How to Get the New macOS 11 Beta Right Now

By Tegan Jones on at

The macOS 11 Big Sur public beta is supposed to drop this month. But if you don’t want to wait you can still install it right now — even if you’re not a developer. Here’s how.

macOS 11 Big Sur features

macOS is all about integration and fluidity between Apple devices. It’s getting many of the new upgrades that iOS 14 is, such as Widgets, Maps, Message features and the Notification Centre.

This is probably because macOS is being primed to accommodate Apple’s new Apple Silicon chipset, which support iOS and iPadOS apps natively once its rolled out.

The Menu Bar and Sound Controls have also been reworked so they’re easier to interact with. Some brand new Mac Catalyst apps are also available on macOS 11.

You can read more about the new Big Sur and Safari features here.

macOS 11 Big Sur public beta

The public beta will be available sometime in July. Once it’s ready this is what you’ll need to do to get it.

Firstly, make sure you back up your Mac first! If you’re not sure how to, Apple has explainers here.

Now you’re ready to head over to Apple’s public beta website. If you don’t already have an account — sign up!

Once you’re in, hit ‘enrol your devices’ and choose ‘macOS’. Scroll down and click on ‘Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility’. Click ‘Allow’ to start the download.

In your downloads folder double click the macOSDeveloperBetaAccessUtility.dmg. This will open a new folder. Double click the pkg file inside it. Follow all of the prompts.

software update folder should automatically launch. If it doesn’t go to Preferences > Software Update. At the top it should show the Big Sur public beta. Hit the ‘upgrade’ button. The beta should start installing. It’s a 9.5GB file so have some patience.

Next you’ll start the installation process. Hit ‘Continue’  and agree to the licensing agreement. Hit ‘Install’ and connected to a power source if you need to. Follow the prompts and installation will begin. Follow the prompts and installation will begin. The system will restart once its done. It’ll take a little while to finish the install so don’t stress about this.

I don’t want to wait for the public beta…

Even if you’re not a developer you can still get the macOS 11 beta now. But before you do anything else, back up your Mac. Beta software can be unstable so only do this at all if you’re happy to take the risk.

If you’re not sure how to back up your device, or want to roll back the beta at any point, Apple has explainers here.

If you’re still keen, read.

First you need to download the macOS 11 beta from Beta Profiles onto your Mac of choice. A prompt will ask if you want to really download it. Hit ‘Allow’.

From there it’s exactly the same process as the public beta.

In your downloads folder double click the macOSDeveloperBetaAccessUtility.dmg. This will open a new folder. Double click the pkg file inside it. Follow all of the prompts.

software update folder should automatically launch. If it doesn’t go to Preferences > Software Update. At the top it should show the Big Sur public beta. Hit the ‘upgrade’ button. The beta should start installing. It’s a 9.5GB file so have some patience.

Next you’ll start the installation process. Hit ‘Continue’  and agree to the licensing agreement. Hit ‘Install’ and connected to a power source if you need to. Follow the prompts and installation will begin. The system will restart once its done. It’ll take a little while to finish the install so don’t stress about this.


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