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How to create a P12 in your iOS keychain without resorting to tequila, vodka or beer.

p12 certificate
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Paul O'Connell with Maama Molitika 4/12/2010

If there’s one thing that sends the fear of God and Paul O’Connell into people, it is trying to create a .P12 file. If only one person is working with your app in xCode using one Mac computer, then you can breathe a sign of relief. You don’t need to worry about creating a P12.

But if you have:

– Two developers in different locations using your one Apple account
– You have the certs set up on your Mac and now want to hire someone else to help you with the app

Then you need to create a (ferocious drumroll) P12 certificate. The P12 is the magic file that gives a second person the right to work with your Apple iOS developer account.

Whoever generated the current main developer and distributions certs in your Apple account is the person who needs to generate the P12. They need to use the same MAC they used to make the certficates. Once its generated, just email it to whoever else needs to work with these certs.

If for someone reason the person who made the main certs isn’t available, remember you do always have the option to revoke the main developer and distribution certs in the iOS developer center, create new ones on your MAC, and then make a P12 from those. But if you revoke certs all of the current mobile provisioning files you use to QA apps will stop working. It’s not a biggie, you just need to create new mobile provisioning files associated with your new certs, as they all have to be linked for it to all play nicely together.

‘But hold your horses’ I hear you all yell…. ‘How on earth do I make a P12, it sounds like some archaic accountancy nail-pulling tax form!!’

Don’t panic – at least not yet. You can make it in about 2 minutes.

First up, make sure you are sitting at the Mac where you made your main developer and distribution certs. On the top bar of your Mac screen, click Go > Utilities > Keychain. This now opens then Keychain program.


On the left of the keychain window, click on ‘My Certificates’.


You should then see your developer certificate and your distribution certificate in the middle of the Keychain window. Happy days :) Now click on the tiny grey arrow beside your developer certificate. It will open to reveal a private key certificate.


Right click on this private key, and select the ‘export’ option.


Then choose a name for your file, and save it somewhere you’ll find easily, like your desktop.


Congratulations that’s it!!!!!! You are done. The last thing to do is to email this P12 file to the person who is also going to be working with this Apple iOS developer account. Nice work :)

After you’re done with this blog, I want you to do TWO things:

#1: Have you created a P12? Let me know in the comments you GENIUS! :)

#2: If you found this blog really useful, please share it with your friends.

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Gregg Hart May 2, 2013, 5:35 pm

    Hi Elaine. Does this p12 tie to my developer license so that I can give to a number of different devs for different projects? Also is there a way to disable it if I don’t want prior devs having rights to my account anymore?

  • admin May 2, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Your P12 is tied to your main developer certificate for your Apple account. You can give it to a number of people if they are all working in that Apple account.

    Disabling it….. there may be other options but I’d usually just change the main password to my Apple dev account then they can’t do anything with the P12.

  • Shashank December 23, 2015, 6:09 am

    I have a question. Can we generate two different p12 files for development as well as for distribution? Please suggest me. thanks

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