Deployment to iOS fails


for a university project I’m trying to deploy a sample project to iOS just to get started.

  • I’m using Unreal Engine 4.22.3
  • My computer works on macOS Version 10.14.3, i got an iMac Retina 5K 2017 if that helps
  • I’m trying to deploy to: iPad 6. gen, iOS 12.3.1
  • i do not have a developer account

I’m just trying to get something running, so i did the following:

  1. followed this: Handheld AR Template Quickstart in Unreal Engine | Unreal Engine 5.2 Documentation
  • UE -> New Project -> Handheld AR / Mobile / scalable quality / no starter content
  • adjusting the configs as mentioned in step 2
  1. i was already anticipating problems with the signing from prior experience with unity so i adjusted the project settings
  • opened a new xcode project to get the info neccessary for signing
  • Project settings -> iOS -> Bundle information, the selected profile / certificate in the Mobile Provision tab say statis is valid
  1. Trying to deploy to ipad.

Output Log shows 3 errors marked in red (changed the name of the bundle before publicly posting it)

LogPlayLevel: Error: [DD] … Error: Failed to connect to bundle ‘xyz’

LogPlayLevel: Error: ERROR: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object

LogPlayLevel: Error: RunUAT ERROR: AutomationTool was unable to run successfully.
PackagingResults: Error: Launch failed! Unknown Error


Someone correct me if I’m wrong in anything I’m saying here because I’m not an expert when it comes to Apple’s regulations and development tools.

AFAIK, you absolutely need an Apple dev account in order to deploy a project on an iOS device. However, you do not need to have the paid one for testing purpose. You can run the game from Xcode rather than from the editor as you can use Xcode automatic signing to generate a temporary certificate.
You still need to make yourself a free account.

You need Xcode installed for this.

Here’s the steps to deploy from Xcode:

  1. Make sure you have at least 1 C++ file in your project so you can get a Xcode project.
  2. Generate the Xcode project if not already done. (Right click on your .uproject and select the option to generate Xcode project)
  3. Open the project in Xcode.
  4. Set the Scheme (Product > Scheme > Edit Scheme) so your build configuration for every steps (Run, Test, Profile, Analyze and Archive) is set to Development and not Development Editor as that would open the editor.
  5. Go to Xcode > Preferences > Accounts and add your Apple ID account there (You should be able to make a free Apple Dev account)
  6. Go to your project Settings (select your project in Xcode’s project navigator) and in the General tab, under the Signing section, check the “Automatically manage signing” option and select the team your Apple account is linked to.
  7. Connect your iOS device and target it by selecting it next to the play button at the top of your Xcode window.
  8. Run the project using the play button. If no building errors, the project should now be deployed on your connected device!

If there are any errors when trying to deploy related to signing, go fiddle around the options found in the Project Settings under the Build Settings tab in the Signing section and listen to what the error message tells you.
If the project gets deployed properly but fails to launch, go on your iOS device and make sure it allows your application to run by going in the settings under General > Device Management and trusting the application.

Now, obviously, having a paid Apple dev account would be easier as it would allow you to use the Editor to do all of that by having an actual certificate you can use as well as allowing you to remote deploy from a Windows machine. But for testing purpose, this should work.

Hopefully this can help you.

I’m Having this same issue, spent a few days fixing some issue with my signature but even after building from Xcode a blank project, unreal still won’t build because

Error: [DD] Failed to connect to bundle
Error: SystemNullReferenceException: Object Reference not set to an instance of an Object
Error: RunUAT ERROR: AutomationTool was unable to run successfully.
Error: Launch Failed! Unknown Error

Last I had heard, you need a paid Apple Developer account to put your game onto your iPad. Haven’t heard of non hack ways of getting around that.