How to install macOS 15 Sequoia developer beta on your Mac or MacBook

(Image credit: Apple)

The hotly anticipated macOS 15 Sequoia has been announced for modern Macs and MacBooks at WWDC 2024, alongside software updates for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. 

The macOS 15 Sequoia developer beta version is available now for $99 a year (about £100 / AU$150), or you could wait for the public beta version, which will be available at some point in July 2024. In order to get macOS 15 Sequoia right now, you have to be registered as a developer

Keep in mind that beta versions of software are still being tested and monitored for user feedback ahead of the final release, and they're more prone to instability and bugs. Hopefully, Apple will identify and take care of as many of these as possible ahead of the general release of macOS 15 Sequoia, and it may make some noticeable changes to the OS in the meantime. 

If you're intent on getting your hands on macOS 15 Sequoia as soon as you can, here are the steps you need to follow to install it.

Don't forget to back up

Apple's early versions (even the beta versions) are generally known for being polished and refined, and they'll only get better with wider testing over the coming months.

Still, it's good practice to back up your data ahead of installing a new OS or updating your existing OS, especially if you're installing a beta version, as this carries some risks and things can go wrong. This is especially true during the initial rollout and testing period – again, I think the amount of things that can go wrong is limited, but it's not an impossibility. 

Before carrying on with the following steps, we'd strongly recommend that you take some time to back up your Mac first.

Steps for installing macOS 15 Sequoia

  • Make sure your Mac or MacBook supports macOS 15 Sequoia
  • Become a registered Apple developer.
  • Open the System Settings app.
  • Choose to download beta updates.
  • Install macOS 15 Sequoia beta 1 and restart.

Tools and Requirements

  • A compatible Mac; 2019 iMac or later, 2020 MacBook Air or later, 2020 MacBook Pro or later, 2022 Mac Studio or later, or 2020 Mac mini or later.
  • An active developer account.

Step by step guide

1. Register to be an Apple developer

(Image: © Apple)

You'll need to be a registered Apple developer in order to download the macOS 15 Sequoia developer preview. Apple's developer program costs $99 annually, and also allows you to install all of Apple's beta software and publish apps to the App Store if you so wish. You can learn more and register on Apple's developer website, and that's also where you can learn more about Apple's other beta releases and guidelines too. You also need to ensure that your Mac is using the same Apple ID that's associated with your developer account.

2. Open the System Settings app

(Image: © Apple / Future)

Open the System Settings app to get started and then click on General, and then select Software Update

You can also do this by performing a Spotlight search or clicking the Applications folder in your Dock, and choosing the System Settings app.

3. Enable beta downloads

(Image: © Apple)

Click the "i" button beside the beta updates option and choose the macOS Sequoia developer beta from the dropdown.

Click the Done button to save your selection and tell your Mac that you're ready for Apple's beta updates. You can choose Off if you want to go back to using the non-beta version of macOS.

4. Install macOS 15 Sequoia

(Image: © Apple)

The macOS Sequoia developer beta update will become available for download from the Software Update screen, and now it's time to get the installation ball rolling. Click Upgrade Now to begin the macOS 15 installation.

Your Mac will download and install macOS 15 Sequoia, and restart to complete the process. When that's done, you're all set. We'd suggest that you ensure that your Mac laptop remains connected to a power source throughout the installation to ensure nothing goes wrong, but that's something you don't need to consider if you're installing macOS 15 on an iMacMac miniMac Studio, or Mac Pro.

Upgrading from older macOS versions

If you're upgrading to macOS Sequoia from an older version of macOS and you aren't able to update via the Software Update setting, open the App Store and click Updates

This will prompt your device to check for available updates, and if your device meets the requirements to install the update, macOS Sequoia should show up. 

You should also be able to pull it up by searching for 'macOS Sequoia' in the App Store's search box. 

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.

With contributions from