I have a Mac running 10.7 Lion. I have the lastest compatible XCode installed but it isn't able to work with my iOS 10 iPad. It will work with my old iOS 6 iPod. I wrote an extremely basic app which compiled successfully and ran fine in the virtual device, however the system won't let me run or install the app on my iPod. I see I have a certificate issue and to obtain one I need to be part of the Apple Developer Programme.

I'm guessing that in the latest release of XCode this won't be an issue, and I can make apps and run them on my iPad for free as long as its for personal use. I know my Mac can't run Sierra but if I got hold of one which could would this be the case?

I don't want to have to pay a £99 per year Apple Dev Prog fee.

  • 1
    XCode is free for personal use, you may use apps locally installed for 10 days before you must rebuild and reinstall a config to the device. The [Apple Dev Program](developer.apple.com) is only required if you want to put an app on the app store, or compile and build your own apps and do a larger scale Ad-Hoc distribution.
    – bret7600
    Feb 1, 2017 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


The actual problem is that side loading of apps without needing an Apple signed certificate was added to iOS 8. You'll want to upgrade your iOS and Mac OS to get to the level where Xcode can self-sign and self run based on your free AppleID instead of a paid and signed developer certificate.

It that fails, you would have to get a newer device to use the free entitlement of running code you self-sign and side load from Xcode.

  • I looked up in more detail about side loading. Does this bypass the 10 day limit bret7600 mentioned? Feb 1, 2017 at 18:10
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    @ahh11 Without a paid Apple Developer Program membership, you can use a recent version of macOS (since it's a newly released feature) and Xcode to debug apps on a physical device. These apps can only run for 10 days until they require reloading with Xcode. A paid membership extends this to 1 year.
    – grg
    Feb 1, 2017 at 22:27

XCode as an application is free. A developer account is £/$99/year.

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