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Generate an iOS Push Certificate

Step-by-step guide

An iOS Push Certificate is required for all iOS apps.

What are iOS Push Certificates?

The Apple Push Notification Service (APNs) is a service created by Apple Inc. in 2009 to securely send push notifications from third party apps to their users' Apple devices.

Your backend sends notifications through Apple's servers to your application. To ensure that unwanted parties are not sending notifications to your application, Apple needs to know that only your servers can connect with theirs. Apple therefore requires you to create an SSL certificate to be able to send push notifications.

The goal of this section is to provision your app with Apple, and grant OneSignal access to manage your notifications.

Requirements:

Step 1: Provisioning

Method 1: Use OneSignal's Automatic Provisioning Tool

Previous Certificate Revokation

Previous p12 Push Certificates for this bundle id will be revoked and cannot be used once you generate a new certificate with this method.

Admin account required: Before you use the Automatic Provisioning tool, log into your Apple Developer account, go to the Membership section, and make sure your role for the team is Admin. If your role is not Admin, you will not be able to use this tool.

To use the Provisioning Tool, simply follow the directions on OneSignal's Provisionator Tool, then continue to Step 4.

Method 2: Create A Certificate Request Manually

Open the Keychain Access app on your Mac OS X system. It may be located in Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access.

Select Keychain Access > Certificate Assistant > Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority...

Next, select the Save to disk option and enter your information in the required fields. This creates a certification request file that will be used later.

Step 2: Add OneSignal Identifier

Select your Identifier in your Apple Developer Account under Certificates, IDs & Profiles > Identifiers

Scroll down to the bottom and enable Push Notifications, but do not click Edit.

Next, go to Certificates and create a new certificate by clicking the blue + (plus) button.

Under Services, select Apple Push Notification service SSL (Sandbox & Production) and click Continue.

The certificate will be applicable to both Sandbox and Production environments, so you do not need a separate key for each one.

Choose an App ID from the App ID pop-up menu, and click Continue.

Click Choose File.., select the CertSigningRequest file you saved in the first step, click Open, and then click Continue.

Click Download to save the certificate to your computer.

Step 3: Creating a Private Key

Open the .cer file you downloaded in the last step by double-clicking on it in Finder.

After a few seconds, the Keychain Access program should open. Select Login > My Certificates, then right-click on your key in the list and select Export.

Give the file a unique name using the .p12 extension, and click Save. You will have an option to protect the file with a password. If you add a password, you need to enter this same password on OneSignal.

Step 4: Upload Your Push Certificate to OneSignal

In the OneSignal dashboard, select your app from the All Apps page, then go to Settings. Under Native App Platforms, click Apple iOS.

Select the .p12 file you exported (along with a password, if you added one) and click Save.

Note: If you used the OneSignal Provisionator tool to create a .p12 file, a password was generated for you, and is located next to the Download button.

Step 5: Provisioning Profiles

Required for Cordova/PhoneGap, GoNative and Xcode 8-10

5.1 In your Apple Developer Account, on the left to go to Profiles.

5.2 Next find any that are for your app and remove them if they do not have App Groups and Push Notifications in Enabled Capabilities:

5.3 Recreate the ones you need by pressing the "+" button

5.4 When recreating new ones make sure to enter a unique name in the "Profile Name:" field.

Example, if creating an Ad-Hoc Provisioning Profile to test push notifications with a Production Push Certificate .p12 file. Use the format AppName_AdHoc so you know the app and type it is.

5.5 Re-sync your Developer Account in Xcode by going to Xcode > Preferences... then click on the "View Details..." button. Lastly, click the refresh button on the bottom left of the popup. See Apple's documentation for more detailed instructions.

5.6 Make sure you pick your new provisioning profile from Build Settings>Code Signing>Provisioning Profile in Xcode.

Done!

You now have a certificate to send push notifications from your iOS app. 🥳

Updated 2 days ago


What's Next

Next, install the OneSignal SDK in your app. If you need help, we have a few SDK-specific guides:

iOS SDK Setup
Unity SDK Setup
React Native SDK Setup
Cordova SDK Setup
Ionic SDK Setup
Flutter SDK Setup

Generate an iOS Push Certificate


Step-by-step guide

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