We use Apple code signing certificates to sign apps so that users can know we made the app. What happens to the users when our certificate expires?

Does it mean that app will now appear untrusted or does it only affect us and no longer let us sign code using that certificate?

  • What are you using the certificate for? (Xcode can generate builds for many architectures and distribution methods. ) the simplistic answer is that cert still gets used and anything checking the signed app will complain or not run it. – bmike Mar 14 '14 at 12:42
  • We are manually code signing not using xcode an application we have developed for internet distribution. – user204088 Mar 14 '14 at 12:45
  • So you're not using any other person to re-sign the app (say if your internet distribution were Apple’s App Store) – bmike Mar 14 '14 at 12:46
  • No we don't use the app store, people literally download from our site. What I want to know is if an app is signed and then our certificate expires. Will our prebuilt app remain "signed" or appear untrusted. – user204088 Mar 14 '14 at 12:49

When you sign an app using a code signing certificate, you are establishing an end date for that app (in terms of it having an unexpired cert).

You will not be affected directly (except hopefully for getting warnings that you are using an expired cert) but your users will notice when the expiration passes and they will not get a warning beforehand. One day it will break, precisely when their clock passes the date of expiration. It will still be signed of course, so you may want to prepare your customers to expect that the trust the OS extends to your your app will expire. They can choose to keep running the app by disabling the checks or stripping the code signing. You might also to supply users with newer versions of the same app that are re-signed should they want he same exact binary but simply extend the signing for a different time range.

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