How to install tvOS 13 developer beta 1 on your Apple TV

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, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). 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 beta?

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/.
  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 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/.
  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?

March Event 2019

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