How to install the iOS 18 developer beta on your iPhone right now

iOS 18 is expected to officially launch this fall, but you don’t have to wait to install it on your iPhone.

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
3 Min Read

Apple unveiled iOS 18 at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 keynote event on Monday. The tech giant announced the next iPhone operating system will include a lot of new features, like more ways to customize your home screen, an updated Photos app and much more.

ios 18 tile summary

After the keynote ended, Apple released the first beta of iOS 18. As has been the case in the past, the first build is a developer beta. Traditionally, Apple has released a couple of developer betas before opening the public beta program.

If you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for iOS 18’s official release later this year, you can download and install it right now. It’s the first beta, which is surely going to have some issues. But, it is possible.

Which iPhones are compatible with iOS 18?

If you’ve got one of these iPhones, you have access to iOS 18 beta:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (second generation and later)
  • iPhone 14 (including Plus)
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 15 (including Plus)
  • iPhone 15 Pro

Should I Install iOS 18 Developer Beta on My iPhone?

Before you go on and install iOS 18 beta, you should know that developer beta versions like this aren’t intended for general use, especially because they may have unfinished features and issues that can make the iPhone difficult to use. These early beta releases are, instead, for developers, to help them keep their apps up to date and get early access to the upcoming features.

In short, you probably shouldn’t install the iOS 18 developer beta on your primary iPhone. If you really want to get iOS 18 right now, try to find a spare iPhone that’s new enough to work with the latest software.

Make an Archived Backup of Your iPhone First

Before installing iOS 18 beta, make sure to back up your iPhone using the following method, otherwise you won’t be able to revert back to your previous device state if things go wrong.

  1. Plug your iPhone into your Mac using the supplied cable.
  2. Allow the accessory to connect by clicking Allow in the dialog prompt.
  3. Open a Finder window by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock.
  4. Click your iPhone’s name in the sidebar.
  5. If this is the first time connecting your iPhone to your Mac, click Trust in the Finder window.
  6. Tap Trust on your device when prompted, then enter your passcode to confirm.
  7. In the General tab, click the circle next to where it says Back up all of the data on your iPad to this Mac.
  8. If you want to encrypt the backup, check the box next to Encrypt local backup, then enter a password to protect your data.
  9. If you don’t want to create an encrypted backup, or you’ve already set up encrypted backups, click Back Up Now.

When the backup is finished, you can find the date and time of the last backup in the General tab, just above the Manage Backups button. Remember that this backup will not be overwritten when you manually or automatically back up your iPhone in the future, so you can restore it at any time by using the Restore Backup… option in the same Finder screen.

Now, with that out of the way, here’s how to install iOS 18 on your iPhone. If you’re brave enough.

How to Download iOS 18 Developer Beta

The option to download and install iOS 18 developer beta is already available for users who have previously enrolled on Apple’s Beta Software Program. If you’re currently enrolled to receive Public Betas, you can skip to step 6. Otherwise, let’s start at the top:

  1. Launch Safari app on your iPhone and go to developer.apple.com.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the top-left corner of the page, then tap Account.
  3. Under "Sign in to Apple Developer," enter and submit your Apple ID and password using the arrow buttons, then enter the two-factor authentication code sent to your devices.
  4. Tap the top-left menu icon again, then tap Account.
  5. Accept the legal terms of the Apple Developer Agreement by scrolling down the page, checking the box, and tapping I Agree.
  6. Make sure your iPhone is running the latest official public software release by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update. If it is, and you have just completed steps 1-5 to register a developer account, restart your iPhone. If it isn’t, download and install the latest update to your device, then wait for it to restart.
  7. Now go back to Settings -> General -> Software Update.
  8. Tap Beta Updates. If you don’t see the option, try switching off Download iOS Updates (Automatic Updates -> Download iOS Updates), then tap Backand it should appear.
  9. Select the developer beta in the list, then tap Back.
  10. Wait for the Software Update screen to check Apple’s servers. When the developer beta software appears, tap Download and Install, then follow the instructions and wait for installation to complete.

See also: Don’t Install the iOS 18 Developer Beta on Your iPhone. Here’s Why

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By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
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Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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