How to install iOS development client on iPhone?


I’m trying to install a custom development client on my iOS device (device running iOS 13.3). I’ve gone through the provisioning and distributing certificates setup, and even have installed the production level app via Testflight using Expo Go’s normal development client as the base. We have created devices via. npx eas-cli device:create and everything…

Now we need to add a custom development client and we cannot seem to find a way to install .ipa files on the iOS devices. When opening the completed development-client build in, it says download. Every guide we’ve found shows an install button, or even prints a QR code in the terminal after completed build for installation.

Snippets of my eas.json regarding the development build:

  "build": {
    "development": {
      "developmentClient": true,
      "releaseChannel": "development",
      "env": {
        "APP_ENV": "development",
        "API_URL": "",
        "IS_DEVELOPMENT_CLIENT": "true"

The documentation is very short regarding this step.
After following the instructions on how to regiser iOS devices it just concludes that the next step is
“installing the resulting build on your device.”, but nowhere does it go into detail on how to exactly do that.

  • I’m using the managed workflow
  • EAS cli version 0.41.1

Hey @it-diningsix, you should see an INSTALL button on the build page of your project.

Screen Shot 2021-12-17 at 12.27.00 PM


Hi @adamjnav, thanks for responding so quickly.

We do not have an Install button, we have a Download button. This is on a .ipa build with a custom dev-client installed.

I’ve tried opening the build page on my Macbook and on the iOS device (which is already registered with eas:create).

Screenshot 2021-12-20 at 10.23.23

any idea what could be the issue?


Build on the screenshot is for app store, if you want to install app on the device you need to set "distribution": "internal" in your build profile

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up, I’ll try that out immedietly.

EDIT: Thanks for the help @wkozyra , it works with your addition to eas.json!

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