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How to install tvOS 12.4 developer beta 3 on your Apple TV

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best apple tv accessories (Image credit: iMore)

Just like with iOS and macOS, Apple makes beta versions of tvOS available for developers to test. But unlike the betas for other systems, installing it on the Apple TV (4th generation) or Apple TV 4K is more complicated than a simple download and go. If you're a developer and you're having trouble getting the tvOS beta installed, here's what you need to do.

Unlike Apple's other operating systems, you can't back up your Apple TV; as such, Apple offers two options for updating tvOS: over the air, which just updates the system; and via USB-C, which restores the device to its factory settings.

What's new in the tvOS 12.3 beta?

June 11, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.4 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.4 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.4 to start testing, your time has come.

May 28, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.4 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.4 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.4 to start testing, your time has come.

May 15, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.4 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.4 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.4 to start testing, your time has come.

May 7, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.3 beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released the fifth tvOS 12.3 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.3 to start testing, your time has come.

April 29, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.3 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released the fourth tvOS 12.3 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.3 to start testing, your time has come.

April 22, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.3 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.3 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.3 to start testing, your time has come.

April 8, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.3 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.3 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.3 to start testing, your time has come.

March 27, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.3 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.3 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.3 to start testing, your time has come.

March 18, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 6 for developers

Apple has just released the sixth tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

March 11, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released the fifth tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

March 4, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released the fourth tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

February 19, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

February 4, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

January 24, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.2 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.2 to start testing, your time has come.

January 7, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.2 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.1.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.2 to start testing, your time has come.

December 19, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.2 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.1.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.2 to start testing, your time has come.

December 10, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.3 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.1.2 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.2 to start testing, your time has come.

November 29, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.1 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released the fourth tvOS 12.1.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.1 to start testing, your time has come.

November 15, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.1 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.1.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.1 to start testing, your time has come.

November 7, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.1 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.1.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.1 to start testing, your time has come.

October 31, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1.1 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.1.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12.1.1 to start testing, your time has come.

October 22, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1 beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released the fifth tvOS 12.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

October 15, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released the fourth tvOS 12.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

October 9, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 12.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

October 2, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 12.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

September 18, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12.1 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first tvOS 12.1 beta for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

September 12, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12 Golden Master for developers

Apple has just released tvOS 12 Golden Master for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come

August 31, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12 beta 10 for developers

Apple has just released tvOS 12 beta 10 for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

August 27, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12 beta 9 for developers

Apple has just released tvOS 12 beta 9 for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

August 20, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12 beta 8 for developers

Apple has just released tvOS 12 beta 8 for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

August 13, 2018: Apple releases tvOS 12 beta 7 for developers

Apple has just released tvOS 12 beta 7 for developers. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, proceed to System > Software Updates and download away. If you've been waiting for tvOS 12 to start testing, your time has come.

How to install the tvOS beta over-the-air

You can install the tvOS beta Configuration Profile completely wirelessly, but you'll need a Mac, Apple Configurator, and the latest version of Xcode.

Updating over the air only updates the system software; your configurations and apps should remain on your Apple TV as-is.

  1. On your Mac, go to developer.apple.com/download (opens in new tab).
  2. Enter your developer username and password to log in.
  3. Click on the blue Download button to the right of tvOS 12 beta configuration profile. Make sure to save the profile to your Desktop.
  4. Install the Apple Configurator app (opens in new tab) from the Mac App Store.
  5. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) or Apple TV 4K to AC power.
  6. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) or Apple TV 4K to the same wireless network as your Mac.
  7. Open Xcode on your Mac. Make sure you're running the latest version.
  8. Click Window in the Menu bar.
  9. Click Devices and Simulators.
  10. Open Settings on your Apple TV.
  11. Select Remotes and Devices.
  12. Select Remote App and Devices.
  13. In Xcode, select the Apple TV when it appears in the left column under discovered.
  14. Enter the code that appears on your Apple TV. Xcode will pair with the Apple TV.
  15. Open Apple Configurator on your Mac.
  16. Click on your Apple TV in Apple Configurator.
  17. Drag the tvOS 12 Configuration Profile from your Desktop to the Apple TV icon in Apple Configurator. The Apple TV will be configured for the tvOS 12.

Your Apple TV should now detect the new tvOS and download and install it just like any other update.

How to install the tvOS beta restore image over USB-C (4th generation Apple TV only)

If you have a 4th generation Apple TV, you can use a USB-C cable to install the restore image.

  1. On your Mac, go to developer.apple.com/download (opens in new tab).
  2. Enter your developer username and password to log in.
  3. Click on the blue Download button to the right of tvOS 12 restore image.
  4. Click on the blue Download button to the right of Xcode 10.
  5. Install Xcode 10 on your Mac.
  6. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) to AC power.
  7. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  8. Launch iTunes.
  9. Select your Apple TV when it appears in iTunes.
  10. Hold down the Option key and click on Check for Updates.
  11. Browse to and click on the tvOS 12 beta you downloaded in step 3.

Once iTunes has updated your Apple TV, hook it back up to your television and you're good to go.

Have you got the new tvOS beta up and running on your Apple TV? Which method did you use and how did it work for you?

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

10 Comments
  • It is little complex procedure to install beta 1 on Apple Tv, but I am using charter spectrum cable and internet services ( http://www.bestbundlepackages.com/internet ) I don't know how I automatically got logged in?
  • I successfully installed the profile on the Apple TV 4K. However when i try to or select update software it says no update available. It's still on 11.4.1. Help?
  • same happen to me any update on how to resolve this ??
  • same thing for me too !
  • I had the same issue. Turn off "Get Beta Updates" and check for updates again!
  • Hello, Doesn't work if you've upgraded to macOS Mojave 10.14 beta, Apple Configurator 2 app is not compatible.
  • Grab Apple Configurator 2 Version 2.7.1 (3H100) from developer.apple.com it works fine on 10.14.
  • As brettschulte mentioned, "Get Beta Updates" turned OFF (deals with *public* betas) is important for the AppleTV 4K device to sense availability of the developer beta. Also latest Macbook hardware and Mojave is not a requirement for Xcode 10 beta.
    My oldest Macbook, a 2010 MacBook Pro 13 (Core 2 Duo..) upgraded to macOS 10.13.5 was able to install the Xcode 10 beta, run Apple Configurator 2 and get the developer beta provisioning profile installed on AppleTV 4K. Prerequisite is user needs to be a registered/paid Apple Developer.
  • Hi There, When I hit the Pair button in xcode and enter the code that popped on the Apple Tv, it fails to connect. Error is "General failure while pairing over the network." xcode 10 beta 2, osx 10.13.5, both on the same network (both wired). any help would be appreciated.
  • Ah! didn't use Xcode at all and used the "Apple Configurator 2" (AC2) only. After downloading the Profile from Apple, I started AC2, then on the AppleTV 4k went to to "Settings->Remote and Devices->Remote App and Devices" and Apple Tv 4k showed up in AC2. Clicked on it and selected "Profile" then the green "+" (add) at the top, selected the profile file, and finished installing with Apple TV.
    I'm okay now!