iOS 14 is on its way with features that need to be tested before the software is made available to the general public. As such, Apple is letting interested users check out iOS 14 and provide feedback before it goes into wide release.
If you're one of those interested users, however, you will have to go through the public beta download and install process. While it's not complicated, it's a bit of a departure for how you might normally get software onto your iPhone. So, we're going to walk you through it and give you a place to ask questions if you need extra help.
Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.
What's new with the iOS 14 public beta?
August 6, 2020: Apple releases iOS 14 public beta 4
Apple has released iOS 14 public beta 4 (yep, we skipped over 3) for members of the Public Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your device to receive the public beta over the air, proceed to Settings > General > Software Updates and download away.
July 22, 2020: Apple releases iOS 14 public beta 2
Apple has released iOS 14 public beta 2 for members of the Public Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your device to receive the public beta over the air, proceed to Settings > General > Software Updates and download away.
July 9, 2020: Apple releases iOS 14 public beta 1
Apple has released iOS 14 public beta 1 for members of the Public Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your device to receive the public beta over the air, proceed to Settings > General > Software Updates and download away.
- How to make an archived backup of your iPhone
- How to register your device with the iOS 14 public beta
- How to enroll your iPhone in the iOS 14 public beta
- How to install the iOS 14 public beta
- How to get started with the iOS 14 beta
How to make an archived backup of your iPhone
Before you begin, make sure you back up your iPhone. While the beta process is fairly straightforward, any time you make any significant change to your device you risk problems. And with your personal data, it's always — always! — better to be safe than sorry. Even if you back up every night, you'll want to make sure it's absolutely up-to-date.
- Connect your device to your Mac using the cable it came with.
- Launch a Finder window.
- Select your connected device under Locations in the sidebar of the Finder window.
- Click Pair to pair the device to your Mac.
- Tap Trust on the device to confirm that you want to pair it.
- Enter your passcode on your device.
- If you don't already have a backup on your Mac, click Back Up Now to make a backup.
- Click Manage Backups after you've made a recent backup.
- Right or Control click on your device backup.
- Click Archive.
- Click OK.
Archiving will prevent your current backup from being overwritten by an iOS 14 backup in the future, should you want to revert for any reason.
How to register your account for the iOS 14 public beta
If you've already joined an Apple public beta in the past, you shouldn't need to register again for iOS 14; simply sign in with the same Apple ID. If you've never joined a public beta before, you'll start by signing up with your Apple ID.
- Go to beta.apple.com on the iPhone you want to enroll in the beta.
- Tap on Sign up to get started. (If you've already signed up for a previous public beta, tap on Sign in and skip to our "How to enroll your device" section below.)
- Enter you Apple ID email address and password.
- Tap Sign in.
- Tap Accept to agree to the terms and conditions.
Once you're signed up and signed in, it's time to start downloading.
How to enroll your iPhone in the iOS 14 public beta
Unlike regular iOS updates, where you just tap and start downloading, Apple is using configuration profiles to validate devices for the iOS 14 public beta. Here's how to install it.
Note: If you've been on a previous iOS public beta, you may need to remove the previous beta profile before installing the iOS 14 version. You can do so by going to Settings > General > Profile, selecting the iOS Beta Software Profile, and pressing Delete Profile.
- Go to beta.apple.com, if you're not there already.
- Tap the iOS tab, if it's not highlighted already.
- Tap on Download profile.
- Tap Allow.
- Tap on Close.
- Open Settings.
- Tap Profile Downloaded.
- Tap Install in the upper-right corner.
- Enter your passcode.
- Tap Install.
- Tap Install.
- Tap Restart.
Once your iPhone has finished rebooting, it should start to download iOS 14 automatically. From this point on, the process is the same as any other iOS update.
How to install the iOS 14 public beta
To install the iOS 14 beta, you'll need to visit Software Update on your iPhone.
- Launch Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
- Once the update appears, tap on Download and Install.
- Enter your Passcode.
- Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Tap Agree again to confirm.
Your iPhone will reboot to install iOS 14. There will be a couple of progress bars going across the screen. Sit tight, and let everything finish.
How to get started with iOS 14 public beta
Once your iPhone reboots, it'll be running iOS 14. There's a brief bit of setup you'll need to go through, however, as the system will have changed enough that it'll need your login to complete the update.
- Tap Continue.
- Enter your Apple ID password. iCloud settings will update, so give it a minute.
- Tap Get Started.
Once that's done, you'll be on the Home screen and ready to rock iOS 14.
- FAQ: Apple's beta software
- Should you run beta software?
- iOS 14 public beta: The ultimate guide
- iPadOS 14 public beta: The ultimate guide
- macOS Big Sur public beta: The ultimate guide
- iOS 14: Everything you need to know
- iPadOS 14: Everything you need to know
- macOS Big Sur: Everything you need to know
- watchOS 7: Everything you need to know
- tvOS 14: Everything you need to know
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