How to download the iOS 17 public beta on your iPhone

iOS 17 new features
(Image credit: Apple)

The wait for iOS 17 – the newest Apple software upgrade for iPhones – is over! At WWDC 2023, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming iOS 17, and we know this means iPhones are in for a fresh, new makeover.

Whether you've got the latest iPhone 14, iPhone 13 or even an older iPhone Xr, rest assured you'll be able to use all of the new features in iOS 17 without having to shell out for a new iPhone. 

The iOS 17 beta was made available to members of Apple's Developer Program right after the keynote, but if you're not an app developer, Apple also has a Public Beta Software Program where you can try out new upgrades much closer to launch.

Though it's more stable than the developer preview, this version of iOS 17 is still in beta. It's certainly not going to include all of the final iOS 17 features out of the gate, and you may experience some bugs. The final release is due for sometime in September, and you can expect most of the obvious and egregious bugs to be squashed by then. In the meantime, you can read our first impressions of iOS 17 here.

If you don't want to wait, here's how to download the public beta of iOS 17 onto your iPhone.

How to install the iOS 17 beta on your iPhone

To download and install the public beta of iOS 17, you'll need to sign up for the Apple beta program directly from Apple Beta Software Program web site.

  • Visit Apple's beta site with your iPhone
  • Make sure you are signed into your iPhone with your Apple account 
  • Accept the agreement, scroll down and tap on the iOS heading
  • Select "enroll your iPhone."

Once that is done, on your iPhone go to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap the new 'Beta Updates' option that now appears, and wait for the iOS 17 Public Beta to appear. Tap 'Install' to download it, and it should start downloading in the background.

While the public beta will likely be less buggy than the early developer betas, it will still be a test release, so it will definitely have some issues. There won't be any show stoppers, but you might experience some excess battery drain, for instance. If you're feeling skittish, wait for the full iOS 17 release later in the year.

Should I download iOS 17?

If you have an old iPhone stashed somewhere in a drawer, download the update on that. If not, we don’t recommend downloading the iOS 17 beta on your main device. Betas can be full of bugs and issues and can drain your battery life faster. 

What phone do you need for iOS 17?

The list of iPhones that will get iOS 17 goes back to 2018, so from the iPhone XS and up. That includes the popular iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Unfortunately, if you have a model older than that, you will not be eligible for the new update. You may receive security updates in the near future, but  the new features that are part of iOS 17 or later won’t come to your phone.  

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).

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