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Do I need to pay for a developer license to develop personal programs?

Forums > macOS

I have signed some apps that I developed for personal use with a personal certificate. Today, I tried to launch a couple of those apps and got an error. One of them had a problem report that said, in part: "Application Specific Signatures: The code signature is not valid: The operation couldn’t be completed. (OSStatus error -2147409652.)"

The other one popped up a message ... will damage your computer. You should move it to the trash.

Both of these apps used to work. I have discovered that if I rebuild the app, it will start working again.

FWIW, I have one other app that has kept working.

Can someone explain what's going on?

3      

When I was making iOS apps without a developer account, I was limited to 4 apps and they would expire after 7 days and would need to be deleted and reinstalled.

3      

You can make Mac apps without a paid developer account. You need a paid developer account to do the following:

  • Submit an app to the Mac App Store
  • Use Apple capabilities like iCloud and Game Center
  • Sign and notarize your app with a developer ID to work with Apple's Gatekeeper feature

I thought you needed a paid developer account to code sign Mac apps. I haven't tried signing a Mac app with a personal certificate so I don't what the limits are to personal certificates.

I recommend turning off code signing for personal Mac app projects. I can't think of any benefit to code signing an app only you are going to use.

3      

Thanks for the replies.

I did notice that the iOS apps I created did stop working on my iPhone and iPad.

You can sign apps with a personal account. Xcode gives you two choices: Development or Sign to run locally. I had been signing my apps as Development. I just tried creating them with Sign to run locally. I'll see if they stop working.

I didn't realize that you could create apps without signing them, but it appears that you can. Do you think it was the code signing that caused my apps to stop working?

3      

Do you think it was the code signing that caused my apps to stop working?

Yes, I think it was the code signing. The certificate probably expired.

3      

I don't know what signing had to do with it, but the app preview stopped working on a Mac app that I am working on when I removed code signing and I could only get it to work by turning code signing back on.

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