How to install the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Developer Beta

How to install the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Developer Beta

If you’re the type to get excited about new features coming to iPhone and iPad, well, that’s probably why you’re here right now. Apple announced iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 today, and you can get your hands on the developer betas right now.

There’s quite a bit that’s new. In FaceTime, you can now share music and videos, so you can watch content with the person that you’re talking to. The Safari browser is getting extensions, a first for mobile, and on iPad, there’s a new Universal Control feature that lets you work more seamlessly between an iPad and a Mac.

Now, enough talk. You’re here to find out how to install the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 developer betas.

List of iPhones and iPads compatible with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

  • iPhone 6s and later
  • iPad touch (7th generation)
  • iPad mini 4 and later
  • iPad Air 2 and later
  • iPad 5th generation and later
  • All iPad Pro models

How to install iOS 15 or iPadOS 15

Apple talks about iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 as if they’re different things, but they’re still just different versions of the same operating system, just like they were when they all fell under the iOS umbrella. That means that the process for installing the beta is exactly the same.

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.

  1. In Settings, tap your name at the top, then go to iCloud -> iCloud Backup -> Back Up Now.
    Screenshot of iCloud backup

Using the configuration profile

This is the easiest and most straightforward way of installing the iOS 15 beta.

  1. Go to Apple Developer -> Develop -> Downloads, and click the ‘Install Profile’ button next to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15. The easiest way to do this is from your iPhone or iPad, but you can also download it from a PC and email it to yourself.
    Screenshot of installing iPadOS beta profile
  2. After opening the file, go into Settings -> General -> Profiles and follow the on-screen instructions to install the configuration profile. You’ll have to reboot your device.
    Screenshot of iPadOS 15 beta profile installation
  3. Go to Settings -> General -> Software Update and install the update the way you normally would.
    Screenshot of iPadOS 15 beta installation

Using a restore image

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

  1. Go to Apple Developer -> Develop -> Downloads, and under the iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 section, click ‘Download Restore Images’. Select your device from the list.
    Screenshot of iOS 15 downloads
  2. Using a Lightning or USB Type-C cable (depending on your device), connect it to a Mac.
  3. You might have to choose to ‘Trust This Computer’ on your phone, and to ‘Trust iPhone’ on the Mac if you haven’t already.
    Screenshot of Mac asking to trust iPhone
  4. After that, you’ll find the device in Finder. Select the iOS or iPadOS device on the side.
    Screenshot of iPhone in Finder
  5. 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.
    Screenshot of file dialog selecting iOS 15 image
  6. Select the iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 image that you downloaded in the file dialog that appears.
    Screenshot of message saying iPhone is about to be updated to iOS 15

There’s also a public beta available, although the final release should be this month. In fact, the beta is a quick and easy way to get the release candidate before the update actually comes out.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.