How to download the OS X El Capitan public beta

OS X El Capitan, the next generation of Mac software, is now available as a public beta.

Apple has been offering public betas for OS X for a couple of years now as a way for those interested in testing out the upcoming software on their Macs, and providing feedback. If that’s you, you’ll need to sign up, enroll your Mac, download El Capitan, and install it. It’s not an overly complicated process, but we’re here to walk you through it and, if you need it, a place to get extra help.

Warning: Beta means beta. This isn’t an early access program. It’s pre-release software. That means put it on a secondary Mac if you have one and, if you don’t, think really hard before installing it on your primary Mac. If you rely on your computer for critical communications or to run your life or business, you may want to stay clear until the official release this fall.

How to make a back up of your Mac

Before joining the public beta, you need to make a backup of your Mac. That way, if something goes wrong, of if you’re simply not happy and want to revert to OS X Yosemite, you can go right back to where you started.

Even if you back up every night, you’ll want to make double, triple sure you’re covered. So make a manual backup now. Here’s how to do it with Time Machine. Even if you use something different or additional, like SuperDuper!, make sure you manually start a backup now.

  1. Click on the Time Machine icon in your Mac Menubar.
  2. Click on Backup now.

Let the backup finish before proceeding.

Note: If you’re not adverse to the Terminal, you can also make a bootable OS X Yosemite installer drive as way to jumpstart reversion, if needed.

How to register your account for the OS X El Capitan public beta

If you’ve already joined a public beta for OS X in the past, you don’t need to register again for OS X El Capitan, simply sign in with the same Apple ID. If you’ve never joined a public beta before, you’ll need to start by signing up with your Apple ID.

  1. Go to beta.apple.com in Safari on your Mac.
  2. Click on Sign up to get started. (If you’ve already signed up for a previous public beta, Click on Sign in and skip to “How to enroll your Mac”, below.)
  3. Enter you Apple ID email address and password.
  4. Click Sign in.

Once you’re signed up and signed in, it’s time to start downloading.

How to enroll your Mac in the OS X El Capitan public beta

Downloading the OS X El Capitan public beta is done through the Mac App Store but requires a special code (like a promo or gift code). The code is provided for you on the website, but is also automatically entered for you when you click to begin the process.

  1. Go to beta.apple.com, if you’re not there already.
  2. Click on the OS X tab, if it’s not highlighted already.
  3. Copy and paste your redeem code somewhere safe, just in case!
  4. Click on Download the OS X El Capitan Public Beta.
  5. The Mac App Store will open, log in if required.

Your OS X El Capitan download should begin automatically. If it doesn’t:

  1. Launch the Mac App Store.
  2. Click on the Featured tab if you’re not there already.
  3. Click on Redeem in the right sidebar.
  4. Enter your OS X El Capitan code.

The OS X El Capitan public beta weighs in at 6GB, so the download can take a while depending on the speed of your connection. To track the progress of your download:

  1. Open Launchpad from the Dock (or by using Sportlight, or with a four-finger pinch gesture.)
  2. Look for the big X icon.

You can pause and un-pause the download, if you need to, by clicking the icon.

How to install the OS X El Capitan public beta

The OS X El Capitan installer will automatically open when it’s downloaded. If it doesn’t, or if you prefer to do it later, you open Install OS X 10.9 Developer Preview at any time via Spotlight or Launchpad, or from the Application folder in the Finder.

  1. Launch Install OS X 10.9 Developer Preview app, if it’s not launched already.
  2. Click Continue at the bottom.
  3. If prompted to make a backup, and you didn’t before, click Continue in the dropdown. If you just made a backup, click Cancel.
  4. Click Continue at the bottom once your backup completes, or if you skipped it.

  5. Click Agree to accept the licensing terms.
  6. Click Agree again to confirm.

  7. Click on the drive you want to install onto (if you have multiple options; most people won’t.)
  8. Click Install.
  9. Enter you administrator password and click OK.
  10. Click Restart (if your Mac doesn’t restart automatically, or you don’t want to wait).

Once your Mac reboots, it’ll be running OS X El Capitan. There’s a brief bit of setup you’ll need to go through, however, as the system will have changed enough that it’ll need your login to complete the update.

Once that’s done, you’ll be ready to rock OS X El Capitan.

What’s new, and what if you don’t like it?

To help ease your way into everything, make sure you check out our OS X El Capitan first look and our comprehensive OS X El Capitan FAQ for all the details!

And, if you ultimately decide OS X El Capitan isn’t for you, you can still revert back to OS X Yosemite (Step-by-step instructions coming soon!).

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Source: iMore

About Bhavesh Rabari

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