No Signing Certificate iOS Distribution Found: Causes and How to Fix It

Troubleshooting 'No signing certificate iOS distribution found' error? Learn causes and step-by-step fixes for matching certificates, provisioning profiles, and more.

Devendra Chande

When developing and distributing iOS apps, you may encounter the error “No signing certificate iOS distribution found”. This error prevents you from archiving or submitting your app to the App Store. There are several potential causes and fixes for this error:

What Is Code Signing

To understand the error, you first need to understand code signing. All iOS apps must be signed with a certificate issued by Apple before they can be installed on a device or submitted to the App Store. The signing certificate contains a private key that allows Apple to verify that the app comes from an authorized developer.

There are two main types of signing certificates:

  • Development certificate – used to sign apps for testing on registered devices
  • Distribution certificate – used to sign apps for distribution through the App Store or enterprise deployment

The distribution certificate is specifically for final release builds that are meant for distribution outside of your development team.

Potential CausesNo Signing Certificate iOS Distribution Found

Here are some common causes of the “No signing certificate iOS distribution found” error:

1. Missing or invalid distribution certificate

  • The distribution certificate is missing from your keychain
  • The distribution certificate is expired
  • You have revoked the distribution certificate and need to create a new one

2. Mismatch between certificate and provisioning profile

  • The distribution certificate in your keychain does not match the one in your provisioning profile
  • You are using a development provisioning profile instead of a distribution one

3. Invalid bundle identifier

  • The bundle ID in your project does not match the one in your provisioning profile

4. Invalid or missing private key

  • The private key associated with your distribution certificate is missing or invalid

How to Fix It No Signing Certificate iOSDistribution Found

Here are step-by-step instructions for resolving the most common causes:

1. Check for valid distribution certificate

  • Open Keychain Access
  • Navigate to the “My Certificates” category
  • Check that a valid, unexpired “iOS Distribution” certificate exists
  • If missing or invalid, revoke and request a new one from your Apple Developer account

2. Ensure certificate matches provisioning profile

  • In your Apple Developer account, navigate to Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles
  • Open your distribution provisioning profile
  • Download and inspect the profile to ensure it includes your distribution certificate
  • If there is a mismatch, regenerate the provisioning profile to include the correct certificate

3. Confirm bundle identifier

  • In Xcode, check that the bundle identifier exactly matches the one in your provisioning profile
  • Update either the project or provisioning profile to resolve any mismatches

4. Validate private key

  • In Keychain Access, find the “iOS Distribution” certificate
  • Expand it to verify there is a valid private key associated with the certificate
  • If missing or invalid, revoke certificate and request a new one from Apple Developer account

After resolving any issues found in these steps, attempt to archive and sign your app again. The “No signing certificate iOS distribution found” error should no longer occur.

Final Words

The “No signing certificate iOS distribution found” error prevents submitting apps to the App Store due to missing, invalid or mismatched signing credentials. By checking for valid and matching distribution certificates, provisioning profiles, bundle identifiers and private keys, you can resolve the underlying issues. Paying close attention to code signing validity and matching will help avoid distribution errors in the future.

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Devendra is a full-time writer at ConsideringaApple and he is fond of new things in the tech world. He loves to read novels and write poems. This adventure-seeking guy is a hodophile who has an aim to explore all the beautiful mountains, oceans, cultures, traditions, and foods this world has to offer. Since the release of the first iPhone, he believes in Jobs' vision and praises every Apple product.
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