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How to install the iOS 18 developer beta on your iPhone

Apple might’ve only revealed iOS 18 at WWDC this week, but it’s already available to download on your iPhone – as long as you’re a developer, that is.

As with the iOS 17 developer beta, it’s much easier to install the iOS 18 developer beta than previous entries in the iOS collection thanks to a handy toggle in the Settings app on your iPhone. 

Before we go any further, it’s worth emphasising that the iOS 18 beta will likely be buggy and is not designed to be used on your primary device. It’s primarily there for developers to update their apps in time for the launch of iOS 18 later this year, but given that you no longer need a paid developer account to access it, dedicated fans can also dabble a little early. 

With all that said, here’s how you can install the iOS 18 developer beta on your iPhone. 

What you’ll need: 

  • An iPhone running iOS 16.4 or later
  • An Apple developer account (free)

The Short Version 

  1. Sign in with your Apple ID at developer.apple.com.
  2. Back up your iPhone.
  3. Open the Settings app.
  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap Software Update.
  6. Tap Beta Updates.
  7. Tap iOS 18 Developer Beta.
  8. Tap Download and Install.
  1. Step
    1

    Sign in with your Apple ID at developer.apple.com

    While you no longer need to have a paid Apple developer account to access the iOS 18 developer beta, you still need to sign in with your Apple ID at developer.apple.com to flag your account as a developer account. Apple Developer website

  2. Step
    2

    Back up your iPhone

    The next step is to back up your iPhone, an important step in case you find iOS 18 too buggy in its current state and want to downgrade. You can’t restore an iOS 18 backup in iOS 17, so it’s worth either backing up to iCloud or, even better, backing up to your PC or Mac. Back up iPhone via iCloud

  3. Step
    3

    Open the Settings app

    The next step is to open the Settings app on your iPhone. iPhone Home screen with Settings app visible

  4. Step
    4

    Tap General

    From the Settings app, scroll down and tap General.Settings app

  5. Step
    5

    Tap Software Update

    The next step is to tap Software Update.General section of Settings app

  6. Step
    6

    Tap Beta Updates

    Tap the Beta Updates button – this may take a second to appear while Apple verifies that you’ve got a developer-associated Apple ID.
    Software Update menu in Settings app

  7. Step
    7

    Tap iOS 18 Developer Beta

    From the list of available beta updates, select the iOS 18 Developer Beta and tap back in the upper-left to go back to the software update menu.Beta Update menu in Settings app

  8. Step
    8

    Tap Update Now

    If all has gone to plan, you should now see the iOS 18 Developer Beta appear. Simply tap Update Now to download and install the update on your iPhone.Software Update menu with iOS 18 Developer Beta in Settings app

Troubleshooting

I can’t see the Beta Updates section in the Software Update menu. What should I do?

If you can’t see the Beta Updates section, it’s likely because your Apple ID hasn’t been linked with a developer account. Make sure you log in to developer.apple.com with the Apple ID that’s associated with your iPhone, and try again.

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