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Set up a Firebase Cloud Messaging client app on iOS

For iOS client apps, you can receive notification and data payloads up to 4000 bytes over the Firebase Cloud Messaging APNs interface.

To write your client code in Objective-C or Swift, we recommend that you use the FIRMessaging API. The quickstart example provides sample code for both languages.

To enable sending push notifications through APNs, you need:

  • An Apple Push Notification Authentication Key for your Apple Developer account. Firebase Cloud Messaging uses this token to send push notifications to the application identified by the App ID.

  • A provisioning profile for that App ID with push notifications enabled. Also, to test your app while under development, you need a provisioning profile for development to authorize your devices to run an app that is not yet published on the App Store.

You create both in the Apple Developer Member Center.

Method swizzling in Firebase Cloud Messaging

The FCM SDK performs method swizzling in two key areas: mapping your APNs token to the FCM registration token and capturing analytics data during downstream message callback handling. Developers who prefer not to use swizzling can disable it by adding the flag FirebaseAppDelegateProxyEnabled in the app’s Info.plist file and setting it to NO (boolean value). Relevant areas of the guides provide code examples, both with and without method swizzling enabled.

Add Firebase to your iOS project

This section covers tasks you may have completed if you have already enabled other Firebase features for your app. For FCM specifically, you'll need to upload your APNs authentication key and register for remote notifications.


  • Install the following:

    • Xcode 12.2 or later
    • CocoaPods 1.10.0 or later
  • Make sure that your project meets these requirements:

    • Your project must target iOS 10 or later.
  • Set up a physical iOS device to run your app, and complete these tasks:

    • Obtain an Apple Push Notification Authentication Key for your Apple Developer account.
    • Enable Push Notifications in XCode under App > Capabilities.

If you don't already have an Xcode project and just want to try out a Firebase product, you can download one of our quickstart samples.

Create a Firebase project

Before you can add Firebase to your iOS app, you need to create a Firebase project to connect to your iOS app. Visit Understand Firebase Projects to learn more about Firebase projects.

Register your app with Firebase

After you have a Firebase project, you can add your iOS app to it.

Visit Understand Firebase Projects to learn more about best practices and considerations for adding apps to a Firebase project, including how to handle multiple build variants.

  1. Go to the Firebase console.

  2. In the center of the project overview page, click the iOS icon () to launch the setup workflow.

    If you've already added an app to your Firebase project, click Add app to display the platform options.

  3. Enter your app's bundle ID in the iOS bundle ID field.

  4. (Optional) Enter other app information: App nickname and App Store ID.

  5. Click Register app.

Add a Firebase configuration file

  1. Click Download GoogleService-Info.plist to obtain your Firebase iOS config file (GoogleService-Info.plist).

  2. Move your config file into the root of your Xcode project. If prompted, select to add the config file to all targets.

If you have multiple bundle IDs in your project, you must associate each bundle ID with a registered app in the Firebase console so that each app can have its own GoogleService-Info.plist file.

Add Firebase SDKs to your app

We recommend using CocoaPods to install the Firebase libraries. However, if you'd rather not use CocoaPods, you can integrate the SDK frameworks directly or use Swift Package Manager instead.

Are you using one of the quickstart samples? The Xcode project and Podfile (with pods) are already present, but you'll still need to add your Firebase configuration file and install the pods.

  1. Create a Podfile if you don't already have one:

    cd your-project-directory
    pod init
  2. To your Podfile, add the Firebase pods that you want to use in your app.

    You can add any of the supported Firebase products to your iOS app.

    For an optimal experience with Firebase Cloud Messaging, we recommend enabling Google Analytics in your project. Also, as part of setting up Analytics, you need to add the Firebase SDK for Analytics to your app.

    Analytics enabled

    # Add the Firebase pod for Google Analytics
    pod 'Firebase/Analytics'
    # For Analytics without IDFA collection capability, use this pod instead
    # pod ‘Firebase/AnalyticsWithoutAdIdSupport’
    # Add the pod for Firebase Cloud Messaging
    pod 'Firebase/Messaging'

    Learn more about IDFA, the device-level advertising identifier, in Apple's User Privacy and Data Use and App Tracking Transparency documentation.

    Analytics not enabled

    # Add the pod for Firebase Cloud Messaging
    pod 'Firebase/Messaging'
  3. Install the pods, then open your .xcworkspace file to see the project in Xcode:

    pod install
    open your-project.xcworkspace

Upload your APNs authentication key

Upload your APNs authentication key to Firebase. If you don't already have an APNs authentication key, make sure to create one in the Apple Developer Member Center.

  1. Inside your project in the Firebase console, select the gear icon, select Project Settings, and then select the Cloud Messaging tab.

  2. In APNs authentication key under iOS app configuration, click the Upload button.

  3. Browse to the location where you saved your key, select it, and click Open. Add the key ID for the key (available in the Apple Developer Member Center) and click Upload.

Initialize Firebase in your app

You'll need to add Firebase initialization code to your application. Import the Firebase module and configure a shared instance as shown:

  1. Import the Firebase module in your UIApplicationDelegate:


    import Firebase


    @import Firebase;
  2. Configure a FirebaseApp shared instance, typically in your app's application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions: method:


    // Use Firebase library to configure APIs


    // Use Firebase library to configure APIs
    [FIRApp configure];

