About 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

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.
  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.
  6. Now you can install iOS beta.

Keep your iOS beta up to date

If you get a notification that an update is available, tap Settings > General > Software Update to install the latest version of beta iOS.

Download the final version of iOS

If you have an iOS beta version and want to download the final version, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your device to iTunes.
  2. While your device is connected, force it to restart. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don’t release when you see the Apple logo. Keep holding until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
  3. When asked, choose Update to download and install the latest non-beta version of iOS.
    An update install won’t affect your content or settings.

Go back to the current version of iOS

If you’re using iOS beta and want to go back to the current version of iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Put your device in recovery mode and restore it. If you turned on Find My iPhone, enter your Apple ID and password after the restore to activate your device.
  3. If you can’t finish the restore, get help.
  4. After the restore is complete, you can set up your device from your archived backup. This backup should be from an earlier version of iOS.

If your device has a prerelease version of iOS and you restore the device to an earlier version of iOS, you might not be able to restore your backup. This can happen if the backup is from a later version of iOS (for example, if you restore your device to the current version of iOS and try to use a backup that you created using a prerelease version of iOS).

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