How To Submit Your App To the App Store

Oct 22, 2018: Updated and revised by Adrien Villez

After working on your app for days, weeks and months … it’s finally time to set it free and publish it to the world.

First, your app needs to run properly and be clean of errors (the red warnings).

Second, you should have your Signing and Team information set up in Xcode.

Don’t forget you should have your app version set to 1.0.0 if you are publishing a new app (or remember to increment the build version if you are publishing an update).

At this point if you are still having issues regarding your Apple ID or the certificates, I would recommend to check this article. As a small refresher, go to Xcode >> Preferences >> Accounts.


Publishing an app with Xcode 10 is really simple. Where it used to take multiple steps, certificates, profiles, etc. now Xcode is smart enough to enable or create all of those by itself.

To create the full app archive, you first need to select the Generic iOS Device from the list of simulators.

Now go to Product >> Archive and let it bundle your app. This can be a pretty lengthy process depending on the size of your app.

Once this is done, the Archive window will open and this is where you can manage all the archives generated by Xcode.

Every time you select Archive in the menu, Xcode will bundle a new archive for iTunes Connect.

If you have duplicates or older ones, just delete them from this list.

Now select the archive and choose Distribute App. You’ll be prompted to select the method of distribution:

Once you have selected iOS App Store, it will go over a couple of checks and validations to make sure you are not uploading a broken app.

If something happens, there is a great chance Xcode will stop you here and you’ll have to go back to coding or adding missing assets like icons.

If Xcode doesn’t find anything wrong with the archive, the upload process will follow. Once again the upload time will vary depending on the archive size and your internet connection.

Once completed, you will see a final window like this. Congratulations! Your app is halfway there to the iOS App Store.

iTunes Connect / App Store Connect

You can finally close Xcode because our work on this app is over. Now open your browser (if you want to upload an app preview video, it’ll require Safari) and go to iTunes Connect / App Store Connect and log in.

If it is the first time you visit this website, you’ll first need to be part of the Developer Program which costs $99/year, starting the day you paid for the membership.

You will also have to accept a couple of terms and conditions and contract, fill up tax and bank info – especially if your app offers IAP (in app purchases) or is not sold at the free tier.

To publish an app, go to the My Apps menu and select the “+” option to create a new app. If you are looking to submit an update to an existing app, the steps are similar but instead of adding a new app, you’ll be selecting an existing app instead.

Fill in the information about your app and use the “?” button if you are not sure what Apple wants. The website is pretty straight forward too.

At this point, you have to fill in all the informations about your app. The name, description, the category (to be placed in the App Store), the minimum age of the audience and a privacy policy and support URL.

If you app is based on social media and demands a log in, you have to provide a test account and password for the Apple reviewer.

The main page for the app description
Don’t forget to fill in the URL for privacy policy
Decide if your app should be available after the review process or set up a future launch date.
Set up the pricing and also if you want to publish your app worldwide (or not)

The next step is to take care of the app screenshots, app icon and to select the build to publish.

iTunes Connect asks for different sizes of screenshots for each device but I found that using the screenshots of the iPhone 6S Plus works for all of them.

Use this link to go read more about the screenshots needed by the App Store, especially if you have multiples sizes to cover like iPad, Apple Watch, etc.

Now it is time to add the build you exported from Xcode. The archive was sent via Xcode but iTunes Connect needs some time to process it.

If you’ve already taken care of the app title, description, pricing and screenshots, there’s a great chance that the build is ready to be selected.

In my case, since I was publishing an app update, I was faster and had to wait about 10 minutes. (Tip: you also get an email when your archive has been processed and is ready to use.)

You can see my version 1.0.4 is not available yet for me to select.


Select the save button on the top right of your screen and the “Submit for Review” button should turn blue.

You’ll have a couple of questions to answer about your app:

After that, your app will be on the waiting list for the Apple’s certification and review team.

Your app should now have a yellow tag:

You just have to wait now.

In the past, the review process took between 1 to 2 weeks and then a couple of years ago Tim Cook said they would be working on improving the speed.

Then the review process was close to 3 or 4 days but I’m happy to say that my app update has been reviewed and accepted 13hrs later! (app updates usually take a shorter time to review than a brand new app.)

After your app is approved, you’ll get an email about it.

Your app is now on the App Store! Hello World!

If you published an app, please share it with us below!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and please share it with your friends and peer using the social buttons below!


  1. Thanks for the blog, everything went smoothy…after I removed the transparent background from the app icons which prevented me from uploading at first. I used AdobeXD to resize the images. Now I just need to resize the app previews.

  2. I get pleasure from, lead to I found just what I used to be having a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a nice day. Bye

  3. Pingback: ios - Xcode 8 chiede un dispositivo per essere registrati per creare un profilo di provisioning
  4. Hi Chris

    Please help me, I am new to ios app development process, I have already completed 2-3 apps. Apple constantly rejected my app for 4.2.2 guideline issue, Could you please provide me some tips so that it will approve by apple?


  5. Congratulations and thanks!!

    Just an add:
    at section “4. Submit your app through Xcode 5”, after Distribute, now developer must select submitted binary at respective container “Compiled”…


  6. ah wait , now i see it also in your explanation … hmm probably skipped it after i saw the ”
    4. Submit your app through Xcode 5″ headlines …

  7. hi i did all off above but at the end when i login in to itunes connect after i pressed distribute. it says “No application records were found.” cant continue. You say “Use your iTunes Connect login to sign in and itโ€™ll look to make sure that you created a matching App Listing.”. How do i make sure about this app list?

  8. I now have two apps in the app store! Getting them thru the scrutiny of Apple’s reviewers can be frustrating because if they reject your app, it puts you back in the queue for another week or two of waiting. Depending on who reviews your app, it could be rejected for minor nitpicking stuff, but regardless, there is no guarantee the second submission will be accepted either as it may be reviewed by someone else who has a whole different outlook on the many many rules imposed by Apple. Both of my apps were initially rejected, but the second submissions were then approved.

    It is quite a good feeling of accomplishment once you finally jump thru all the hoops and and get that email saying your app is ‘Ready for Sale’.

    My second app was just approved today while the first app has now sold 6 copies in the first two weeks. Being specialty apps that won’t get used often, I elected not to use ad support and simply charge a one time fee.

    I won’t get rich at this rate, and doubt it will even pay for my developers license, but it was a rewarding experience just to be able to say I did it.

    • Quite an accomplishment! You’re totally right about the review process; there’s an element of luck depending on how lenient or thorough your reviewer is. In the project plans for consulting projects at my old firm, we always buffered about 2 weeks to get through certification. If we pass on the first try, I see it as a bonus!

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