Obtaining an Installer Certificate from Apple

Signing flat PKGs and QuickAdd packages allows users to install them on computers that have Apple's Gatekeeper feature set to only allow applications downloaded from the Mac App Store and identified developers. It also ensures that the packages appear as verified to users. Signing these packages requires an installer certificate (.p12) from Apple.

Installer certificates can be obtained from Apple using Xcode or the Apple Developer Member Center. This article explains how to obtain an installer certificate from Apple using Xcode.


To obtain an installer certificate from Apple using Xcode, you need:

  • An Apple Developer membership with team Agent privileges in the Apple Developer Program. To enroll in the Apple Developer Program, visit the following website: https://developer.apple.com/programs/

  • A computer with macOS v10.11 or later

  • Xcode 7.3 or later

  1. On a computer with macOS v10.11 or later, open Xcode.
  2. Navigate to Xcode > Preferences.
  3. Click the Accounts tab.
  4. If you have not already done so, log in with the Apple ID that is registered in the Apple Developer Program.
  5. Select the appropriate team with the "Agent" role assigned, and click Manage Certificates.
    Manage Certificates
  6. In the window that opens, Control-click (right-click) Developer ID Installer, and select Export.
    Export Certificate
  7. Enter a name for the .p12 file and the Developer Profile password, and click Save.
    Developer Password

    The exported installer certificate is valid for five years.

To renew the installer certificate, repeat the above process.

Additional Information

To install a signed QuickAdd package, the System keychain in Keychain Access must contain Apple's Developer ID Certification Authority intermediate certificate.

For more information on signing flat PKGs in Composer or signing QuickAdd packages, see the Composer User Guide.

For more information on distributing applications outside the Mac App Store, see Distribute outside the Mac App Store (macOS) in Apple's Xcode Help documentation.