Obtaining .p12 certificate for iOS development on Windows. The easy way (WITHOUT prompt and manual OpenSSL installation)

February 24th, 2013 by Slav

Getting into iOS development isn’t exactly straightforward. Even before deploying a simple test app on iOS device you have to get (and pay) apple developer membership fee, and then there’s a whole process of obtaining a developer certificate, generating p12 file and provisioning profile that needs to be bundled with your app in order to test it on device. This process is made slightly easier for users of Macs , since they have a nice keys management tool installed on every mac called Keychain.

On windows though there’s no such tool, and every single guide I came across (including the official one from Adobe) instructed users to install OpenSSL, and then use command prompt and type in paths, names , commands etc.

This was very tedious, slow , user unfriendly and error prone.

Thankfully, there is another way! It’s a OpenSSL based GUI for Windows called XCA: X Certificate and Key Management.


This tools enables you to obtain a personal development certificate, certificate signing request, private or public key encoded with 2048bit RSA encryption, export p12 certificate i.e.  everything you need to do in order to publish a valid .ipa file for iOS device. All with nice drag and drop interface, with easy to manage and access sections, lightweight and organised. Secured and safe as well.

You can download XCA at SourceForge.

Although it would seem that you can do everything on Windows PC, in order to develop iOS app that’s not entirely true. Unfortunately, Apple has made the final step (of uploading the final app for general distribution via iTunes store) available only via mac OS only based software (xCode or appUploader). So you still have to use Mac (mac emulator) for this final step. I’d love to be proven wrong and if anybody knows of other way.. please leave a comment here!

Posted in AIR, Mobile

16 Responses

  1. Obtaining .p12 certificate for iOS development on Windows. The easy way (WITHOUT prompt and manual OpenSSL installation) | eaflash

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  2. Dennis

    Sounds great – but now we need some kind of tutorial on how to work XCA 😉

    i can’t export to p12 – only p7b

  3. Yop

    thx i have created my 1st p12 the hard way with command line.
    nex time i’ll use XCA :)

  4. T

    I’m with Dennis. I spent 3 hours with XCA, reading the manual, reading the discussions on sourceforge… still lost.

    I’ve got everything imported, but can’t export to p12, only p7b.

    Any chance you could put up some screenshots describing the actual process from start to finish? Or at least the steps needed to get a p12 file?

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  6. Eric W

    Slav, you need to remove the .p12 extension from your title. Something has changed. There is no default capability to export .p12 from XCA as it stands when I post this. If I am wrong, link to it in the comments and update your post.

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    Hello,can i make the app only use on my own ipad without mac?

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