Can’t Wait for iOS 13 & iPadOS? Here’s How to Sign Up for Apple’s Beta Program

So you want to become an iOS and iPadOS beta tester? Well, you’ve come to the right place. iOS 13, Apple's latest operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and iPadOS, Apple's new operating system for the iPad, were announced at the WWDC Keynote in June, and while the shipping versions won't be available until the fall, the public beta version of iOS 13 became available on June 24th. Remember though, taking part in Apple's public beta program comes with the understanding that the software isn't ready for prime time yet. You'll no doubt experience bugs and glitches, which you should report to Apple so programmers can make the needed fixes before the final versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS are rolled out in September. If you'd rather not deal with a rough-around-the-edges operating system, I'd advise waiting for the finished versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS to be released. Read on to find out if your iPhone or iPad is compatible with the new software and how to download and install Apple's newest mobile operating systems.  

Related: Apple Announcement: iPad Mini 5 & New iPad Air Are Here

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Is My Device Compatible with iOS 13 & iPadOS?

The following devices are capable of downloading and running iOS 13:

  • iPhone SE and iPhone 6S and later
  • Seventh generation iPod Touch 

The following devices are capable of downloading and running iPadOS:

  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad Air 2 and later
  • iPad 5th generation and later
  • iPad mini 4 and later

What Are the Risks of Installing the Beta Versions of iOS 13 & iPadOS?

Now that Apple has showcased the new iOS 13 update and introduced iPadOS during WWDC, the anticipation may be much too high to wait until fall. And these days, signing up for Apple’s beta program is easy. But remember that iOS 13 and iPadOS in this stage are Apple’s beta software. So there are some pros and cons to consider before you download the iOS 13 and iPadOS beta versions. 

Pros:

The best part? You don’t have to wait until the iOS 13 update and the new iPadOS are released to the public! That means you’ll see the best new features first. You will also see a Feedback app on your Home screen; this app allows you to report any issues or bugs in the software directly to Apple.

Cons:

Of course, the public beta is how Apple works out as many issues and bugs in the software before they’re officially released, which means you’re the one experiencing those bugs and bringing them to Apple’s attention.

Ready to Install? Read This First

If you’re going to sign up for Apple’s public beta testing, I highly recommend using a secondary device. Now if you’re like me, and scoff when warned to use a secondary device, then I implore you to make a new backup of your device before installing the public beta. Should anything happen while beta testing iOS 13 or iPadOS, you’ll need to restore that backup to your iPhone or iPad.

How to Sign Up for Public Beta Testing (iOS 13 & iPadOS)

The Apple Beta Program signup process is fairly straightforward:

To update your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to Apple's latest operating system, make sure to back up your device to iCloud or iTunes. After you've made your backup: 

  • Plug your device into power and make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Visit the Apple Beta Program page and tap sign up, or sign in if you've previously participated with an earlier beta version of iOS. 
  • You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID and password. 

ios 13 public betaapple beta

  • If you haven't downloaded a public beta before, tap enroll your iOS device and follow the prompts.
  • Follow the link provided to download the configuration profile, then click Allow

ios 13 public beta downloadios 13 public beta configuration

  • Open the Settings app and tap Profile Downloaded.
  • Tap Install and enter your device passcode.
  • Tap Install again, and once more.

ios 13 beta downloadedinstall ios 13 beta

  • A window comes up that informs you you'll need to restart your device; tap Restart.
  • Open the Settings app and tap General, then Software Update
  • Now you'll see a notification like the one in the image below, with a blue line indicating download progress. 

restart iphonebeta downloading progress

  • Once the new operating system is finished downloading, tap Install Now.
  • Your iPhone or iPad will go to a black screen with the Apple logo and a progress bar; the device will reset once the update completes. 

install beta software now

You'll notice a new app called Feedback; this is where you can report bugs and glitches to Apple. Accept the terms, sign in with your Apple ID, and you're good to go!

apple beta feedback appios 13 beta feedback

Welcome to iOS 13 Public Beta!​

To install the Public Beta for MacOS:

upload ios beta to mac

  • To install the public beta on Mac, you’ll need to download the public access utility. Since you’ve already signed up to receive emails about public beta, Apple should send you a download link, which you need to click on from your Mac.
  • If you do not receive said email, visit the beta program page, sign in with your Apple ID, and click Enroll Your Devices at the top. Make sure you’re viewing the instructions for MacOS, then scroll down to find the Download MacOS Catalina Public Beta Access Utility button.

public beta mac os

  • Once downloaded, click to run the installer and follow the onscreen directions.
  • The Mac App Store will launch the Updates page with MacOS Catalina public beta waiting for you. Click Update.

How to Unenroll from Beta Testing 

After iOS 13 is released to the public, the Apple beta program will end. But you can stay on the beta program, testing out iOS 13.3 and so on. However, after the initial testing phase, I prefer to revert to the public iOS 13.

To leave the iOS beta program:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll down until you see Profile. Tap on it.
  • Select the iOS 13 or iPadOS Beta Software Profile and tap Remove Profile.
  • Enter your passcode and confirm, Delete.

unenroll from ios 13 public betaunenroll from apple public beta

  • Restart your iPhone by holding down the Sleep/Wake button and sliding to power off. Power your iPhone back on by holding down the Sleep/Wake button again.
  • Lastly, you will need to let Apple know you’ve left the program by signing in to beta.apple.com and clicking the Leave Program link.

When your iPhone restarts, open Settings and tap General. Then select Software Update. You’ll see the most recent update for the official public iOS 13. Tap Download and Install to get the regular iOS 13 on your iPhone. Don't see it? Don't worry. According to Apple, "when the next commercial version of iOS is released, you can install it from Software Update."

How to Unenroll from Beta Testing MacOS Catalina

To unenroll from the beta program on your Mac:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose App Store.
  • There is a box that says, “Your computer is set to receive beta software updates.” Select Change.

  • A box will pop up; choose Do Not Show Beta Software Updates.
  • Lastly, you will need to let Apple know you’ve left the program by signing in to beta.apple.com and clicking the Leave Program link.

Apple recommends you wait until the official MacOS Catalina has been released to do this. However, you can unenroll your device any time during the beta testing period.

Do you plan to sign up for public beta testing? Why or why not?

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Topics: 
Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.