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Here’s How Long the macOS Monterey Beta Takes

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Apple’s macOS Monterey beta requires a substantial download and it could take a long time to install the software on your Mac.

The macOS Monterey beta is available right now to anyone enrolled in Apple’s developer program. The company plans to release the free public macOS Monterey beta in July.

Apple’s new operating system for Mac is packed with changes including improvements to FaceTime, Maps, Messages, and a whole lot more. These changes might convince you to try the beta on your computer.

If you do decide to install the macOS Monterey beta on your Mac, you’ll need to spend time downloading, installing, and testing the software for issues. If you haven’t signed up for Apple’s developer program or the Beta Software Program yet, you’ll need to spend time doing that as well.

The macOS Monterey beta requires a large download for all compatible Mac models. It’s several gigabytes which means it will take awhile for the download and installation to finish up.

We can’t tell you exactly how long the installation process will take because mileage will vary from person-to-person and device-to-device. The timing also depends on your familiarity with the beta process and your current version of macOS.

That being said, we can help you approximate how much time you’ll need to spend downloading and installing the macOS Monterey beta on your Mac.

If you’ve prepared for the installation, you might be able to complete everything in 30 minutes or so. If you’re starting from scratch, it could take an hour or more.

TaskTime
Backup to Time Machine (Optional)5 Mins - A Day
macOS Monterey Beta Download15 Minutes to Several Hours
macOS Monterey Beta Installation15 Minutes to 30 Minutes
Total macOS Monterey Beta Update Time30 Minutes to 1 Hour+

Pre-Installation

If you decide to install the macOS Monterey beta on your Mac, you’ll want to spend some time preparing for the move from your current version of macOS.

If you’ve installed beta software before, this probably won’t take a ton of time. If this will be your first time using macOS beta software, be sure to take your time.

We’ve put together a pre-installation guide that takes you through the steps we normally take before we install macOS beta software on our Macs.

You’ll want to backup your Mac’s data before you move your computer to the beta. You’ll also want to dig into feedback from beta testers, find fixes for potential problems, and get familiar with the downgrade process.

These steps might take some of you 30 minutes to complete, others might need an hour. Either way, you’ll want to come into the installation process prepared.

macOS Monterey Beta Download

If you’re moving your Mac from the latest version of macOS Big Sur to the macOS Monterey beta, your download will be several gigabytes. Again, the exact size will vary, but everyone will encounter a large download.

If you’re running the latest version of macOS and you’ve got a high-speed Wi-Fi connection at work or home, your download could finish up fairly quickly.

For a some of you, the download will finish up in about 15 minutes or so. Others will encounter a much longer download time.

iOS 15 Beta Installation

You should be able to get macOS Monterey installed in about 15 minutes.

If this is your first time installing iOS beta software, it could take longer. It’s worth noting that the public macOS Monterey beta will be a bit easier to install.

If you decide to install the beta on an external hard drive, you may need to budget a little more time. Installing the beta on an internal SSD or Fusion drive is usually a bit faster.

While the macOS Monterey beta is installing you won’t be able to use your Mac for a period. During this part of the installation process, your Mac will be on a black screen installing the beta so you’ll need to plan accordingly.

Post-Installation

After you get the macOS Monterey beta running on your computer, you might need to spend time logging back into your apps and services.

You’ll want to check on all of your important files and make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be. We also recommend using your core applications to ensure they’re working properly.

Apps, particularly third-party applications, often run poorly on beta software so you’ll want to ensure that your most important services are stable. If they aren’t, you might need to downgrade back to macOS Big Sur.

You’ll also want keep an eye on your Mac’s performance because battery life and connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc) can act up on beta software.

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