Mobile App Development

How to Upload an App to the Apple App Store In 2021?


Published on 28 May.

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    Are you submitting your first iOS application to the Apple App Store? Or it’s been a while you submitted the last one? In both cases, let us offer you a step-by-step guide which will help you launching your app commercially on Apple App Store without any hassle.


    This step-by-step guide to upload your iOS App to Apple App Store assumes that you have already enrolled to the Apple Developer Program and your applications follows Human Interface Guidelines and Apple’s App Review, and now you are all set to just launch the app. So, here is what you need to do to distribute your app to go live commercially or for beta testing on Apple’s App Store.

    How to Upload an App to the Apple App Store

    1. Code Signing: Creating An iOS Distribution Certificate & Distribution Provisioning Profile

    Development Certificate or Development Provisioning Profile that you have been using at present are for specified devices. Which means that if you want to distribute your iOS app to its final users of beta testers through Apple App Store, then you will be requiring a separate distribution certificate and distribution provisioning profile.

    One of the easiest way to do this is through XCode. For instance, if your iOS app is automatically signing enables, XCode will create and manage signing identities, certificates and also handle device registration for you. However, if automatic signing is enabled already, but you don’t require any assistance with singing, then you can skip to step # 2. In some cases, manual signing is preferred. Well, in that case, you need to makes sure that the target users also use the same signing method. To do so, you need to follow the steps listed below;

    • If you have not already done, then you first need to add Developer Program account to XCode. Select XCode from the top menu and then click of Preferences.
    • Now, click on the Accounts in the left bottom corner and then press the + sign. Click on Add Apple ID.
    • Fill in your Apple ID and your chosen password that you use for Apple Developer’s Program. Now click on Sign In.
    • In the next step, enable automatic signing. Click on General and choose a target from the Project Editor.
    • Go to the ‘Signing’ section by scrolling down and then click on ‘Triangle Icon’ for setting expansion.
    • Select your team by clicking on the check box for ‘Automatically Manage Signing’.

    When a device is connected to your computer, XCode will detect and register it automatically to the profile of your team provisioning. So, remember that registering a device on your team provisioning profile is a must to launch your app on that device.

    2. Set Up An App Store Connect Record

    First of all, you need to get an Apple App Store Connect Account, that you can attain through following steps;

    • Become the team agent by setting up your own App Store Connect organization. Now, sign in with your Apple ID (the same that you used for enrollment in the Apple Developer Program).
    • If you don’t want to create your own organization, then you can also get yourself invited by any existing App Store Connect organization in the Technical, Admin, or App Manager Role.


    Now, if you intended to launch a Paid iOS Application, then you will need to sign a contract with Apple App Store which cover all the clauses, terms and conditions for payment. For paid app, follow the steps listed below; for applications that are free, you can skip to the next step.

    • On the dashboard of your App Store Connect, click on Agreements, Banking & Tax.
    • Click on the ‘Request’ tab under the ‘Request Contracts’ section.
    • Once the agreements are downloaded, review them carefully and check the terms’ boxes to which you agree and then finally click on ‘Submit’.
    • Go to the ‘Contact Info Column’ under the ‘Contracts in Process’ section, and then Click on ‘Set Up’.
    • The new window that appears in front of you will show the option of ‘Add New Contract’. Click on that and then enter your information.
    • Now go to the ‘Contracts in Progress’ section again and then got to the ‘Bank Info’ column. Now click on ‘Set Up’ and then select ‘Add Bank Account’. Now follow the directions and save all your account information within it.
    • In the column of ‘Tax Info’, now select ‘Set Up’. This will show up a U.S Tax Form that you must fill, because it is mandatory. You may also need to set up tax form for any country where you want to launch your iOS app.
    • Once you complete the above mentioned form filling processes, your contract will start showing the status of ‘Processing’. As soon as your forms and contracts get verified by Apple Inc. (which usually takes up about 1 hour), your contract will start appearing under the section of ‘Contracts In Effect’.

    For Adding a New App, select My Apps in the App Store Connect Dashboard and then click on the + Sign located at the upper left-hand corner. Now got to the New Apps.

    For creating a new App Store Connect record, you will be required to fill in these details i.e. App Name, Platform, Default Language, SKU, and Bundle ID. While filling these details you need to very present minded, because you cannot really change these details afterwards. Some of the effective tips that you should keep in mind while filling these details include the following;

    • To optimized discovery, we would highly recommend using Keyword in your applications name.
    • Your Bundle ID must be a perfect match to the Bundle Identifier present in your XCode Project Info.plist file. You can find it inside the Target’s General > Identity Section.
    • Since the SKU will not be visible to your user, you have an open it to set it the way you like. It can either be an identifier that you use within your company or may be anything that is meaningful for you to easily remember. Acceptable characters may include Numbers, Letters, Hyphens, Underscores and Hyphens; but the SKU has to begin with a number or a letter. At this step, you may also set up user access, if applicable.

    3. Archiving & Uploading Your iOS App By Using XCode

    Before you actually submit you iOS app for review over App Store Connect, you are required to upload XCode that is build-through. To do so, you need to follow these steps.