Register for remote notifications

Either at startup, or at the desired point in your application flow, register your app for remote notifications. Call registerForRemoteNotifications as shown:


if #available(iOS 10.0, *) {
  // For iOS 10 display notification (sent via APNS)
  UNUserNotificationCenter.current().delegate = self

  let authOptions: UNAuthorizationOptions = [.alert, .badge, .sound]
    options: authOptions,
    completionHandler: { _, _ in }
} else {
  let settings: UIUserNotificationSettings =
    UIUserNotificationSettings(types: [.alert, .badge, .sound], categories: nil)



if ([UNUserNotificationCenter class] != nil) {
  // iOS 10 or later
  // For iOS 10 display notification (sent via APNS)
  [UNUserNotificationCenter currentNotificationCenter].delegate = self;
  UNAuthorizationOptions authOptions = UNAuthorizationOptionAlert |
      UNAuthorizationOptionSound | UNAuthorizationOptionBadge;
  [[UNUserNotificationCenter currentNotificationCenter]
      completionHandler:^(BOOL granted, NSError * _Nullable error) {
        // ...
} else {
  // iOS 10 notifications aren't available; fall back to iOS 8-9 notifications.
  UIUserNotificationType allNotificationTypes =
  (UIUserNotificationTypeSound | UIUserNotificationTypeAlert | UIUserNotificationTypeBadge);
  UIUserNotificationSettings *settings =
  [UIUserNotificationSettings settingsForTypes:allNotificationTypes categories:nil];
  [application registerUserNotificationSettings:settings];

[application registerForRemoteNotifications];

Access the registration token

By default, the FCM SDK generates a registration token for the client app instance on app launch. Similar to the APNs device token, this token allows you to send targeted notifications to any particular instance of your app.

In the same way that iOS typically delivers an APNs device token on app start, FCM provides a registration token via FIRMessagingDelegate's messaging:didReceiveRegistrationToken: method. The FCM SDK retrieves a new or existing token during initial app launch and whenever the token is updated or invalidated. In all cases, the FCM SDK calls messaging:didReceiveRegistrationToken: with a valid token.

The registration token may change when:

  • The app is restored on a new device
  • The user uninstalls/reinstall the app
  • The user clears app data.

Set the messaging delegate

To receive registration tokens, implement the messaging delegate protocol and set FIRMessaging's delegate property after calling [FIRApp configure]. For example, if your application delegate conforms to the messaging delegate protocol, you can set the delegate on application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions: to itself.


Messaging.messaging().delegate = self


[FIRMessaging messaging].delegate = self;

Fetching the current registration token

Registration tokens are delivered via the method messaging:didReceiveRegistrationToken:. This method is called generally once per app start with registration token. When this method is called, it is the ideal time to:

  • If the registration token is new, send it to your application server.
  • Subscribe the registration token to topics. This is required only for new subscriptions or for situations where the user has re-installed the app.

You can retrieve the token directly using token(completion:). A non null error is provided if the token retrieval failed in any way.


Messaging.messaging().token { token, error in
  if let error = error {
    print("Error fetching FCM registration token: \(error)")
  } else if let token = token {
    print("FCM registration token: \(token)")
    self.fcmRegTokenMessage.text  = "Remote FCM registration token: \(token)"


[[FIRMessaging messaging] tokenWithCompletion:^(NSString *token, NSError *error) {
  if (error != nil) {
    NSLog(@"Error getting FCM registration token: %@", error);
  } else {
    NSLog(@"FCM registration token: %@", token);
    self.fcmRegTokenMessage.text = token;

You can use this method at any time to access the token instead of storing it.

Monitor token refresh

To be notified whenever the token is updated, supply a delegate conforming to the messaging delegate protocol. The following example registers the delegate and adds the proper delegate method:


func messaging(_ messaging: Messaging, didReceiveRegistrationToken fcmToken: String?) {
  print("Firebase registration token: \(String(describing: fcmToken))")

  let dataDict: [String: String] = ["token": fcmToken ?? ""]
    name: Notification.Name("FCMToken"),
    object: nil,
    userInfo: dataDict
  // TODO: If necessary send token to application server.
  // Note: This callback is fired at each app startup and whenever a new token is generated.


- (void)messaging:(FIRMessaging *)messaging didReceiveRegistrationToken:(NSString *)fcmToken {
    NSLog(@"FCM registration token: %@", fcmToken);
    // Notify about received token.
    NSDictionary *dataDict = [NSDictionary dictionaryWithObject:fcmToken forKey:@"token"];
    [[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] postNotificationName:
     @"FCMToken" object:nil userInfo:dataDict];
    // TODO: If necessary send token to application server.
    // Note: This callback is fired at each app startup and whenever a new token is generated.

Alternatively, you can listen for an NSNotification named kFIRMessagingRegistrationTokenRefreshNotification rather than supplying a delegate method. The token property always has the current token value.

Swizzling disabled: mapping your APNs token and registration token

If you have disabled method swizzling, you'll need to explicitly map your APNs token to the FCM registration token. Override the methods didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken to retrieve the APNs token, and then set FIRMessaging's APNSToken property:


func application(application: UIApplication,
                 didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken deviceToken: Data) {
  Messaging.messaging().apnsToken = deviceToken


// With "FirebaseAppDelegateProxyEnabled": NO
- (void)application:(UIApplication *)application
    didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken:(NSData *)deviceToken {
    [FIRMessaging messaging].APNSToken = deviceToken;

After the FCM registration token is generated, you can access it and listen for refresh events using the same methods as with swizzling enabled.

Prevent auto initialization

When an FCM registration token is generated, the library uploads the identifier and configuration data to Firebase. If you want to get an explicit opt-in from users first, you can prevent token generation at configure time by disabling FCM. To do this, add a metadata value to your Info.plist (not your GoogleService-Info.plist):

FirebaseMessagingAutoInitEnabled = NO

To re-enable FCM, you can make a runtime call:


Messaging.messaging().autoInitEnabled = true


[FIRMessaging messaging].autoInitEnabled = YES;

This value persists across app restarts once set.

Next steps

After you have set up your iOS client, you're ready to add message handling and other, more advanced behavior to your app. See these guides for more information: