How to share an iOS distribution certificate

For iOS app developers, there are some annoying parts of the development process that many developers just hate. For one, the Apple Developer portal only allows three distribution certificates to be created. If you simply download the distribution cert from the Apple Dev portal, your Keychain Access will not have the private key, since your laptop did not sign it (with the CSR file). Therefore you must work with the person who created the cert to have it shared with you. 


Share ios distribution certificate

As the owner of the cert:

  1. Open Keychain Access (from your Applications > Utilities folder on your Mac, or search for it)
  2. Look for "iPhone Distribution: [name]" then expand it and highlight both the "iPhone Distribution…" row and the next row with the private key
  3. Whith both rows are highlighted, right click and select "Export 2 items" in order to share
  4. When prompted, save the file in the .p12 format on your machine.
  5. When prompted the first time for the password, input a password or click OK without inputting anything. Password is not necessary.
  6. Second prompt for password is the Admin password on your machine.


You are free to send both the P12 file to your team member!

Install the p12 file

As the receiver of the private key:

  1. Double click on p12 file that your team member sent you. Keychain Access will open.
  2. Enter password you were given one. If there was a password, you will need to receive it from the person who exported the certs. If no password was given, do not input anything.
  3. This will give you a new private key.
  4. Now when creating the Provisioning Profile in the Apple Developer portal, when prompted to select a cert, make sure you select the one that was shared with you. If you do not know, ask your team member.