There are a few things you need to consider when renaming your app. Most guides out there tell you only half the story. This is why we created this quick article that wraps up the most important things and helps you to rename your app in a clean manner. Let us know if we missed anything.
Why Should You Change the Name?
There are multiple reasons why you'd consider changing the name of your iOS app and you shouldn't take the decision too easy. Be aware that there are many things that you'd also need to change such as the website, marketing material, and much more. There are other things, that you even might be unable to change such as the Bundle-ID, already existing merchandise, and so on.
We have named our App "Korona" back in 2019 in dependence to the German name of the stellar corona phenomenon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that started later in 2019 and is still ongoing to this day, our app could not be found with just the word "Korona" and might even get falsely associated to the pandemic. For this and other obvious reasons, we finally decided to change our name, even though our app has become quite popular in its niche already.
How To Change the App Name?
With all the basics covered, let's now dive into the technical details.
1. Rename your Project
- Xcode will do the rest for you ...
2. Replace the Old Name EVERYWHERE
- Find and replace everything containing your old name (⌘ Cmd + ⌥ Option + ↑ Shift + F)
- Make sure you find/replace the lower cased and capitalized version
- Xcode doesn't find all strings for some reason. You may want to use an other powerful editor or IDE (like AppCode or VS Code) to find and replace
- Not all changes can be auto-replaced and you may have to change some strings manually
- Also search replace file names in your
- Do not change the product bundle identifier if you have already published your app!
3. Rename Your Schemes
- Go to Xcode > Product > Scheme > Manage Schemes... and replace the name there as well
4. Update Your Pod File
- In case you are using cocoapods, rename your target in the Podfile
- After doing so, run again pod install
5. Update Interface Builder files
- Open every interface builder file (storyboards and .xib) change something (you may just change the zoom) and resave (⌘ Cmd + S). Xcode will then update the underlying XML files. This will prevent some view classes not being found after rebuilding.
6. Other Things To Consider
- Delete your old project .xcworkspace file (Xcode should have created a new one with the new name)
- Rename your main project folder (that has no effect on anything)
- Clean your Build Folder (Xcode > Product > Clean Build Folder) and rebuild to make sure everything works as expected
- Rename your Git-repository (if you're not using Git or any other form of version control ... absolutely make sure you use one)
- Rename your app in AppStoreConnect
- Inform your users
- 🤞that everything works😉
Popular App Renames
Did you know that Instagram started out as Burbn? And that Snapchat's initial name was Picaboo? We've also learned, that WeChat is called Wei Xin in Mandarin. Well, although you can google these things, we were still surprised when we saw their AppStore bundle identifier in our app referrals. The fact that one can NEVER change the bundle ID means, that the will always contain a little piece of history.
Renaming and app that is already in production and popular is scary. Still, there are many famous examples of successful renamings and hopefully you now know how to do it from a technical perspective. Thank you for reading!