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To install the public beta of MacOS Catalina now



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The public beta version of Catalina is now available.


Screenshot Clifford Colby / CNET

Do not wait until fall to look around. MacOS Catalina : Apple released the first public beta of the next major update for MacOS yesterday. The public preview on MacOS 10.15 is an opportunity to try out all the cool new features of Catalina before they ship in the fall. You can also monitor Catalina's progress and identify issues that you can report to Apple before Catalina is officially delivered. If you participate in Apple's public beta, you can also test public previews of iOS 13, iPadOS, and TVOS 13.

Here's what you can look forward to in public beta: In Catalina Apple will replace the iTunes app with three separate apps: Apple Music Apple Podcasts and Apple TV . Equally interesting is the update that allows Mac users to run iPad apps and use a iPad as their second screen – as a sidecar, much as you might use a second monitor.

You can download the public preview of Catalina for free. Keep in mind, however, that beta software, including Apple's, is not fully baked: apps may be unstable, the features may not work as expected, and you may experience bugs and software incompatibilities. The public beta version includes a handy tool for reporting bugs found at Apple. If you get nervous about running a beta, you can skip the preview and wait for the finished operating system. If you're still interested, do the following:

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With the public beta you can check all the cool things that show up in Catalina today.


Screenshot Clifford Colby / CNET

What to do before you install the public beta?

Before downloading and installing public beta, make sure you have a good, up-to-date backup of the contents of your Mac drive if something goes south during installation, or after. You can either use the Mac's built-in Time Machine backup program or download a Mac backup app such as Carbon Copy Cloner.

After backing up the contents of your drive, you should really consider installing it The Catalina public beta on an external storage device or partition, not on your primary Mac drive. That way you can run MacOS Catalina if something goes wrong in the beta or if you decide to return to Mojave.

You can run MacOS Catalina if …

While MacOS brings Catalina a lot of improvements, the hardware requirements remain the same as for MacOS Mojave, the current version of the operating system. So if you can do Mojave, you can do Catalina. The following Macs meet the requirements:

To check which Mac you have, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu. The Overview tab shows which Mac you have.

Download and install the MacOS Catalina preview.

If you live with the potential problems and problems of the beta software and have a recent backup, you're ready.

1. First, go to Apple's public beta software.

2. You need an AppleID to join the beta program. So either search for yours or create one.

3. After logging in, click on the MacOS tab and read the instructions.

4. If you have previously installed a Mac public beta, go to step 8. Otherwise, continue.

5. If you're running a public beta version of MacOS for the first time, you'll need to enroll your Mac in the beta program by installing the MacOS public beta utility.

6. After you have registered, the utility opens the software update in the system settings and prompts you to download the public beta.

7. Click Download to get the beta.

8. If you have already registered your Mac, go to System Preferences and select Software Update. The public beta should be displayed as an upgrade.

9. Click Update Now to download the beta.

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If you are already registered in the public beta program, just click Update Now.


Screenshot Clifford Colby / CNET

The download is large – about 6.5 GB – but once completed, an Install MacOS Catalina beta app will be placed in your application folder.

10. Open this option and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

If a new public beta is available, you will receive notification about the software update.

If you chose to test Catalina, you can restore your system using the pre-installation backup copy of the drive contents. You can also unsubscribe your Mac from the beta program.

Originally published on June 24th.

Update June 25: Adds installation instructions.

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