macOS Catalina 10.15 Public Beta: How to sign up, install, and more

Join the Beta Software Program and you can get access to the macOS Catalina Public Beta.

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Want to run the next version of macOS? You can if you join Apple’s Public Beta program. Apple has a macOS Catalina Public Beta available for anyone willing to try the new version of the Mac operating system before it is officially released.

Here’s what you need to know about the Public Beta.

The latest: macOS Catalina Public Beta now available

Apple has released the latest version of the beta, called macOS Catalina 10.15 Public Beta. New features include new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps; the ability to use an iPad as an external display; Screen Time; enhanced security; and more.

To install, the 10.15 Public Beta, you must be enrolled in the Public Beta program. Then, you can install the update through macOS’s Software Update (About This Mac > OverviewSoftware Update.) 

apple wwdc2019 craig federighi macos catalina Apple

Apple VP Craig Federighi talks about macOS Catalina at WWDC19.

What is the macOS Catalina Public Beta?

MacOS Catalina is the current version of the Mac operating system. Apple makes a public beta version of Catalina updates available for people to try out, test against their favorite software, and report bugs to the company.

Since this is beta software, there’s a good chance it could cause problems on your Mac. You may encounter frequent freezes and crashes, or your apps may not work. Don’t count on it being stable enough to use all the time.

Should you install the macOS Catalina Public Beta?

You should not install the beta on a production Mac or any other Mac you depend on and need to keep running. If you’re worried that a beta flaw will prevent you from using your Mac, don’t install it.

If you do decide to try the beta, you can provide Apple with valuable feedback. Install it on a Mac that you consider a secondary computer.

What should you do before installing it?

Back up your Mac. You can use Time Machine or whatever backup setup you already have. You need a backup you can use that you can revert to in case you need to stop using the beta and need to restore your system.

How to get the macOS Catalina Public Beta

Sign up for the public beta program online here. You will need to use your Apple ID to sign up.

Which Macs are compatible with macOS Catalina?

  • MacBook (2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or newer)

How to uninstall the macOS Mojave beta

If you try out the beta and decide later that you don’t want to use it anymore and want to go back to macOS Mojave, Apple has instructions on How to unenroll from the public beta and how to restore your system.

What happens after the final version ships?

You can continue to use the public beta. You’ll get beta version of Catalina updates when they become available. If you want to get rid of the beta and install the final version, you can by downloading the macOS Catalina installer in the App Store.

Got more questions about macOS Catalina?

Check out our macOS Catalina FAQ.

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