choose iOS Distribution (App Store and Ad Hoc)
  6. Click "Continue"
  7. Select the Certificate Signing Request file you created in step one
  8. Click Continue
  9. Download the iOS Distribution certificate file that has now been created
  10. Save this file to your folder CSR DISTRIBUTION you created earlier.
  11. Double click on the iOS Distribution file you have just downloaded to add it to the keychain Access.
Create the Apple Push Certificate

This certificate will enable your app to have Push Notifications, in-app purchases and other services. 

Follow the steps below to add Push Notifications:


  1. Click on "Identifiers" in the menu on the left
  2. Click the Plus icon
  3. Select "App IDs" 
  4. Click "Continue"
  5. On the Register a new identifier page, select App
  6. Click "Continue"
  7. Enter the App name and bundle ID on this screen
  8. Scroll down and from the list select "Push Notifications"
  9. Click Continue
  10. Click "Register"
  11. Find the App ID you just created, and click on it.
  12. Scroll down to the Push Notifications and now you will be able to select "Configure"
  13. In then popup window that appears, click Create certificate in the Production SSL Certificate section.
  14. Select "Choose File" and upload the CSR file you created in Step 1 above.
  15. Click Continue and now you will be able to download the Apple Push Services certificate that has been created - this will be named aps.cer.
  16. Store this certificate in your Push Notifications Folder.
  17. Double click this certificate to add it to the Keychain Access
Create the Provisioning Profile
  1. Select Profile from the left menu
  2. Under Distribution, select "App Store"
  3. Select the Apple ID of your App
  4. Click Continue
  5. Select the iOS Distribution certificate associated with the CSR you used to sign the Apple Push Services Certificate.
  6. If you create a new aps.cer for this app with another CSR you will have to create a new provisioning profile with this new CSR. You will then need to republish an update of your app to the App Store
  7. Click Continue
  8. Give the profile a name
  9. Click Continue
  10. Download this new provisioning profile to your Provisioning Profile Folder
Last Steps

You now have all 4 files needed to build and publish your app.

You can either build your app yourself and publish yourself, or you can submit these files to as, and request us to build it for you.

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