This is how to install the iPadOS 13 beta on your iPad to try out the new iPad features before the public release this fall. You can install the iPadOS 13 beta without a developer account, but it is a more involved process than using the iOS beta in previous years.
Apple announced the split of iOS and iPadOS at WWDC and with it we start to see many new tablet focused features that some users cannot wait to get their hands on.
If this sounds very involved and you don’t want to deal with any problems, you should sign up for the public iPadOS 13 beta instead of going this route. The public beta will arrive in July with fewer bugs and will be easier to install.
Backup Your iPad Before Installing
You need to backup your iPad before installing the iPadOS 13 beta since doing so will erase your iPad and start it over with a clean install. You can restore a backup afterwards. This will also help if you decide to downgrade to iOS 12 on the iPad.
Even if you already backup to iCloud, it is a good idea to make a backup on your Mac. Here’s how to do this on macOS Mojave;
- Connect the iPad to your computer with a Lightning cable.
- Open iTunes and Click on the device’s name.
- In the Backups section, click on This Computer.
- Choose Encrypt iPad backup if you want to save passwords, health and HomeKit information.
- Click Back Up Now.
If you are already on macOS Catalina, you will need to do the same, but in the Finder app.
When you finish, you should Archive this backup. On macOS Mojave click on iTunes -> Preferences -> Devices. Then hold Control and click on the newest backup and then choose Archive.
Install the macOS Catalina Beta
We’ve only had success installing the iPadOS 13 beta from the macOS Catalina Beta. If you want to install this without a developer account, you should first install the macOS Catalina Beta on your Mac.
We installed it in an second volume so that we can switch between the beta and macOS Mojave. Here’s a guide on how to install the macOS Catalina Beta.
Download the iPadOS 13 Beta
You’ll need to download a large iPSW file for the iPadOS 13 beta on your specific device.
You can pay $99 to join the Apple Developer Program, or you can go about it another way.
Here’s the best place to look for the downloads. You can download them quickly by copying to your Google Drive and then downloading. This is the fastest and most reliable way to download the iPadOS 13 beta without a developer account.
While you are there, download the Xcode beta. You need this installed to be able to install the iPadOS 13 beta.
Register Your iPad’s UDID
This is similar to the older way of trying an Apple beta early. You need to register your iPad’s UDID with a developer program for this to work.
If you are a developer, you will need to register it in the back end. If you aren’t you can use a website to register your device for you. The prices range from $6 to $14 and registration is normally quick. We successfully used UDID Registrations.
How to Install the iPadOS 13 Beta Without a Developer Account
Now that you have the macOS Catalina beta installed and you’ve registered your UDID, you are ready to install the iPadOS 13 beta.
The only other step that you need to take before you install it is to get the Xcode beta up and running.
Open the Xcode beta and install it on your Mac. Open it up. You don’t need to make a project, but it needs to be installed and opened once. We left it open during the installation.
- Turn off Find My iPad in Settings.
- Plug your iPad in to the Mac using a Lightning cable.
- Open Finder and click on iPad in the left.
- Click Pair on your Mac and Trust on your iPad.
- Hold Option and Click the Restore iPad button.
- Choose the IPSW you downloaded earlier.
- Click Open and wait for the iPadOS 13 beta to install on your iPhone.
When the iPad reboots, you should be able to use iPadOS 13 on it. You must choose the restore option for this to reliably work.
Go Over Apple's Beta Rules & Conditions
If this is your first time trying a beta on your iPad, make sure you go over Apple's rules before you download the software.
If you want to download the iPadOS 13 beta right now you need a developer account. If you decide to go with the developer version of the beta, make sure you look at Apple's beta website for developers and get familiar with all of the do's and don'ts.
If you don't want to pay to try the beta on your device, you'll need to wait for the public iPadOS 13 beta. It'll arrive alongside the public iOS 13 beta this summer.
Apple says most people to wait "for the many bug fixes and refinements coming to the public beta later this month" and we agree.
If you want to go with the public beta, you need to join the Beta Software Program. Like the developer beta program, the public beta program has some rules you'll need to adhere to.
If you aren't familiar, look over Apple's FAQ on the Beta Software Program.
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