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Signing an xOS App for another Apple Developer Account

There are situations when an app is developed by Bob using his Apple Developer account but the app is published with Alice's Apple Developer account. In this case Bob shares the app archive to Alice for distribution. This post shows how, with Xcode, Bob prepares an archive for Alice and how Alice prepares for distribution.

Version: Xcode 12.4, macOS 10.15.7

Bob Archives His App

Disable Automatic Signing

Disabling automatic signing generates an archive which does not contain provisioning profile and certificate information. Failing to do so will prevent signing the archive with a different Apple Developer account.

To disable automatic signing, choose the (1) project name at the top of the Project Navigator, choose the (2) Target (if there are more than one target), navigate to the (3) Signing & Capabilities tab, then disable the (4) Automatically manage signing checkbox.

Disabling automatic signing


From the Xcode menu, choose Product > Archive. The Organizer window launches showing the archive.

Bob can confirm that the archive has no signing information if there is no "Team" in the Details section.

Organizer showing an archive without a team

Here is an example of an archive with signing information.

Organizer showing an archive with a team

Compress archive

Bob now needs to compress the archive into a zip file to share with Alice. To locate the archive file, right-click on the archive and choose Show in Finder.

Show the file location from the Organizer

The Finder window launches showing the .xcarchive. Right-click on the xcarchive then choose Compress file.xcarchive to create a zip file with the archive inside.

Zip the xcarchive

Bob sends the zip file to Alice for distribution.

Alice Signs the App for Distribution

Uncompress and Open the Archive

Alice uncompresses the zip file by double-clicking the file. The xcarchive will be in the same folder as the zip file. Double-click the xcarchive to open the archive in the Organizer.

Preparing for Distribution

Check that the file does not contain signing information as described in the Archive section. Then click on the Distribute App button to start the distribution process.

Organizer before distribution starts

The next steps are not shown as it will depend on the distribution target. If the app is a macOS app, you may refer to Distributing a macOS App Outside the Mac App Store if this is your preferred distribution method.

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