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How to Install watchOS 5 Beta Without a Developer Account

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You can install the watchOS 5 beta on your Apple Watch today to test out the new Apple Watch features that are coming to the watch later this fall. The watchOS 5 update is a free upgrade, but it’s only available in beta form right now and only if you are on iOS 12.

On June 6th, Apple pulled the watchOS 5 beta 1 from the developer portal due to an issue with updating. Do not attempt to install the watchOS 5 beta until further notice.

While Apple is delivering free public iOS 12 beta and macOS Mojave betas, they do not offer a watchOS beta to regular users. This is a developer only beta, but you can join it if you know what you are doing and are OK with the risks. One reason Apple doesn’t offer a watchOS 5 public beta is because there is no easy way to downgrade from watchOS 5 to watchOS 4. The only way for a developer to go back is to contact Apple. If you are not a developer and you need to go back, you are likely out of luck.

If you have iOS 12 on your iPhone and you have the watchOS 5 beta profile, you can install it on your Apple Watch and then start the watchOS 5 beta installation.

How to Install the watchOS 5 Beta Profile

For this to work you need to have iOS 12 installed on your iPhone. You cannot use watchOS 5 with iOS 11. Follow these instructions to install the iOS 12 beta before you continue.

  1. Download the watchOS 5 beta Configuration Profile from this website to your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Apple Watch when prompted.
  3. Tap on Install.
  4. Enter your passcode.
  5. Tap on Install.
  6. Restart the Apple Watch when prompted.

This will install the necessary file to your Apple Watch, and you are now ready to download the actual watchOS 5 beta and install it. This requires you to use your iPhone.

How to Install the watchOS 5 Beta

Install the watchOS 5 beta on your Apple Watch.

Install the watchOS 5 beta on your Apple Watch.

Now that your Apple Watch is ready, grab your iPhone and install the update like you do a standard Apple Watch update. Here’s what you need to do. This will take a while, so you should plan on keeping your Apple Watch on the charger and your iPhone nearby while this process completes.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on My Watch.
  3. Tap on General and Software Update.
  4. When you See watchOS 5 beta 1 tap on Download and Install.
  5. Enter your iPhone passcode.
  6. Agree to the Terms & Conditions.
  7. With your Apple Watch on the charger tap on Install.

This will start downloading the watchOS 5 beta to your Apple Watch and then install it. You cannot use the Apple Watch during this process, but you can continue to use your iPhone as long as you keep it close to your Apple Watch.

4 Reasons Not to Install watchOS 5 Beta & 3 Reasons To

Don't Install Because There is No Downgrade

Don't Install Because There is No Downgrade

Apple does support a watchOS 5 beta downgrade to watchOS 4, if you are a developer. But you need to coordinate with Apple and send your Apple Watch back for repair. If you are not a developer, you may be completely out of luck, and need to pay for a replacement or for an AppleCare+ incident. 

While the other Apple betas support a user accessible downgrade path, there is nothing you can do to downgrade from the watchOS 5 beta to a stable release. 

Apple already pulled watchOS 5 beta 1 due to problems during the update process, which may mean that some users bricked their Apple Watch while updating.  

If you think you will want to use a stable version of your Apple Watch between now and the fall, you should skip the beta, and stick to trying out features on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. 

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