Send a test message to a backgrounded Apple app

To get started with FCM, build out the simplest use case: sending a test notification message from the Notifications composer to a development device when the app is in the background on the device. This page lists all the steps to achieve this, from setup to verification — it may cover steps you already completed if you have set up an Apple client app for FCM.

Add Firebase to your Apple 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 14.1 or later
  • Make sure that your project meets these requirements:

    • Your project must target these platform versions or later:
      • iOS 11
      • macOS 10.13
      • tvOS 12
      • watchOS 6
  • Set up a physical Apple 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 Apple app, you need to create a Firebase project to connect to your app. Visit Understand Firebase Projects to learn more about Firebase projects.

Register your app with Firebase

To use Firebase in your Apple app, you need to register your app with your Firebase project. Registering your app is often called "adding" your app to your project.

  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 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 Apple platforms 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

Use Swift Package Manager to install and manage Firebase dependencies.

  1. In Xcode, with your app project open, navigate to File > Add Packages.
  2. When prompted, add the Firebase Apple platforms SDK repository:
  4. Choose the Firebase Cloud Messaging library.
  5. Add the -ObjC flag to the Other Linker Flags section of your target's build settings.
  6. For an optimal experience with Firebase Cloud Messaging, we recommend enabling Google Analytics in your Firebase project and adding the Firebase SDK for Google Analytics to your app. You can select either the library without IDFA collection or with IDFA collection.
  7. When finished, Xcode will automatically begin resolving and downloading your dependencies in the background.

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 FirebaseCore module in your UIApplicationDelegate, as well as any other Firebase modules your app delegate uses. For example, to use Cloud Firestore and Authentication:


    import SwiftUI
    import FirebaseCore
    import FirebaseFirestore
    import FirebaseAuth
    // ...


    import FirebaseCore
    import FirebaseFirestore
    import FirebaseAuth
    // ...


    @import FirebaseCore;
    @import FirebaseFirestore;
    @import FirebaseAuth;
    // ...
  2. Configure a FirebaseApp shared instance in your app delegate's application(_:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:) method:


    // Use Firebase library to configure APIs


    // Use Firebase library to configure APIs


    // Use Firebase library to configure APIs
    [FIRApp configure];
  3. If you're using SwiftUI, you must create an application delegate and attach it to your App struct via UIApplicationDelegateAdaptor or NSApplicationDelegateAdaptor. You must also disable app delegate swizzling. For more information, see the SwiftUI instructions.


    struct YourApp: App {
      // register app delegate for Firebase setup
      @UIApplicationDelegateAdaptor(AppDelegate.self) var delegate
      var body: some Scene {
        WindowGroup {
          NavigationView {

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:


UNUserNotificationCenter.current().delegate = self

let authOptions: UNAuthorizationOptions = [.alert, .badge, .sound]
  options: authOptions,
  completionHandler: { _, _ in }



[UNUserNotificationCenter currentNotificationCenter].delegate = self;
UNAuthorizationOptions authOptions = UNAuthorizationOptionAlert |
    UNAuthorizationOptionSound | UNAuthorizationOptionBadge;
[[UNUserNotificationCenter currentNotificationCenter]
    completionHandler:^(BOOL granted, NSError * _Nullable error) {
      // ...

[application registerForRemoteNotifications];

Access the registration token

To send a message to a specific device, you need to know that device's registration token. Because you'll need to enter the token in a field in the Notifications composer to complete this tutorial, make sure to copy the token or securely store it after you retrieve it.

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 Apple platforms typically deliver 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.

Send a notification message

  1. Install and run the app on the target device. On Apple devices, you'll need to accept the request for permission to receive remote notifications.

  2. Make sure the app is in the background on the device.

  3. In the Firebase console, open the Messaging page.

  4. If this is your first message, select Create your first campaign.

    1. Select Firebase Notification messages and select Create.
  5. Otherwise, on the Campaigns tab, select New campaign and then Notifications.

  6. Enter the message text. All other fields are optional.

  7. Select Send test message from the right pane.

  8. In the field labeled Add an FCM registration token, enter the registration token you obtained in a previous section of this guide.

  9. Select Test.

After you select Test, the targeted client device (with the app in the background) should receive the notification.

For insight into message delivery to your app, see the FCM reporting dashboard, which records the number of messages sent and opened on Apple and Android devices, along with data for "impressions" (notifications seen by users) for Android apps.

Next steps

To go beyond notification messages and add other, more advanced behavior to your app, see: