Skip to main content

How to install the fourth developer beta of tvOS 16.1 on your Apple TV

tvOS hero
tvOS (Image credit: Apple)

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 HD (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 tvOS 16?

October 4, 2022: Apple launches the fourth developer beta of tvOS 16.1

Today, Apple released the fourth developer beta of tvOS 16.1 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab) but it does address a few bugs.

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

September 27, 2022: Apple launches the third developer beta of tvOS 16.1

Today, Apple released the third developer beta of tvOS 16.1 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab) but it does address a few bugs.

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

September 20, 2022: Apple launches the second developer beta of tvOS 16.1

Today, Apple released the second developer beta of tvOS 16.1 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

September 14, 2022: Apple launches the first developer beta of tvOS 16.1

Today, Apple released the first developer beta of tvOS 16.1 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

September 7, 2022: Apple launches the Release Candidate of tvOS 16

Today, Apple released the Release Candidate of tvOS 16 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

August 23, 2022: Apple launches the seventh developer beta of tvOS 16

Today, Apple released the seventh beta of tvOS 16 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

August 15, 2022: Apple launches the sixth developer beta of tvOS 16

Today, Apple released the sixth beta of tvOS 16 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

August 8, 2022: Apple launches the fifth developer beta of tvOS 16

Today, Apple released the fifth beta of tvOS 16 to developers. It seems to be a minor update as there are no new features called out in the release notes (opens in new tab).

If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

July 27, 2022: Apple launches the fourth developer beta of tvOS 16

Apple has just released the fourth developer beta for tvOS 16. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

June 22, 2022: Apple launches the second developer beta of tvOS 16

Apple has just released the second developer beta for tvOS 16. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

June 5, 2022: Apple launches the first developer beta of tvOS 16 at WWDC 2022

Apple has just released the first developer beta for tvOS 16. If you already have a previous tvOS beta installed, or followed the instructions below to install the beta profile for the update, head to System > Software Updates and download away.

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

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 HD 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 tvOS.
  4. Click Download.
  5. Enter your developer username and password to log in.
  6. Click on the tvOS 16 restore image for the Apple TV HD.
  7. Click Applications near the top of the page.
  8. Click on the blue Download button to the right of Xcode 14.
  9. Install Xcode 14 on your Mac.
  10. Connect your Apple TV HD (4th Generation) to AC power.
  11. Connect your Apple TV HD (4th Generation) to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  12. Launch iTunes.
  13. Select your Apple TV when it appears in iTunes.
  14. Hold down the Option key and click on Check for Updates.
  15. Browse to and click on the tvOS 16 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.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.