I'm trying to create an iOS IPA file using Xcode. I have archived it (Product → Archive) and it is visible under my archives (Window → Organiser), but Xcode says I can't Export it unless I have an Apple Developer Licence.

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Is there any way to create a proper IPA of this (not by placing the .app into a folder named payload, zipping that folder, and then renaming the .zip to .ipa)?

When I try to do what is suggested here, this happens:

$ cd ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives/2019-05-07 
$ xcodebuild -exportArchive -exportFormat ipa -archivePath g0blinpreRC3.xcarchive -exportPath ~/Desktop/Jailbreak/iOS\ 10/g0blin_preRC3.ipa

xcodebuild: error: invalid option '-exportFormat'
  • See if this answers your query: stackoverflow.com/a/26929524/6995250
    – Nimesh Neema
    May 7, 2019 at 15:53
  • @NimeshNeema I added to my question what happens when I try that
    – Sam
    May 7, 2019 at 16:11
  • Remember also that an IPA file can be created by zipping the file and changing the extension. This will not create an installable app, though.
    – Benj
    May 19, 2019 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


You can't create an ipa file without an Apple Developer Account.

You can create a free developer account and sign the app with a development certificate. You won't be allowed to distribute the app to anyone but you can use it on your own devices.

An overview of the different types of memberships are available here.

  • I have a free developer account, and the app has been signed by it
    – Sam
    May 7, 2019 at 23:12
  • You question indicates you don't have a Developer account: ‘Xcode says I can't export it unless I have an Apple Developer License'.
    – fsb
    May 7, 2019 at 23:52
  • I don't have a paid Apple Developer License (for distribution or the appstore), but I have macOS and iOS Development licences
    – Sam
    May 7, 2019 at 23:54

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