Last Updated: October 03, 2020
· avgp

Getting everything for building iOS apps with

What's this for?

If you want to make iOS apps using PhoneGap via the great service, you will need to add a signing key and then install the signed IPA file to your iOS device.

What you need

To do so, you basically need 3 things:

  1. A certificate with private key (*.p12)
  2. A provisioning profile (*.mobileprovision)
  3. The passphrase for the private key

So how to get all of these? This is a little guide to get you through the fun process of obtaining all of the above.
This guide assumes you're on OSX and have an iOS developer account.

Step 1: Get the certificate

Login into your Apple Developer Account and go to the iOS Provisioning Portal and then to the Certificates section

If you have a valid certificate already, you can download it now and skip to step 2. If not, create it as written below and then download it afterwards.

Step 1.1: Requesting a new certificate

Open the keychain on your computer.
From the menu you select "Certificate assitant" and choose "Request a certificate from a Certificate Authority (...)".

Enter your Apple-ID email adress and click on "Save to disk". Also check the checkbox below, saying something about setting the keys to use.

You should be prompted for a passphrase for your freshly made keys. Enter something and write it down somewhere.

Upload your Certificate Request file (you created above) and wait until the certificate is issued (may take a few minutes, refresh the site a few times).

If your certificate shows as issued, download it.

Step 2: The Provisioning profile

Now click on the "Provisioning" section.

You can either create a new provisioning profile or edit an existing one.
Make sure to have your certificate enabled in the profile you're going to use.

Download the desired provisioning profile.

Now you have a .mobileprovision file and a certificate (.cer) - there is still one missing: The certificate/key bundle (*.p12) - let's create it!

Step 3: Bundle the certificate and your key

Open the keychain tool on your computer.
Import the certificate by selecting "File" > "Import object" from the menu.
The certificate should now show up below the key you used to request the certificate.

Right-click on your key and select "Export".
Et voilá: There is your *.p12 file

Use it with

Add a new signing key and upload your *.mobileprovision and *.p12 file.
Enter the passphrase and you're ready to roll!

Install the application using iTunes

  • Drag the *.mobileprovision file to iTunes.
  • Drag the *.ipa file from to iTunes.
  • Install it to your iOS device and sync.
  • DONE!

3 Responses
Add your response

Thank you for making this so clear.

We are about to create multiple apps via a developer in PhoneGap who I believe needs a certificate, provisioning profile and passphrase for the private key from our iTunes connect account.

  1. Do yo know whether I need to create a new certificate, provisioning profile and passphrase for the private key for EACH app I make with PhoneGap?

  2. Do I need to create the above three if we have already created other apps via a third party provider (Wiziapp) under our same iTunes Connect account? We have never created these signing key etc ourselves.

over 1 year ago ·

Thanks, your explanation was about 300x clearer than Adobe's.

over 1 year ago ·

Hi there,
I followed all these steps.
But while i export .cer file ,there are only two options:
1) .cer
2) .pem

//this is not Higlighted ,I can't select this option below ??..Reason???

over 1 year ago ·