Using redirect URIs with the Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL) for iOS and macOS

When a user authenticates, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) sends the token to the app by using the redirect URI registered with the Azure AD application.

The MSAL requires that the redirect URI be registered with the Azure AD app in a specific format. MSAL uses a default redirect URI, if you don't specify one. The format is msauth.[Your_Bundle_Id]://auth.

The default redirect URI format works for most apps and scenarios, including brokered authentication and system web view. Use the default format whenever possible.

However, you may need to change the redirect URI for advanced scenarios, as described in the following section.

Scenarios that require a different redirect URI

Cross-app single sign-on (SSO)

For the Microsoft identity platform to share tokens across apps, each app needs to have the same client ID or application ID. The client ID is the unique identifier provided when you registered your app in the Azure portal (not the application bundle ID that you register per app with Apple).

The redirect URIs need to be different for each iOS app. This allows the Microsoft identity service to uniquely identify different apps that share an application ID. Each application can have multiple redirect URIs registered in the Azure portal. Each app in your suite will have a different redirect URI. For example:

Given the following application registration in the Azure portal:

  • Client ID: ABCDE-12345
  • RedirectUris: msauth.com.contoso.app1://auth, msauth.com.contoso.app2://auth, msauth.com.contoso.app3://auth

App1 uses redirect msauth.com.contoso.app1://auth.
App2 uses msauth.com.contoso.app2://auth.
App3 uses msauth.com.contoso.app3://auth.

Migrating from ADAL to MSAL

When migrating code that used the Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) to MSAL, you may already have a redirect URI configured for your app. You can continue using the same redirect URI as long as your ADAL app was configured to support brokered scenarios and your redirect URI satisfies the MSAL redirect URI format requirements.

MSAL redirect URI format requirements

  • The MSAL redirect URI must be in the form <scheme>://host

    Where <scheme> is a unique string that identifies your app. It's primarily based on the Bundle Identifier of your application to guarantee uniqueness. For example, if your app's Bundle ID is com.contoso.myapp, your redirect URI would be in the form: msauth.com.contoso.myapp://auth.

    If you're migrating from ADAL, your redirect URI will likely have this format: <scheme>://[Your_Bundle_Id], where scheme is a unique string. The format will continue to work when you use MSAL.

  • <scheme> must be registered in your app's Info.plist under CFBundleURLTypes > CFBundleURLSchemes. In this example, Info.plist has been opened as source code:

    <key>CFBundleURLTypes</key>
    <array>
        <dict>
            <key>CFBundleURLSchemes</key>
            <array>
                <string>msauth.[BUNDLE_ID]</string>
            </array>
        </dict>
    </array>
    

MSAL will verify if your redirect URI registers correctly, and return an error if it's not.

  • If you want to use universal links as a redirect URI, the <scheme> must be https and doesn't need to be declared in CFBundleURLSchemes. Instead, configure the app and domain per Apple's instructions at Universal Links for Developers and call the handleMSALResponse:sourceApplication: method of MSALPublicClientApplication when your application is opened through a universal link.

Use a custom redirect URI

To use a custom redirect URI, pass the redirectUri parameter to MSALPublicClientApplicationConfig and pass that object to MSALPublicClientApplication when you initialize the object. If the redirect URI is invalid, the initializer will return nil and set the redirectURIErrorwith additional information. For example:

Objective-C:

MSALPublicClientApplicationConfig *config =
        [[MSALPublicClientApplicationConfig alloc] initWithClientId:@"your-client-id"
                                                        redirectUri:@"your-redirect-uri"
                                                        authority:authority];
NSError *redirectURIError;
MSALPublicClientApplication *application =
        [[MSALPublicClientApplication alloc] initWithConfiguration:config error:&redirectURIError];

Swift:

let config = MSALPublicClientApplicationConfig(clientId: "your-client-id",
                                            redirectUri: "your-redirect-uri",
                                              authority: authority)
do {
  let application = try MSALPublicClientApplication(configuration: config)
  // continue on with application
} catch let error as NSError {
  // handle error here
}

Handle the URL opened event

Your application should call MSAL when it receives any response through URL schemes or universal links. Call the handleMSALResponse:sourceApplication: method of MSALPublicClientApplication when your application is opened. Here's an example for custom schemes:

Objective-C:

- (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)app
            openURL:(NSURL *)url
            options:(NSDictionary<UIApplicationOpenURLOptionsKey,id> *)options
{
    return [MSALPublicClientApplication handleMSALResponse:url
                                         sourceApplication:options[UIApplicationOpenURLOptionsSourceApplicationKey]];
}

Swift:

func application(_ app: UIApplication, open url: URL, options: [UIApplication.OpenURLOptionsKey : Any] = [:]) -> Bool {
    return MSALPublicClientApplication.handleMSALResponse(url, sourceApplication: options[UIApplication.OpenURLOptionsKey.sourceApplication] as? String)
}

Next steps

Learn more about Authentication flows and application scenarios