Export an IPA From Xcode Without an Apple Developer Account

Jun 29, 2017 · 2 min read
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If you run into any problems during this process, that means you either skipped a step or didn’t exactly follow through properly.

Things You’ll Need

  • Cydia Impactor (if you want to install the .ipa on your device afterwards)

Step 1: Navigating to SDKSettings.plist.

  1. Secondary Click (i.e. right click, two finger tap, etc.) on Xcode.app and select “Show Package Contents.”

This is a simple series of folders to click through, just follow the list below in order and you’ll make it there.

  1. Contents
  2. Developer
  3. Platforms
  4. iPhoneOS.platform
  5. Developer
  6. SDKs
  7. The alias folder labeled iPhoneOS(OS Version).sdk (while writing this I had iPhoneOS10.3.sdk)
  8. Now you should see SDKSettings.plist

Step 2: Edit SDKSettings.plist.

  1. Go to the Desktop.
  2. Paste it to the desktop (⌘+V).
  3. Open it with a plist editor, Xcode will be your default.
  4. If your using Xcode’s plist editor, expand “DefaultProperties.”
  5. Edit “CODE_SIGNING_REQUIRED” from “YES” to “NO.”
  6. Edit “AD_HOC_CODE_SIGNING_ALLOWED” from “NO” to “YES.”
  7. Save SDKSettings.plist
  8. Quit out of Xcode

Step 3: Replace Xcode’s SDKSettings.plist.

When you drag the modified file back into the iPhoneOS.sdk folder, you’ll be propmted to authenticate. Press the “Authenticate” button. Then Press “Replace.” Enter your password, and hit OK.

Step 4: Export your App.

  1. Go to “Build Settings.”
  2. Change from “Basic” to “All.”
  3. Scroll down to “Signing.”
  4. Change “Any iOS SDK” from “iOS Developer” to “Ad Hoc Code Sign,” for both “Debug” and “Release.”
  5. Change the device, in the tool bar, to “Generic iOS Device.”
  6. Go to the Menu Bar, and click on “Product.”
  7. In the drop down, click on Archive.
  8. In the window that appears, secondary click on the latest build of your app, and click on “Show in Finder.”
  9. Secondary click on the highlighted .xcarchive in Finder, and click on “Show Package Contents.”
  10. Go to Products Applications.
  11. You’ll find your .app file.
  12. Create a folder called Payload on the desktop or something.
  13. Place the .app inside of the Payload folder
  14. Compress the Payload folder.
  15. Rename the .zip extension to a .ipa extension

You’re Done!


Design Studies, and Programming Tutorials

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