Apple’s macOS Sonoma brings a host of exciting productivity features and tools to Mac users, enhancing their creativity and workflows. If you’re eager to experience these new offerings ahead of the official stable release, here are the steps you can install the macOS Sonoma beta on your compatible Mac.
But first, backups
Prioritize the safety of your important files by creating a backup of the operating system or making copies on a separate drive or cloud storage service like iCloud. Beta versions can sometimes lead to file corruption or even render your Mac inoperable. It’s better to be cautious and safeguard your digital valuables. You can use the built-in Time Machine app on Mac or consider external hard drives and SSDs for backup purposes. Additionally, ensure you clear the system clutter from your Mac and have sufficient storage space for the installation.
[ The Ultimate Guide to Mac Backup ]
And…check if your Mac supports Sonoma
Apple offers a complete list of Mac devices that can handle the Sonoma upgrade, but here are a few. If yours is too old for the update or you don’t have enough storage, the system will immediately notify you.
- MacBook Air from 2018 or later
- MacBook Pro from 2018 or later
- Mac Mini from 2018 or later
- Mac Pro from 2019 or later
- iMac from 2019 or later
- iMac Pro from 2017 or later
- Mac Studio from 2022 or later
Installing macOS Sonoma beta
- Launch the System Settings app on your compatible Mac.
- Navigate to Software Update in the General section.
- Click the (i) button next to Beta updates.
- Select macOS Sonoma Developer Beta or macOS Sonoma Public Beta from the drop-down menu. Note that the developer beta provides early access but requires enrollment in the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 per year.
- Click the Done button.
- The latest macOS Sonoma beta build will now appear as an available software update.
- Click the Upgrade Now button.
- Ensure your Mac remains connected to a power source throughout the installation process.
It’s crucial to remember that macOS Sonoma is a beta version, meaning it may contain bugs, glitches, and incomplete features. Expect some instability during your experience. If you rely on your Mac for work or studies, it’s advisable not to install beta builds as the unpredictable nature of beta software can disrupt your workflow. If you find the beta experience unsatisfactory, you can easily switch back to the stable macOS version.
Upgrading from older macOS versions
If you are currently on macOS 13.4 Ventura or a later version, you can easily upgrade your Mac to macOS 14 Sonoma by following the aforementioned steps.
However, if you are using macOS 13.3 Ventura or an earlier version, the upgrade process is slightly different. In this case, you will need to begin by downloading the macOS Developer Beta Access Utility from Apple’s developer website. Once downloaded, carefully follow the provided instructions to complete the installation. This will grant you access to the macOS 14 Sonoma update through the Software Update mechanism.
If you are not planning to install the beta version but are still using macOS 13.3 or an earlier version, we recommend updating to the latest available version of macOS. This will ensure that you can benefit from the numerous bug fixes and security updates that are available.
Explore the upcoming macOS Sonoma beta and enjoy the exciting productivity enhancements it brings to your Mac. Just remember to proceed with caution and keep your expectations aligned with the beta software experience.