Even if you don’t wish to pay $99 a year to join the Apple Developer Program, you can still create a free Apple ID and use that Apple ID to access a limited set of developer-oriented privileges. The free developer account isn’t technically a developer account at all; Apple simply gives Apple ID users, who don’t wish to become a member of the official paid Apple Developer Program, access to Xcode Developer Tools, Xcode beta releases, developer forums, and more.

Most importantly, your Apple ID can be used to “Test on Device”, which essentially means that anyone with a free Apple ID can deploy apps to their iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, without relying on a paid developer account. In this simple to follow video tutorial, we’ll show you how.

Video tutorial

Step 1: Create a free Apple ID. If you already have an Apple ID, you can go directly to Step 2

Create Your Apple ID

Step 2: Sign in to the Apple Developer Member Center using your Apple ID to give your Apple ID access to limited developer privileges. You will be asked to read an enrollment form, and check a box stating that you agree.

Apple Developer Member Center Login

Step 3: Launch Xcode → Preferences → Accounts

Xcode Account

Step 4: Click the ‘+’ sign → Add Apple ID, and sign in with your Apple ID

Xcode Logged in Free Apple ID

Congratulations. You will now be able to use your free Apple ID for provisioning and deployment to iOS devices using Xcode. Of course, there are still many privileges that you don’t get with a free developer account. This includes access to early developer betas. Here is a chart that compares the different levels of developer membership, and the privileges that come with it.

Apple ID Privileges

Do you have your Apple ID upgraded with free developer privileges, or have you signed up to the full $99/year Apple Developer Program?

  • Newgunnerr

    You know I like you guys a lot, but puttin “how to create a free apple developer account” in the title is a bit of a click bait, don’t you think?

    • Chris

      The point is; a lot of readers don’t know you can get a free developer account.

    • Gil

      Its more of a damn problem for me, i work for Apple tech support, Betas are buggy, and are for developers to test what works and how to fix the problems before it is sent out to the public! This just causes problems for user at the end the reason being is you will hate the beta be mad your phone or pad is not working right Then will get even more pissed off when you realize that you have to set up your phone new because if you set it up from a back up your screwed because your back up is ios 10. So IF YOU WANT YOUR PHONE TO WORK NORMALLY DON’T GET THE DAMN BETA1

    • Real American

      That’s a humorously interesting complaint, because I read the title “How to create a free Apple Developer account and link it to Xcode,” then I opened the article and read step-by-step how to create a free Apple Developer account and link it to Xcode – exactly like the title described. Perhaps you can try reading the title and article again, or if that’s too difficult, have somebody read them to you.

  • Malcolm Hall

    Can you use CloudKit that way?

    • Hi

      How do you mean?

      EDIT: i Guess you could use it in your app

  • Stankod Dimovic

    This is not working.. please help.. i tried with 2 different apple accounts i get error message in account settings in xcode : my apple id email is not on any development teams

    • schneekettchen

      same here :/

      • emmanuel sr

        same here

    • coLin

      works for me

  • Chanchal Raj

    thanks, I have made one mine own..

  • Unknow Unknow

    This is the real Idb cool stuff very informative and nice presentation for the greatest Jeff

  • Jay Palm

    Keep teaching them Jeff!!

  • GLP

    Is it still possible to do?

  • Mark Arrojado

    Hi Jeff,
    Question for you…. I’ve got through all the steps and everything works fine. However, right at the last step the system gives me an error regarding “provisioning” Any idea how to address that? Thanks!

    • ali pasa

      I can’t get any provisioning profiles under the settings in xcode 7.2.1. When I click the fix issue button it still complains no provisioning profiles found. I have the free developer account is that an issue? Thanks

  • Dom


    I have a question it seems apple cannot give me the correct information, I have a Mac computer I installed everything that is needed to install Kodi in Apple TV 4, I went through the whole process, my problem is the apple IOS developer and IOS apps signer, It is one of them.

    When trying to install it in apple tv4, after it seems like it is installing.
    a box comes up and says,
    App instalation failed
    A valid provisioning profile for this executable was not found.

    I would appreciate any help on this,being trying cannot figure it out.

    Thank you

    • Chris Lee

      same here…don’t know why…

  • Richard Truong

    Hey iDownloadblog, I’m having a same issues like others. The kodi just atop working after a period of time. “Kodi isn’t available” is there anyways around this issue with installing everything over and over after couple of days? If you can get back to me that would be great

  • emmanuel sr

    same here I’m lost

  • Mouhamad Ali Naksho

    its not working after my pass he start working than stop and say mash -o imput file /private/var …

  • Alaa Eltayeb

    Hello I did all these steps but when i add my apple id in xcode it shows as user instead of free then it builds succfully but when i try to run the app on the device i get this error the certificate used to sign has either expired or has been revoked,
    then i receive an email saying Your iOS Development certificate has been revoked.
    i’m using xcode 8.2.1 and my device ios version is 9.3

  • Amit Raina

    Will this Developers prevelage will last more than 7 days???