Apple has officially revealed iOS 14, complete with widgets on the Home screen, a redesigned Siri experience and much more, and developers can install the beta right now to get their apps ready for general release later this year. But while the betas are focused on developers, there is a way for anybody to install iOS 14 right now - but be warned, it’ll probably be buggy.
If bugs don’t scare you off, here’s everything you need to do to get iOS 14 right now.
Can I install iOS 14 on my iPhone?
As confirmed by Apple at WWDC 2020, iOS 14 is set to be available to all iPhones compatible with iOS 13, so as long as you’re running Apple’s latest software, you should be good to go. Just to confirm, here’s all the devices compatible with iOS 14:
- iPhone SE (second-gen)
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE (first-gen)
The risks of installing beta software
Before we explain how to install the iOS 14 beta on your iPhone, we need to first explain the situation with beta software. For those unaware, betas are unfinished, and that means you’ll likely to run into bugs, glitches and even crashes that leave you locked out of various areas of your smartphone (there was an iOS 13 beta bug that made the slow-mo camera inoperable, for example).
In other words, don’t expect the iOS 14 beta - especially early betas - to be as stable as Apple’s current software. That can be true not only of the iPhone software itself, but the apps you’ve got installed - some may work perfectly in iOS 13, but crash upon opening in iOS 14.
If you do decide to take the plunge, we can’t stress how important it is to back up your iPhone using an archived backup prior to the upgrade. Without an archived backup, you won’t be able to restore from a backup if you decide to go back to iOS 13, due to Apple not supporting restore data from newer software updates. Essentially, if you back up your iPhone running iOS 14, you won’t be able to restore from that backup if you want to go back to iOS 13.
To archive a backup, open iTunes (or Finder in macOS Catalina), click Preferences > Devices. You’ll then see a list of all your backups - right-click your most recent backup and select Archive to save it from being overwritten.
How to install the iOS 14 developer beta
The only way to get iOS 14 right now is to install an early iOS 14 developer beta, which if we’ve not made it clear up until this point, will be pretty buggy and unreliable. You’ll somewhat obviously need to be a registered Apple developer to access the beta - those yet to sign up can do so for £99/$99 a year. You can still try and access the beta without a developer account, but we’d recommend waiting for the more stable public beta due out in July.
If you’re a registered iOS developer, here’s how to install the iOS 14 public beta:
- On your iPhone, head to developer.apple.com in Safari and log in with your Apple ID details.
- Head to the Downloads section, listed in the menu on the left.
- Scroll down to the iOS 14 beta and tap the Install Profile button.
- You’ll see a pop-up appear asking whether you want to download a profile to your iPhone. Click Accept.
- Head to the Settings app and tap Profile Downloaded at the top of the list. If this doesn’t appear, head to General > Profile and tap on the iOS 14 beta profile.
- Tap Install in the top-right to install the iOS 14 beta profile.
- Agree to the developer consent form.
- Restart your iPhone to finish installing the beta profile.
- Once restarted, go back to the Settings app and head to General > Software Update.
- You should see the iOS 14 beta appear - tap Download and Install, and wait for your iPhone to download the update.
- Once downloaded, you’ll see a pop-up appear asking to install the update. Tap Install to install the iOS 14 beta update.
Your iPhone will then the iOS 14 beta, ready for testing.
But what if I don’t have a developer account?
There is still a way to install the iOS 14 developer beta without having access to a developer account, and without registering your device’s UDID as in previous years. We don’t condone downloading the iOS 14 beta profile from third-party resources, and it goes against Apple’s terms and conditions, but you can download it from various sources online.
Doing so is, of course, at your own risk and you won’t be covered by warranty if something goes wrong when installing and using the dev-only beta. But if you’re sure, once you’ve downloaded the profile, simply follow the above instructions from step 5 onwards.
What about the iOS 14 public beta?
For the past few years, Apple has provided keen members of the public desperate to trial the upcoming version of iOS with a separate public beta, and that’s set to continue with iOS 14. As confirmed at WWDC 2020, the iOS 14 public beta will be available to download in July alongside betas for macOS Big Sur, iPadOS 14 and, for the first time, watchOS 7.
We’ll update this section with specific instructions once the public beta is available to download, so check back soon.