Apple has released a beta version of macOS 12 Monterey so anyone who wants to can try the new operating system, before it launches this fall.
The macOS Monterey public beta is available to anyone with a compatible Mac and does not require a developer account. Here we explain the steps to install the beta.
Before downloading the update, it's worth noting that Apple does not recommend installing macOS Monterey Public Beta on your regular Mac, so if you have a secondary Mac, use it. This is beta software (not final) and often there are bugs and problems that can prevent the software from working properly or cause other problems, such as incompatibility with other software that you need on a daily basis.
There are also some major design changes in Safari that take some getting used to, so you may want to avoid being forced into the beta until you're sure it suits you.
Compatibility with MacOS Monterey
macOS Monterey is compatible with many of the Macs that were capable of running macOS Big Sur, but removes support for some older 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and iMac models. The following Macs can run the software.
- iMac - Late 2015 and later
- iMac Pro - 2017 and later
- MacBook Air - Early 2015 and later
- MacBook Pro - Early 2015 and later
- Mac Pro - Late 2013 and later
- Mac mini - Late 2014 and later
- MacBook - Early 2016 and later
Back up with Time Machine
Before upgrading to Monterey beta, be sure to back up using Apple's Time Machine backup feature to an external drive.
If you want to go back to your old settings after trying macOS Monterey or if you encounter an error and need to roll back, you will need to reinstall macOS Big Sur (or your previous operating system) and a backup can be useful to undo that.
Sign up for the beta software program
MacOS Big Sur installation requires registering your Mac with Apple's free beta software program. Follow these steps to do it.
- Visit the Apple Beta Software Program website with a browser on your Mac.
- Click on the blue button to register or, if you are already registered, click on login.
- Enter your Apple ID and password, then your two-factor authentication code if verification is required.
- You agree to the terms and conditions of the Apple Beta Software Program.
- Once logged in and on the Public Betas Guide page, scroll up and click "Register Devices", then click "macOS".
Download and install the beta version of macOS Monterey
After you sign up for the public beta testing program, you can download macOS Monterey.
- After selecting the macOS section on the beta website, scroll down to the blue “Register Your Mac” button and click “Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility“.
- If you see a pop-up asking if you want to allow downloads on “beta.apple.com”, click “Allow”.
- Unless you've changed the location where the files are downloaded, the beta installer (macOSPublicBetaAccessUtility.dmg) will appear in the Downloads folder. Identify and double-click on it to open it.
- Double-click the.pkg file to run the installer.
- You may see a warning advising you to back up your Mac with Time Machine. Make sure you have the backup, click OK, then click Continue.
- Click Continue again, then click Accept to accept Apple's Software License Agreement, then click “Install”. Enter your administrator password if required.
- After the installer completes the download, the system preferences software update panel will automatically open and display the macOS Monterey beta download. Click Update Now to download the public beta software. It will take some time to download the file, and once the download is complete, your Mac should restart.
- After rebooting, the macOS Monterey installer should start automatically. If not, it can be found in the Applications folder.
- From here, click "Continue" and follow the instructions, accepting the terms and conditions and making sure you have made a backup.
- Select the drive where you want to install the public beta. You can choose the main drive or a partition you have created.
- Click Install, enter the administrator password and click OK, then click Restart or wait for the Mac to restart automatically.
After restarting your Mac, the Monterey installation process will begin. The update takes some time to install, but when the installation is complete and your Mac restarts, it will run the Monterrey public beta.
macOS Monterey introduces a long list of new features such as Universal Control for using a mouse on multiple iPads and Macs, and a new FaceTime experience with features for sharing movies and listening to music with friends. We have a complete list of what's new in macOS Monterey in our dedicated category.