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10 Things to Do Before Installing the macOS Big Sur Beta

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If you are willing, you can install the new macOS Big Sur beta on your Mac today to test out new features well ahead of the fall release date. This is only aimed at developers, but you can use our guide to get early access. If you plan to install this new macOS beta, you should make sure to prepare your Mac — especially if you are installing on your primary machine.

Apple announced the macOS Big Sur update at WWDC in late June and you can test it out with the developer beta, or wait for the public beta later this summer. If you are testing either version, you should make sure to follow these steps.

There are a ton of exciting new macOS Big Sur features, but not all of them are available on this first beta. There will also be more problems than a typical macOS release since this is a very early pre-release software update.

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There are new macOS Big Sur features to learn about and important steps to take before you install the new update on your Mac.

  1. Learn About macOS Big Sur
  2. Understand What You Are Getting Into
  3. Decide Where You Are Installing
  4. Backup Your Mac
  5. Make Sure You Know Your Passwords
  6. Research macOS Big Sur Feedback
  7. Prepare Yourself for macOS Big Sur Problems
  8. Check Apps Compatibility and Install Betas
  9. Talk to IT Before Installing
  10. Learn About the macOS Beta Downgrade Options

You don’t need to follow each step if you are an expert, but if this is the first time that you’ve installed a macOS beta, or if you haven’t done this in a year or two, these are all good things to do and read.

Learn About macOS Big Sur

Learn About macOS Big Sur

Before you jump into the macOS Big Sur beta, you should get familiar with what it includes. This means learning the compatibility, what the new features are, and reading up on what new features are and aren't in the early betas. 

Not everything Apple showed off on stage is in this beta, and some of the new features may not arrive until the first official release or even a follow-up release. 

If you are installing the macOS Big Sur beta for a single feature, wait to see if it is there before you jump in. 

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Apple delivers support for a lot of older devices, so there is a good chance that even an older Mac that you own will work, but be wary of jumping right in if it is your only Mac. Let someone else test those waters. 

We're working on a list of the new macOS Big Sur features to help you understand what you will get, and you can use that and information on social media and forums to learn more about this update. 

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