The latest version of the Mac operating system, macOS 12 Monterey, was officially released last fall. Apple will continue to update the operating system, and you can get those updates early by joining Apple’s Public Beta program. Interested? Here’s what you need to know about the public beta.
Updated on 05/19/22: macOS 12.5 Monterey Public Beta Beta 1 has been released.
What is the macOS Monterey Public Beta?
Apple makes a public beta version of Monterey available for people to try, try it out with their favorite software, and report bugs to the company.
Since this is beta software, it is very likely to cause problems on your Mac. You may encounter frequent crashes and crashes, or your apps may not work. Don’t count on it being stable enough to use all the time.
Should I install the macOS Monterey public beta?
You shouldn’t install the beta on a production Mac or any other Mac that you depend on and can’t afford to take down. If you’re worried that a beta bug will prevent you from using your Mac, don’t install it. Install it on a Mac that you consider a secondary computer.
If you decide to try the beta version, you can provide Apple with valuable feedback and see what new features it has.
What should you do before installing it?
Back up your Mac. You can use Time Machine or whatever backup setup you already have. You need a backup that you can go back to in case you need to stop using the beta and need to restore your system.
How to install the public beta version of macOS Monterey
Before you can install the new operating system, you must be enrolled in the Public Beta program. You can do this through Apple’s Public Beta Program website. In the Guide section of the website, click the “macOS” tab, and then click the “enroll your Mac” link in the Get Started section.
This should take you to the “Enroll Your Devices” web page. Follow the instructions. In Step 2, you’ll download the “macOS Public Beta Access Utility” which will enroll your Mac in the program. The utility will then launch Software Update to download and install the Monterey beta.
The installation takes a while. It may take 40 minutes or more, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
What Macs are compatible with macOS Monterey?
MacBook (2016 and later)
MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
iMac (Late 2015 and later)
iMac Pro (Late 2017 and later)
Mac Pro (Late 2013 and later)
How to uninstall the beta version of macOS Monterey
If you try the beta and then decide you no longer want to use it, Apple has instructions on how to opt out of the public beta. You will need to use a Time Machine backup to restore your system to the operating system prior to the beta installation. Apple also has instructions on how to restore your system if you want to reformat your Mac and start fresh.
What happens after the final version is submitted?
You can continue to use the public beta version. You will get beta versions of Monterey updates when they become available. If you want to ditch the beta and install the final version of Monterey, you can download the macOS Monterey installer from the App Store when it’s available in the fall.