How to download the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone

A phone showing an 18 logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock / QubixStudio)

Apple lifted the lid on iOS 18 at WWDC 2024, and although the company’s AI-packed software update isn’t expected to roll out to the best iPhones until later this year, you can take an early version of iOS 18 for a test drive if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops. 

The first iOS 18 beta was made available to members of Apple's paid Developer Program right after the company’s WWDC 2024 keynote on June 10, so if you’re already enrolled, read on to find out how to download the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone. If you’re not already signed up to the program, we’ve also detailed the steps you need to take to do so.

Bear in mind, though, that early versions of iOS 18 are likely to feature plenty of bugs (they’re intended for developers, after all). A more streamlined version of the iOS 18 beta will likely roll out to the public sometime in July, while the full version looks set to debut alongside the iPhone 16 line in September.

How to download the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone 

A MacBook on a blue background showing the WWDC 2024 teaser page

Apple unveiled iOS 18 at WWDC 2024 in June (Image credit: Apple)

To download and install the iOS 18 developer beta, you'll need to sign up to the Apple Developer program. You can do so by visiting the company’s enrollment page, signing in with your Apple ID – you'll need to have two-factor authentication activated – and entering your payment information. Enrollment costs $99 / £79 per year (or your local currency equivalent where available), though certain organizations are eligible for a fee waiver.

Once you're an official developer, go to the Apple Developer site on your iPhone, log into your account using your Apple ID, and agree to any terms and conditions that appear. Then navigate to the Downloads page. If you joined the program properly, developer beta downloads should appear for iOS 18.

Next, go to Settings > General > Software Update. The iOS 18 beta should appear there automatically. Once it shows up, tap Install and it will start to download.

In a few moments – and potentially after a couple of restarts – you'll have an early version of iOS 18 on your iPhone. Do keep in mind, though, that Apple’s iOS 18 betas are likely to cause slowdowns and crashes, at least to begin with.

As alluded to earlier, if you’re not already signed up to Apple’s Developer Program – and you don’t want to fork out the fee needed to change that – then wait for the free iOS 18 public beta, which Apple has confirmed will release sometime in July.

Which phones are compatible with iOS 18?

To download iOS 18 on your iPhone, you’ll need an iPhone XS or newer (that’s any iPhone with the A12 Bionic chip or newer). Incidentally, that’s also the same device requirements as iOS 17.  

The full list of iOS 18-compatible iPhones is as follows: 

  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.