How to install or uninstall iOS beta software

Members of the Apple Beta Software Program, Customer Seed Program, and iOS Developer Program can use an iOS beta release. Here's what to do before and after you install an iOS beta release on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Prepare your device before you update to beta software

Before you install iOS beta, use this section to back up your device in iTunes, then archive or copy your backup. If you ever go back to the current version of iOS after an iOS beta update, only an archived or copied iTunes backup works.

  1. Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes. 
  3. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch, you need to encrypt your backup: Select the box called "Encrypt [device] backup" and make a memorable password.

    Write down your password and store it somewhere safe, because there's no way to recover your iTunes backups without this password.
    If you don't need to save your Health and Activity data, you can make a backup that isn't encrypted. Just click Back Up Now.
    Encrypted backup screen in iTunes
  4. Wait for the backup to finish. Then go to iTunes > Preferences > Devices on your computer.
  5. Archive or copy your backup: If you have a Mac, Control-click the backup that you just made, then choose Archive. If you use Windows, find your backup, copy it, and save the copy to another location. If you decide to go back to the current version of iOS, you'll need this archived or copied backup.
    Archive backup screen in iTunes
  6. Now you can install iOS beta. Remember to keep iOS beta up to date. To learn more, use the following sections.

iPhone alert that says, "A new iOS update is now available, Please update from the iOS beta."

Update when an alert says a new iOS update is now available

If you see this alert, it means that the version of iOS beta on your device expired and you need to update. Tap Settings > General > Software Update and install the update.

Don't see an available update? Use the next section to update to the finished, nonbeta version of iOS. Or, if you already removed the beta profile, reenroll your device in the public beta program or developer beta program.

Uninstall iOS beta

To uninstall iOS beta, you need to erase and restore your device. Then—if you have an archived backup*—you can set up again from that backup. Here's how:

  1. Check that you have the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer, then put your device in recovery mode with these instructions:
    • For iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
    • For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Don't release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
    • For iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don't release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
  3. Click the Restore option when it appears. This erases your device and installs the current nonbeta version of iOS. 
  4. Wait for the restore to finish. If asked, enter your Apple ID and password, which disables Activation Lock. If the restore process won't finish, learn what to do.

After the restore finishes, you can set up your device from your archived backup, which should be from an earlier version of iOS.

If you back up a device that has iOS beta, the backup won’t work with earlier versions of iOS. For example, if you go back to iOS 10.3.3 from iOS 11 beta, a backup you made while using iOS beta won’t restore. Instead, restore from a backup that you made before you installed iOS beta.

Learn more

Learn more about the Apple Beta Software Program or the iOS Developer Program

* An archived backup is what you create when you prepare your device before you update to beta software

 

 

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