Each year around fall season, Apple will release major updates for iOS, macOS and watchOS. Unlike minor updates, you will get exiting new features with major macOS update. If you do not want to wait for the public release, there is a beta version for you to try out new features before the official release. In this article let us explore how to install macOS beta version in your Mac. If you are also having iPhone, check out how to install iOS beta version.
Precaution Before Installing Beta Version
Ensure to follow the below guidelines as beta macOS version may behave unstable:
- Try out only on backup Mac and don’t try to install on your working Mac which you need for daily work.
- Though most of the apps will work, some developers do not proactively test for new macOS versions. In such case, the app will stop working or crash frequently.
- Before installing beta version, update your current macOS to the latest stable version.
- Backup the entire content using the current stable version of macOS.
- You need system backup to restore the stable version in case of problems.
- Check Apple’s support page to confirm whether your device model will support the version you are trying to install.
You can click on the Apple menu and go to ‘About This Mac’ to check your Mac model (check under > ‘Overview’ section if you are using older macOS versions)
How to Install macOS Beta Version?
Here is the summary to install macOS beta version:
- Signup for Apple beta software program
- Enroll your Mac
- Download and install the beta version
- Update to latest macOS
Let us explain all the steps in details.
1. Signup for Apple Beta Software Program
In order to use beta version of macOS, the first step you need is to register for Apple beta software Program. Go to Apple beta site and click on the signup link.
Use your Apple ID and sign in for the program. If you use two-factor authentication, then allow the access and enter the passcode.
2. Download Enroll Utility
On the beta access page, go to ‘Guides’ section and click on ‘macOS’ tab. Scroll down to the ‘Getting Started’ section and click on the ‘enroll your Mac’ link.
On the next page, you will see the step-by-step instructions to install beta version.
- Backup your Mac
- Download enroll utility
- Go to App Store to download and install the beta version
- Getting macOS software update
As explained above, ensure to backup your content using the current stable macOS version. This is a very easy process; just insert an external drive with sufficient space. Mac will ask to use the drive for Time Machine backup. Follow the instructions and backup your entire content.
After backing up click on the ‘Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility’ button. This will download an installer disk image file (DMG) to your ‘Downloads’ folder.
3. Enroll Device Using Beta Access Utility
Double click on the beta access utility installer package and follow the instructions to enroll your Mac.
4. Download macOS Beta
After enrolling your device, go back to the beta program page. Click on the “View the macOS public beta in the Mac App Store” link available under section 3. The link will redirect you to the App Store showing the macOS beta app. Click ‘Download’ button to start the download.
5. Installing macOS Beta Version
Generally, the app will be around 5 to 10 GB size, so it will take long time depending on your internet speed. Wait for the completion of the download and then install the beta version. Again, this will take around 40 minutes time for installing the new OS.
After finishing installation, you will see the Mac is now running with macOS beta version. Click on the ‘Apple Menu’ and choose ‘About This Mac’ option to check the current OS version of your Mac.
6. Auto Update for macOS Beta
Now that you are running a beta application, it is a good idea to keep the auto update enabled. This will help to install further beta versions to get new features. Go to ‘Apple Icon > System Preferences… > Software Update’. Mac will check for the latest software update and ensure to enable the option ‘Automatically keep my Mac up to date’.
7. Unenroll Your Device and Opt-Out of macOS Beta
On the software update section, you will see a message like ‘This Mac is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program’. Click on the ‘Details’ link under that and confirm unenrolling device by clicking on ‘Restore Defaults’ button.
Now you have removed your Mac from Apple Beta Software Program. You can either wait for the next commercial update to move onto stable version or restore to previous version from your backup. You can also go to unenroll page and click on the Leave Apple Beta Software Program. Confirm the prompt to completely opt out your Apple ID from the beta program. This will help to stop receiving beta program emails from Apple.
Problems with Beta Version
Though getting the features before public release will be exciting, you need to ready for the unstable apps. You will see multiple problems that many apps will stop working. You will see a message like below showing that the app is not optimized for the new macOS.
Some apps will also frequently crash affecting your work. If you can’t live without those apps then avoid installing beta macOS versions. You can wait till the time of formal commercial macOS release.
You can use the feedback assistant app comes with the beta version to report all the problems you face with the beta version. This will help Apple to resolve those problems before the public release.
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