Apple has officially released a public beta for OS X El Capitan that anyone can try out. Here’s how to get OS X El Capitan right now.
Apple announced and unveiled OS X El Capitan last month during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference alongside the unveiling of iOS 9. a beta has been available to registered developers since then, but today marks the first time that anyone can try out the new operating system before it officially releases later this fall.
OS X El Capitan keeps the same overall look and feel as OS X Yosemite, but includes a handful of smaller features and changes that improve upon Yosemite.
Perhaps some of the most notable new features include new swipe gestures that you can use with your Mac’s trackpad, as well as improvements to Spotlight Search where it’s a bit smarter this time around and shows you even more helpful search results for whatever you’re searching for. For instance, typing in “SF Giants” will not only bring up info about the next game, but you can also quickly look at the weather in San Francisco if you’re planning on attending the game.
There’s also a new feature that allows you to easily split windows and multi-task, similar to Windows’ Snap feature.
In any case, if you’re curious about trying out OS X El Capitan before it officially releases, here’s how to get the public beta right now.
How to Get the OS X El Capitan Public Beta
First off, hopefully you prepared for the OS X El Capitan public beta. If not, there are a few things that you’ll need to do before you dive in head first, most importantly whether or not your Mac can support OS X El Capitan in the first place, but an easy way to find out is if your computer can run OS X Yosemite, then it can run OS X El Capitan.
The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up for the OS X El Capitan beta program. You can do this easily by going to Apple’s website and clicking the Sign Up button. You’ll be given an OS X Beta Program Agreement that you’ll have to agree to. It’s typical agreement stuff, but the most important thing here is that Apple simply warns you that a beta isn’t final software and you’ll mostly come across bugs and errors during your experience, and you’re not supposed to “blog, post screen shots, tweet, or publicly post information about the public beta software, and don’t discuss the public beta software with or demonstrate it to others who are not in the Apple Beta Software Program.”
If you’re okay with all of that, click Accept to move on. You’ll then want to go to the Redemption page to download the public beta.
However, before you download it, be sure to back up your Mac using Time Machine. This will ensure that if anything goes wrong with the installation, you can easily revert back to OS X Yosemite without a problem.
From the Redemption page, click on Download the OS X El Capitan Public Beta. You’ll be transferred to the Mac App Store where your redemption code will be redeemed and the download for the public beta will begin automatically. You can view the download’s progress by clicking on the Purchases tab at the top.
After it finishes downloading, you can install the beta just like any other OS X update. Again, you can revert back to OS X Yosemite thanks to your backup, but it’s still important to know that this is beta software and it’s not something that just any normal user should use.
If you have a spare Mac, it’s a good idea to install the beta on that, so that your main Mac isn’t bothered. Otherwise, be prepared for some inconveniences on your main Mac if you decide to install the beta on that.
If you decide not to install the public beta, that’s completely fine. In fact, you can still get some of the new features in OS X Yosemite. The new split-view window feature can easily be had on Yosemite thanks to a third-party app called BetterSnapTool, and you can also get the OS X El Capitan wallpaper right now to give your Yosemite desktop an El Capitan feel.