iOS Development In-App Purchase (IAP) Endless Loop Solution

When developing an iOS app, I have learned from experience that you should NEVER delete a Sandbox test user. If you do and that user has some open  In-App purchase (IAP) transactions, you will end up with an endless loop of this dialog box:

Note that it says, “Enter the password for”, but does not give you the username email that it is requesting a password for.

I could not remember any of the passwords I used, so I attempted several possibilities. The dialog would just reappear after I tapped Continue. After a couple tries of (probably) entering the wrong password, I got this different dialog box:

Eureka! This dialog actually showed the username email!

Now, I don’t remember the exact sequence of things and, honestly, I don’t want to recreate the problem ;-) However, the following is my best recollection. YMMV

I tapped Settings on the above dialog. Something said my account was locked, but I could reset the password. I was a bit concerned that I was locked out of my real Apple account, but tapped the reset password link anyways. The next screen said I could get an email or answer the secret question. I tried to answer the secret question, but it started with the birthday which didn’t work. As such, I went back and tried the email option.

I checked the email account shown in the dialog box above and, low and behold, there was a password reset email! I clicked the link and set a new password. The next time the endless loop dialog box appeared, I entered the new password. So far, I have not received another of those dialogs!

I hope this helps you if you are experiencing this issue. I’ve been working with Apple developer tech support for over a month with no resolution, despite telling them exactly what the problem was.

Here are some tips for setting up Sandbox Testers:

  1. If you can, set up a “catch-all” email account. I don’t know if all services have this, but I had an unused domain and mailbox account on which has this feature. Basically, any email to the @domain is redirected to one email account. This lets you dream up any email you want for Sandbox tester emails and you only need to look in one inbox.
  2. Make sure you can remember the password later…obviously.
  3. Finally, NEVER delete a Sandbox Tester for your project!

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