How to install the tvOS 13.4.8 beta Golden Master on your Apple TV

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How to subscribe to Channels in the TV app on Apple TV (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.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). 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 in the tvOS 13.4.8 beta?

July 9, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.8 Golden Master for developers

Apple has just released the Golden Master of tvOS 13.4.8 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 13.4.8 to start testing, your time has come.

June 30, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.8 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.4.8 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 13.4.8 to start testing, your time has come.

June 9, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.8 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.4.8 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 13.4.8 to start testing, your time has come.

June 3, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.8 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.4.8 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 13.4.8 to start testing, your time has come.

May 18, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.5 Golden Master for developers

Apple has just released beta 4 of tvOS 13.4.5 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 13.4.5 to start testing, your time has come.

May 6, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.5 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released beta 4 of tvOS 13.4.5 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 13.4.5 to start testing, your time has come.

April 29, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.5 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.4.5 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 13.4.5 to start testing, your time has come.

April 15, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.5 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.4.5 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 13.4.5 to start testing, your time has come.

March 31, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4.5 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.4.5 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 13.4.5 to start testing, your time has come.

March 18, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 6 for developers

Apple has just released beta 6 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

March 10, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released beta 5 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

March 3, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released beta 4 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

February 26, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

February 19, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

February 5, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.4 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.4 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 13.4 to start testing, your time has come.

January 22, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.3.1 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.3.1 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 13.3.1 to start testing, your time has come.

January 14, 2020: Apple releases tvOS 13.3.1 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.3.1 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 13.3.1 to start testing, your time has come.

December 17, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.3.1 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.3.1 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 13.3.1 to start testing, your time has come.

December 5, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.3 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released beta 4 of tvOS 13.3 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

November 20, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.3 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.3 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

November 12, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.3 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.3 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

November 5, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.3 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.3 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

October 23, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.2 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released beta 4 of tvOS 13.2 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

October 16, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.2 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released beta 3 of tvOS 13.2 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

October 10, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.2 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released beta 2 of tvOS 13.2 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

October 2, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13.2 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released beta 1 of tvOS 13.2 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

September 20, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 Golden Master for developers

Apple has just released the Golden Master (GM) version of tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

September 18, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 11 for developers

Apple has just released the eleventh tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

September 10, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 10 for developers

Apple has just released the tenth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

September 4, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 9 for developers

Apple has just released the ninth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

August 27, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 8 for developers

Apple has just released the eighth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

August 15, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 7 for developers

Apple has just released the seventh tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

August 7, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 6 for developers

Apple has just released the sixth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

July 29, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released the fifth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

July 17, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released the fourth tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

July 2, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released the third tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

June 17, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 13 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 13 to start testing, your time has come.

June 3, 2019: Apple releases tvOS 13 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the second tvOS 13 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 13 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 if you've never done this before.

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

Your Apple TV should now detect the new tvOS and download and install it just like any other update. Luckily, if you've already set up your Apple TV in this way, you just need to download the profile, open Apple Configurator, and drag the profile to your Apple TV.

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/ (opens in new tab).
  2. Click Discover.
  3. Click one of the tvOS.
  4. Enter your developer username and password to log in.
  5. Click on the tvOS 13 restore image for the Apple TV (4th generation).
  6. Click Applications near the top of the page.
  7. Click on the blue Download button to the right of Xcode 10.
  8. Install Xcode 11 on your Mac.
  9. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) to AC power.
  10. Connect your Apple TV (4th generation) to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  11. Launch iTunes.
  12. Select your Apple TV when it appears in iTunes.
  13. Hold down the Option key and click on Check for Updates.
  14. Browse to and click on the tvOS 13 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.

3 Comments
  • Good walk-through but I think they just updated a previous "How-to". If you try this with OTA install of the profile on Catalina your Apple configurator 2 app will just keep crashing. There is an easy fix: ensure you download the new "beta" Configurator app from developer.apple.com
  • Hope they fixed the subtitle thing with how subtitles were showing up in the middle of the screen. Its not always easy to back to the previous version also like stated in so many posts on this site. Apple stops signing these past updates and its impossible to go back. Apple keeps doing this so quickly I hardly even have time to try out the new OS's and decide if I want to keep them. Then on the Apple TV they still keep popping up a update screen and the default button on that screen is to update so if I even press a button by mistake the Apple TV goes right into updating. I have automatic updates turned off so I wish apple would stop pushing this update screen at me. You can't imagine how annoying this is.
  • I just had to participate in the apple beta program (beta.apple.com). Then under settings>system>updates the option to install the latest beta showed up... 🤷🏻‍♂️