How to install iOS 16 beta on your compatible iPhone

How to install iOS 16 beta on your compatible iPhone

If you’re the type to get excited about new features coming to the iPhone, well, that’s probably why you’re here right now. Apple has an iOS beta program that any user can join. This allows you to get your hands on the latest additions the company is working on in this department. However, we should warn you that beta builds can be very buggy sometimes. You probably shouldn’t install them on your daily driver because apps and functionalities could break, and rolling back to a stable version can be a hassle.

List of devices compatible with iOS 16 beta

iOS 16 is supported on the:

  • iPhone 8 and later

You can check the full, expanded list here.


How to install iOS 16 beta

First things first

Backup, backup, backup. Most of these methods work as a software update where nothing should be erased, but that doesn’t make it perfect. And the user isn’t perfect either. If you find yourself starting from scratch, you’ll want to make sure you have a backup.

Screenshot of iCloud backup

Using the configuration profile

This is the easiest and most straightforward way of installing the iOS beta.

  • Using Safari, go to Apple Developer > Develop > Downloads, and click the ‘Install Profile’ button next to iOS 16. The easiest way to do this is from your iPhone, but you can also download it from a PC and email it to yourself. If you don’t want to pay for a Developer account, you can join the public beta program in July.
  • After opening the file, go into Settings > General > VPN & Device Management and follow the on-screen instructions to install the configuration profile. You’ll have to reboot your device.

ios 16 beta 1

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install the update the way you normally would.

Using an iOS beta restore image

Apple also makes full images available for each device. This method is more complicated, but it’s an option.

Screenshot of iOS 15 downloads

  • Go to Apple Developer > Develop > Downloads, and under the iOS section, click ‘Download Restore Images’. Select your device from the list.
  • Using a Lightning cable, connect your iPhone to a computer.

Screenshot of Mac asking to trust iPhone

  • You might have to choose to ‘Trust This Computer’ on your iPhone, and to ‘Trust iPhone’ on the computer if you haven’t already.

Screenshot of iPhone in Finder

  • After that, you’ll find the device in Finder or iTunes. Select the iPhone on the side.

Screenshot of file dialog selecting iOS 15 image

  • While holding Option, press either ‘Check for Update’ or ‘Restore iPhone’. If you press the former, this will work as an update and you’ll keep all of your data. If you choose the latter, it will erase everything when it installs the iOS beta.

Screenshot of message saying iPhone is about to be updated to iOS 15

  • Select the iOS beta image that you downloaded in the file dialog that appears.
  • Voila! Wait for the process to complete, and don’t unplug your iPhone before then.

Do you install iOS beta builds on your daily driver? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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