If you decide to download the macOS Monterey beta on your Mac, there are some steps you should take before you initiate the download.
Apple will officially release macOS Monterey in the fall, but you can try the new operating system right now via Apple’s beta programs.
macOS Monterey is currently in testing ahead of its official release and the software is available to those with an Apple developer account and those enrolled in Apple’s Beta Software Program.
Trying the macOS Monterey beta is tempting. The software has several notable changes on board including improvements to Maps, a new feature called Focus, and a whole lot more.
While some of you might want to wait for the company to fix some of the problems plaguing the macOS Monterey beta, others might want to move away from macOS Big Sur right now.
If you do decide to go through with the move, you’ll want to be extremely careful. The macOS Monterey beta is pre-release software and it’s plagued with bugs and other problems. The firmware could have a noticeable impact on your Mac’s performance.
It’s difficult to predict what kinds of problems you’ll encounter during your time on the beta so it’s important to prepare for the installation. This is especially important if this will be your first time installing macOS beta software.
- Backup Your Data
- Read Apple’s Beta Rules & Conditions
- Get Familiar with macOS Monterey
- Gather Your Login Info
- Dig Into macOS Monterey Beta Feedback
- Find Fixes for macOS Monterey Beta Problems
- Learn How to Downgrade
- Cleanup Your Mac’s Storage
- Decide Where You’re Installing
- Learn How to Send Bug Reports
If you’re in need of assistance, you’ve come to the right place. This macOS Monterey beta pre-installation guide will walk you through the steps we take before we install macOS beta software on our Macs.
These tips should help you avoid major headaches today and in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Backup Your Data
Before you download the macOS Monterey beta you’ll want to backup your Mac.
If you normally do this with Time Machine, make sure you have a current backup before you proceed with the installation. If you don’t regularly backup your data, you should take the time to back your Mac up before you install the beta on your device.
We recommend going a step further keeping this backup separate so that Time Machine doesn’t overwrite it. A good backup on macOS Big Sur is the easiest way to leave the beta and go back to stable software.
Make sure your important photos, documents, and other data are all safe before you install the macOS Monterey beta on your Mac. Even if you backup key files and photos to the cloud, a local Time Machine backup is important.
Go to System Preferences -> Time Machine and make sure you have a recent backup. This is especially important if you use a Mac that you don’t always plug into a hard drive.
Read Apple’s Beta Rules & Conditions
If this is your first time trying macOS beta software on your Mac, you’ll want to spend some time looking through Apple’s rules.
If you decide to download the developer macOS Monterey beta, make sure you comb through Apple’s beta website for developers. The website goes over everything you need to know about joining the developer program.
If you don’t want to pay to use the macOS Monterey beta, you’ll want to install the public macOS Monterey beta.
In order to download the public beta, you need to join the Beta Software Program. And like the developer beta, the public beta program has some rules you’ll want to keep in mind.
Before you download the public macOS Monterey beta on your Mac, make sure you read Apple’s FAQ on the Beta Software Program.
Get Familiar with macOS Monterey
Before you make the leap to the macOS Monterey beta, you’ll want to know know what you’re getting into.
You’ll want to investigate the software’s compatibility, dig into what the new features are, and read up on what new features are, and aren’t, included in the beta.
Remember, not everything Apple showed off on stage during WWDC 2021 is in the beta, and some of the new features may not arrive until the first official release in the fall. Or, in some cases, even later.
You’ll also want to look over macOS Monterey’s features to make sure the move to unstable software is worth it. The operating system is chock full of changes, but they may not excite you.
To help you make a decision, we’ve put together a guide that will take you through the best reasons to install the macOS Monterey beta and the best reasons to avoid it.
Gather Your Login Info
Before you download the beta, be sure to gather all of your important passwords and login information.
You should already be using a password manager of some kind, but if you aren’t, make sure all of your important passwords are up-to-date and working.
You will need your Apple ID and password when you restart your Mac on macOS Monterey, and you may need it to sign back into other services as you set up the beta.
The system may also prompt you to log into email accounts and other services after you install the beta. You should have all important login items handy and make sure that you have your two-factor authentication handy as well.
If you need to check your Apple login information, try logging into iCloud.com. You can check other passwords by logging into websites in a private browsing tab.
Dig Into macOS Monterey Beta Feedback
Some of you might want to hold off on a download until you’ve taken a look at feedback about macOS Monterey’s early performance.
Older Mac models typically have the most trouble on new software. So if you own an older computer, you might want to hang back for a bit and see how the beta is performing on your specific Mac model.
Find Fixes for macOS Monterey Beta Problems
This is pre-release software and bugs and performance issues will plague the macOS Monterey beta throughout the testing process. You will need to fix these issues yourself or live with them until Apple releases new beta software.
We’ve released a list of fixes for the most common macOS issues. It’s worth a look if you don’t know how to approach whatever is ailing your computer.
We’ve also put together a guide that will help you fix bad macOS battery life should you come across it during your time on the macOS Monterey beta.
We also recommend getting familiar with Apple’s Discussion forums. They’ll be a great resource if you encounter a bug or performance issue on your Mac.
Learn How to Downgrade
Before you install the macOS Monterey beta, you should explore the downgrade options that will bring you back to older macOS software.
If you decide that you don’t like macOS Monterey’s changes or there are too many problems, you can downgrade back to older macOS software on your device pretty easily if you are prepared.
The best way to downgrade is to restore a Time Machine backup from macOS Big Sur. This downgrade will take some time, but it will take you right back to where your Mac was before you installed the beta.
You can do a clean install of macOS Big Sur if you want to downgrade that way, but you will then need to set everything up from scratch.
Bottom line, figure out an escape plan before you jump into the beta.
Cleanup Your Mac’s Storage
If you’re running out of space on your Mac, you might need to do some cleanup in order to install the macOS Monterey beta. The beta requires a sizable chunk of disk space on your Mac.
If you’re running out of space, go through your device’s storage and delete files you no longer need to make sure you have room for the download.
Decide Where You Are Installing macOS Monterey Beta
Decide where you will install the macOS Monterey beta before you initiate the download. There are a few different options.
The best place to install the macOS Monterey beta is on a spare Mac. This will let you test the new features and experience the update without worrying about losing any files or interrupting your workflow. This is the recommended route.
The next best solution is to create a partition on your primary Mac and then install the macOS Monterey beta there. This will be a clean install and it will keep it separate from the files and apps you use all the time. This is a good way to keep the beta with you without carrying a second machine.
The third option is to install the macOS Monterey beta on your only Mac as the primary operating system, similar to how you would upgrade this fall. This is extremely risky, and we don’t recommend going that route if you can avoid it.
Learn How to Send Bug Reports
If this is your first time trying macOS beta software, you’ll want to learn how to send Apple feedback about the software’s performance. This feedback will help Apple improve the final version of macOS Monterey.
You’ll want to send feedback via Apple’s Feedback Assistant service. It’s fairly straightforward, but you’ll want to get comfortable with it.
For more on the Feedback app and submitting macOS Monterey bugs and issues to Apple, check out Apple’s FAQ.
Install to Help Improve Apple Improve macOS Monterey
Using the macOS Monterey beta will help Apple squash issues before they reach millions of Mac users in the fall.
Your feedback about the macOS Monterey beta's performance could help the company discover a nasty bug or performance before the final version of the operating system rolls out.
If you're sick of dealing with issues or tired of hearing friends and family complain about their macOS issues, think about giving the macOS Monterey beta a try.
If you decide to download the macOS Monterey beta and find a bug, glitch, or performance issue on board, make sure you report it to Apple so that its engineers can get to work on a fix.
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