6 minutes

iOS Application Transferring. Native Point

Were you ever in a situation when you needed to transfer your app from one developer account to another? What about transferring not a newly created app, but one that was already released on the Apple store? 

Well, cases like this don't arise very often, but they do occur once in a while. I bet you’re thinking now about what a pain it is to do all this stuff: to delete a chosen app in one account, to recreate it on another etc. Also, we need to change the bundle, re-create all binary and certificates. But this actually isn't the scariest thing...

The worst part is to delete an app from the store and publish it again from scratch! All your users will lose their data and accounts! But wait, don’t also forget about Apple Review, Submitting and the fact that all of this can take a very long time. Can you even imagine how complicated it is? No, wait! Don't even try to imagine - it's too frightening.

However, what if I told you there was another way? Without the need to delete, etc…?


Many people don’t know that Apple created a native way for application-transferring. It means you can transfer the ownership of an app to another developer without removing the app from the store. It would be such a shame not to use it. However, don't expect it to be one big magic button, which will do everything instead of you. You still need to be present. But don't be afraid, I'll greatly help you get you through all of this. Let's start from basics:

What do we need to do before we start?

Now, let's do it!

First of all, make sure your developer account isn't in a pending or changing state. Next, ensure you’ve accepted the latest version of your master agreements. Master agreements can be found in the “Contracts, Tax and Banking” section.

iOS Application Transferring. Native point

Is everything alright? Good!

There is a list of criteria for an app transferring. Before trying to transfer, you need to be sure that your app meets the above mentioned criteria. If it doesn't - you'll need to modify your app.

Can all of the applications be transferred?

How many applications can be transferred?

What else do you need to know before instantiating the transferring?

Now you possess all the necessary knowledge. Let's instantiate the transferring!

1. Go to your app in Itunes Connect. Next, in the "App Store" tab choose  "App information". If you have correct access to rights (Team Agent User Role) choose "Transfer App" at the end of the page.

iOS Application Transferring. Native point

2. Now iTunes Connect will tell you if your applications are valid or not. There is a list of criteria so you can simply understand what you'll need to change if something is wrong.

iOS Application Transferring. Native point

There is a chance that you will see something similar to following screenshot, in case of Passbook or iCloud entitlements:

iOS Application Transferring. Native point

3. When all the criteria are met and everything is correct, you can tap the "Done" button and proceed to the next step. (You can tap this button in all cases, but only if everything is okay you will be permitted to go to the next step.)

4. At this point you will be presented with a form for providing the recipient’s Team ID and Team Agent Apple ID. You'll need to verify data and read the contract terms. Respond by clicking that you have read the agreement and agree with it by selecting "I have read and agree to the agreement presented above".  

5. After going through all this stuff you will be returned to the App Detail Page and that's all for now. You have successfully instantiated a transferring request. Congrats!

6. Now all you need to do is wait for the result. The Recipient’s Team Agent must accept the transferring within 60 days.

Now, let's talk a bit about various transferring cases:

  • You must know that you can transfer only applications with bundle information. If you want to transfer source code or binary, they must be transferred to the recipient separately.
  • Transferred apps lose their keychain access.
  • After the transfer you will not be able to view the app or app bundle history, so it’s better to save what you need somewhere externally.
  • If your app uses ApplePay, the merchant ID is not transferred along with the app. Don't panic though! All transactions will continue to be successful, as long as your original certificates are in a valid state. However, after the app-transferring the recipient needs to create his own new merchant ID.  
  • Keychain sharing will continue to work until the app is updated, after this point on, prior keychain data access will be prohibited.
  • If the app is part of a Game Center group, no changes can be made to the group on the recipient side while an app is in transfer state.

Additionally, it'll be great if you inform the recipient about all capabilities added to the app, such as keychain sharing or push notifications. With this in mind, the app's new owner will know what he or she needs to add or update within the app. Remember: Don't be mean and create a great experience!

So, here's the bottom line: Now you know that application transferring is not such a pain as it was before. All you need now is to have correct permissions - all the other hassle will be handled by Itunesconnect. It keeps your app safe and helps you to perform the transfer in several easy steps. Now, isn’t that great?! :)

Keep calm and transfer your app with the help of native ways.

Hope you have found this article useful, don't forget to leave your comments below the article. If you have a project idea in mind but don't know where to start, we're always here to help you


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