    • Click on ‘Generic iOS Device’ in XCode as your deployment target.
    • From the top down menu, click on Product and then select
    • As soon as you do so, the XCode Organizer will display and launch all the previous archives that you have created anytime in the past.
    • Ensure selecting the currently build archive and then click on the option of Upload to App Store located in the right panel.
    • Verify all your credentials and then click on the Choose
    • The next window that will appear, then click on the tab of Upload, located in the right hand corner in bottom.

    Once the upload will be done, the success message will be displayed on your screen. Click on Done and you are ready to move to the next step.


    4. Configure Metadata & Other Details For Your iOS App in your App Store Connect Record

    In you App Store Connect, go to ‘App Information’ page and under the ‘App Store’ tab you will find the option for additional language and also for setting up the URL for your Privacy Policy.

    • Select the price range for your app or set it up for free under the ‘Pricing & Availability’ option.
    • You can also set up configuration for any of the App Store Technologies (such as in-app purchase or Game Center) for your app, under the ‘Features’ tab

    If you will look closely, your application will be marked with the status of “Prepare for Submission” and with a small yellow dot, located in the left hand side panel of the ‘App Store’. Now, select the build that you want to configure for your application. On the App Store, this is the place where you will add information about product page.

    • Now, upload images or screenshots for your app (PNG or JPEG format without any status bar). A set of screenshots that you will upload for one device can be used in different sizes.
    • Once you finished uploading screenshots of your app, click on Save button located in the top right-hand side of you window.
    • Now, scroll down further and fill in all your app’s description, marketing URL, support URL, and keywords.
      • Remember that your keyword selection and app description are critical. So make sure you optimize them for indexing and searching.
      • You can keep support URL simple, just like a landing page with a contact form, however, marketing URL is optional and it can be the website of you app.

    Now enter your contact information, copyright information; and upload icon and version number for you app. All you can do in the ‘General App Information’ center. While doing this, keep the following things in mind.

    • Size for your application’s icon must be 1024px X 1024px.
    • The version number that you add here for your app’s icon must tally the one that you have entered in the XCode.
    • “Copyright (c) 2017, Instabug, Inc.” This is how your copyright info should look typically.
    • Remember that the contact information that you will add here will be displayed to your users as well.

    Next, click on Edit for your app’s ‘Rating’ and then select the options that are applicable to your iOS application. Don’t forget that your app can be rejected during review, if it fails to match its rating criteria.


    In the top right-hand corner, click Save. Now you’re almost ready to “Submit for Review”.

    Set release date for your app’s version, enter any notes that you want reviewer to see, and also enter all you contact information under the ‘App Review Information’ section.

    • Remember that the contact information that you will enter here will be for the reviewer, for the case he needs to reach you directly to ask or discuss something.
    • Any notes that you leave for the reviewer may include information related to a particular hardware that they might require to assess your app, or the account information that might be needed for complete access.
    • Option for an automatic release date for the first release of your app is usually recommended.

    Click on the Save button in the right top corner. After this, you are now almost ready for submitting your app for reviews.

    5. Submit Your iOS App on Apple Store Connect for Review

    In the App Store Connect of your iOS app, go to the ‘Build’ section.

    • Select the ‘Select a build before you submit your app’ option on the bottom.
    • And then, select the built that you have already through XCode. Now, select Done in the right hand bottom and then click on Save located in the right hand top corner. Finally, click on Submit for Review.

    Finally, you need to answer all the questions concerning Export Compliance, Advertising Identifier, Content Rights and then click on the Submit button.

    What you will see by now is your app with the ‘Waiting for Reviews’ status.

    6. Track Your App’s Status

    In you App Store Connect, click on the Activity option in your top horizontal menu, and then go to the App Store Version in left panel.

    Frequently Asked Question

    How Long Does It Take to Get Your iOS Application, App Store Approval?

    • Usually, it takes about 1 to 3 days for approval, and it may take about 24 hours for your app to get officially appeared on the App Store once it gets approved.
    • At every stage, you will receive an email-notification.
    • If you are having a very tight line timeline and you want to align your app release with any particular event, or there is a need to release a ‘bug-free’ version on an urgent basis, then you can specifically request an expedite review, which is meant for a speedy review and processing.

    What If Your App Gets Rejected?

    If your app gets rejected for some reason, you need to make sure fixing the issues before submitting it again for the review. Resolution Center within the App Store Connect is the option which will help you communicate with App Inc. team and to find assistance. Using the same option, you can also escalate the concern and resubmit and appeal for app review, if you believe that your App gets wrongly rejected.

    The most common rejection reason for apps on Apple App Store is their inability to perform. So, before submitting your app for review, make sure that your app is not only completed, but also tested thoroughly with a pilot environment and all the bugs are removed. Using efficient tools for bug reporting during beta testing can help you significantly reducing the change of your app being rejected due to any kind of performance issues.

    What If Your App Gets Approved?

    Cheers! Because now your app is officially listed on App Store. Now you can view sales, downloads, reviews, and ratings directly on the App Store Connect.

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