Drive a real iOS Device with Appium 2 (XCUITest)

How to run your Appium 2 scripts on a physical device

Courtney Zhan
7 min readJun 17, 2023


First of all, this can be a frustrating experience for first-timers (like me), as there are many steps and Apple’s proprietary process is involved.

This article will walk through the steps I used to run an Appium 2 script for my own app on a physical iOS device. See this article if you are using a simulator instead.

· Before Starting
Software: your iOS app
Code Signing Certificate, requires Apple Developer Account
Task 1. Enabling Developer Mode on iPhone
Task 2. Build your iOS app with the correct code signing
Task 3. Export your iOS app to an .ipa file
Automate it with Appium 2
Attempt to run Appium Automation Script
Run Successfully

Before Starting


There are two physical devices involved:

  1. A macOS computer with Xcode installed
    I refer to it as iMac. Xcode is to use to build an iOS app that I want