16 C
Sunday, October 1, 2023
HomeTechHow to install the public beta version of macOS Sonoma

How to install the public beta version of macOS Sonoma


Apple is releasing the public beta for macOS Sonoma today. This is the next big update coming to Mac computers (the final version is expected later in 2023) and it brings several important changes. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to get the beta on your computer, if you want it. Once you install the beta version, you will likely receive several updates between now and the final release.

(Looking for steps to install the iOS 17 public beta? We’ve got you covered here.)

What’s new in macOS Sonoma?

We’ve covered the latest features in macOS Sonoma elsewhere, but some of the highlights include:

  • Support for widgets, which can be dragged from the Notification Center to the desktop
  • A new “Gaming Mode”, which will make sure your Mac uses your CPU and GPU resources to maximize your gaming experience.
  • Enhanced video conferencing, including the ability to show your face during a presentation
  • A variety of updates to the Safari web browser, including the ability to keep personal and work browsing profiles separate, along with increased privacy protections.

Some of the features coming to Sonoma.
Image: apple

What devices are compatible with macOS Sonoma?

Apple has said that Sonoma won’t support several Mac models running Ventura, so it’s a good idea to check if your computer is compatible before downloading the beta. Here is the list of Sonoma-compatible Macs:

If your Mac is older, it’s worth noting that it won’t necessarily have all the features, some are exclusive to Apple Silicon. To check if you have an Apple or Intel chip, you can go to the apple menu in the top left and click About this Mac.

How to install the beta version of macOS Sonoma

First of all, backup of your data through the time machine. This will allow you to return to Ventura if things don’t go well with the Sonoma beta. If you plan to install this beta on your main machine, be aware that you may run into issues (bugs, incompatibility issues, worse than usual battery life) that might get in your way, not what you want if you’re at any deadline type. Also, make sure you have around 20 GB of free space available on your storage drive before attempting to install.

There is a way to avoid some of this potential drama. If you are using a machine with macOS High Sierra or later, you can use built-in tools to partition your storage drive so that the beta can live in isolation. This way, you can try out the new features, and then boot into your stable macOS partition with the rest of your data when you’re done. We’ll see that later.

But first, we’ll assume you’re going to perform a simple installation. Let us begin.

  1. Go to Apple Beta Software Portal via Safari.
  2. If you haven’t previously installed a public beta, you’ll need to sign in with your Apple ID (steps three through five). Otherwise, click Enroll your devices in the upper right corner of the web page. you will be sent to Software update from there and you can skip to step six.
  3. Click MacOSthe middle option in the center of the next page.
  4. Scroll down until you find a button that says Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility. Click it to download a .DMG file, then run the .PKG file in the image to sign up for beta updates.
  5. When starting the installer, you will be asked if it does not detect a Time Machine backup. (You did make a backup, right? As I suggested above?)
  6. Lastly, go to Software update from the System Preferences app (if it doesn’t open automatically) to install the beta version. If you’re enrolled in the beta program, you should see the message, “This Mac is enrolled in Apple’s Beta Software Program,” located under the big Software update icon. Note: The download may not be available to you immediately. You will receive a notification once it is.
  7. The update file will take some time to download. Once done, press Update now and follow the steps.

How to create a separate partition

  • Open disk utility (a built-in app that you can find by typing its name into the Spotlight search bar). Your hard drive partitions will be listed under Internal along the left side of the window. You may only see one.

If your machine uses APFS, click the plus sign at the top to create a new partition.

  • If you’re using a machine running macOS High Sierra or newer, clicking on your main partition should reveal that it’s a APFS Volume. If so, you can simply click on the plus button above the word Volume in the upper left corner of the Disk Utility window to create a new volume.
  • You can name the volume whatever you want and then press Add. Since APFS-formatted storage is shared between volumes, there is no need to worry about how much space to reserve on the new volume when you create it.
  • Note: If your machine’s drive is formatted for Mac OS Extended instead of APFS, you can select the Split instead, near the top of the Disk Utility window. You’ll need to name the partition and then decide how much storage you’d like to have on that slice of hard drive. Since previous public betas have been over 10 GB in size, I would suggest at least 30 GB to be safe.
  • Now that you have another volume (or partition), you can choose to install the beta on that location instead of your primary drive.

The way to boot into the beta partition depends on the type of Mac you have. If you have an Intel Mac, you can hold down the key Option key while booting to get to the boot disk selector. On an Apple Silicon Mac, you simply have to press and hold the power button while turning on the computer to get to the screen.

If you want your computer to boot into the beta version by default, you can go to System Preferences > Startup Disk and then click on the lock icon in the lower left corner. After entering your password or using Touch ID, you can select your beta partition and click Resume.

How to install macOS Sonoma beta on an external drive

If you don’t have the space to create a partition large enough to hold an entire second operating system, you may want to consider installing the beta on an external drive. Doing so is relatively simple, as long as you’re willing to use the entire drive.

That being said, following these instructions will erase everything on your external drive. Make sure all data on it is backed up elsewhere. And keep in mind: while you can technically install Sonoma beta to an external hard drive, you’ll get much better performance if you use a portable SSD.

  • Connect your external drive.
  • Open Disk Utility and select the drive.
  • Click on the Delete button and select APFS from the Format Dropdown menu.
  • After erasing the drive, open the beta installer and select your external drive as the destination. You can start it by following the instructions above as long as the drive is connected to your computer.

Advanced users can partition their external drive by following the instructions in the previous section, but your ability to do so will depend on how your drive is configured.

If the installer tells you that macOS cannot be installed on your external drive, you may be able to continue Apple Troubleshooting Instructions to properly partition the drive.

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories