Sign up for macOS High Sierra beta
Karen Haslam explains how to get your hands on Apple’s beta
The final release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra will be available in September or October, but the first developer beta is available now.
It’s not just developers who get a look in, though. Back at WWDC 2015 Apple announced it would allow members of the public to test the upcoming OS as part of a new, free beta program. This will let you download and run betas of the latest version of operating system. Those who register for the Beta Seed Program can download the software and offer
feedback to help Apple perfect the update before it’s released to the public in the autumn. If you want to be a Public beta tester, you can sign up to join the Apple Beta Software Program at tinyurl.com/pffuwnz.
Apple suggests you should run the pre-release software on a dedicated Mac, not your main machine. There’s also the matter of privacy. By agreeing to test the macOS beta software you’re essentially giving Apple permission to collect diagnostic, technical and usage data from you, unless you go through the process of opting out.
What does being a beta tester involve?
The purpose of the beta program is to provide Apple with feedback. If you experience bugs or other issues, report them to Apple using the Feedback Assistant app. And don’t just say something crashed, explain exactly what you were doing when the crash happened and try and reproduce the crash to see if you can identify what steps lead to it. Don’t just tell Apple that you don’t like the ‘flat’ look of the user interface. Your purpose as a beta tester is to provide feedback on bugs, not try and assume Jony Ive’s role.
Developers Sign up for the Beta Seed program
Registered Apple Developers are able to download pre-release versions of most of Apple’s software too, but it costs £99 per year to register as a developer. To register, go to the Apple Developer Program
registration page (tinyurl.com/732huk3) and click Enrol. Registering as an Apple developer will give you access to support materials, and enable you to register Macs and iOS devices with Apple, so you can use them to run your software.
You can sign in with your own Apple ID (recommended if you’re a single developer), or you can create an Apple ID just for the developer account (recommended if you are developing for a company).
You don’t have to pay Apple to register as a developer. You can sign up and gain access to all the developer tools. The basic registration is fine for developing and testing an app, although you will need to sign up with Apple for membership (£69 per year) if you want to download the developer previews.
Download and install the beta
• Before you do anything else, back up your Mac • Go to developer.apple.com • Click on Develop • Click on Downloads • Log in to your Developer account • Click the Download button beside macOS 10.13 • You will find macOS High Sierra Developer Beta Access Utility – macOSSierraDeveloperBetaAccessUtility.pkg – in your Downloads folder. Double-click it and the installer will run. You need this before you can access the developer betas on the Mac App Store • The Mac App Store should automatically open in the Updates tab. If it doesn’t, open the Mac App Store and go to Updates • Click on Update beside the developer beta software version and it will download and install • Finally your Mac will restart • The software has downloaded but you still need to install it • Click Continue • Agree to the Terms and Conditions • Click Install • The wizard will help you install the beta software • Once it’s finished installing, click on Continue • Sign in with your Apple ID and password
Public Sign up for the Beta Seed program
If you are a member of the public you will have to wait a little longer to get your hands on the first beta, as
Apple will make a public macOS High Sierra beta available later this summer.
In the meantime, sign up. First, you’ll need to go to the macOS Beta Seed Program website (tinyurl.com/ pkmbuxz). You must be aged 18 or older with a valid Apple ID, and you’ll also need to be willing to accept the Confidentiality Agreement, which means you agree not to share information or screenshots of the update.
By clicking Join Now and then Get Started, you’ll be taken to the Sign In page. If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one by clicking ‘create one now’ in the grey box on the left. If you do have one, you can go ahead and sign in using the password you normally use for your iTunes and other Apple services.
You’ll then be taken to the macOS Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement. You’ll need to read this (you can view it as a PDF if you prefer by clicking the link beneath the scroll link) and then click accept.
Once you are registered for the Apple Beta Software Program you will need to enrol your Mac here in order to be able to get the updates from the Mac App Store. You will have to re-enrol your Mac if you had previously been a tester.
You will find a download link and you redemption code on that page. Click on the link and enter your code to download the latest beta.
Download and install the beta
For the public beta, the installation process will be similar to that above. You have to install the Beta Access app in order to access future beta versions, once you have it you will see if any updates are available when you open the Mac App Store.
Any updates that are part of the macOS Beta Seed Program will be labelled ‘Pre-release’. You can click update to install those pre-release versions of software. You just need to click Update to install the most current version of the macOS Public Beta.
With each new release, the latest macOS Public Beta will automatically appear in the Mac App Store and you’ll receive a Notification when it is available.