How to download and install the macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 Release Candidate to your Mac


macOS Big Sur is now available to the public, but there is still a developer beta line that needs testing before Apple launches new iterations to the public. Apple provides a beta version of its macOS releases to developers so that they can test their apps against it and prepare for the release to Mac owners.

This guide is for installing the developer beta of macOS Big Sur. Want to download the latest public version of macOS Big Sur? Here’s where you’ll want to go:

What’s new in the macOS Big Sur beta?

September 30, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 RC for developers

The second release candidate of macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

July 19, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.5 RC 2 for developers

The second release candidate of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

July 13, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.5 release candidate for developers

The release candidate of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

July 8, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta 5 for developers

The fifth beta of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

June 29, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta 4 for developers

The fourth beta of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

June 14, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta 3 for developers

The third beta of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

June 2, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta 2 for developers

The second beta of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

May 19, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta 1 for developers

The first beta of macOS Big Sur 11.5 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

May 17, 2021: Apple launches macOS Big Sur 11.4 release candidate for developers

The release candidate of macOS Big Sur 11.4 is now available for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

May 10, 2021: Apple launches macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta 3 for developers

Apple has launched the third beta of macOS Big Sur 11.4 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

May 4, 2021: Apple launches macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta 2 for developers

Apple has launched the second beta of macOS Big Sur 11.4 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

April 21, 2021: Apple launches macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta 1 for developers

Hot on the heels of the seeding of the Release Candidate for macOS 11.3, Apple has just launched the first beta of macOS Big Sur 11.4 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

April 20, 2021: Apple makes macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Candidate available to developers

Apple has just release the Release Candidate of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

April 13, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 8 to developers

Apple has just release the eighth beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

April 8, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 7 to developers

Apple has just release the seventh beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

March 31, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 6 to developers

Apple has just release the sixth beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

March 23, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 5 to developers

Apple has just release the fifth beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

March 15, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 4 to developers

Apple has just release the fourth beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

March 2, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 3 to developers

Apple has just release the third beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

February 17, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 2 to developers

Apple has just release the second beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

February 2, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 1 to developers

Apple has just release the first beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

January 28, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate 3 for developers

Apple has just launched the macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate 3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

January 25, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate 2 for developers

Apple has just launched the macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate 2 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

January 21, 2021: Apple seeds macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate for developers

Apple has just launched the macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

January 13, 2021: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just launched macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 2 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

December 16, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just launched macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 1 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

December 10, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.1 Release Candidate for developers

Apple has just launched the release candidate for macOS Big Sur 11.1 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

December 3, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.1 beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second macOS Big Sur 11.1 beta for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

November 17, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.1 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released the first macOS Big Sur 11.1 beta for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

November 10, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Release Candidate 2 for developers

Apple has just released the second macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 release candidate for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

November 5, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 release candidate for developers

Apple has just released the macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 release candidate for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

October 28, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta 1 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

October 14, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 10 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 10 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

September 29, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 9 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 9 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

September 22, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 8 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 8 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

September 17, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 7 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 7 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

September 3, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 6 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 6 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

August 19, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 5 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 5 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

August 4, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 4 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 4 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

July 22, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 3 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 3 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

July 7, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 2 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 2 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

June 22, 2020: Apple releases macOS Big Sur beta 1 for developers

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur beta 1 for developers. Follow the instructions below to get started with the macOS Big Sur beta. If you’ve been waiting for macOS Big Sur to start testing with macOS, now’s the time to start downloading.

How to make an archived backup of your Mac with Time Machine

Before you begin, make sure you back up your Mac. The download and installation process is fairly easy, but any time you make significant changes to your computer, you risk problems. When it comes to securing your data, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. Even if you just backed everything up the night before, make sure your Mac is completely up-to-date.

Time Machine will format the hard drive for backups and start within two minutes.

How to download the macOS Big Sur developer beta

Downloading the latest beta on your Mac is as simple as visiting Apple’s developer portal.

When the installer is finished downloading, System Preferences will automatically check for an update to macOS. Click Update to download and install the developer beta software. After the software has been downloaded, the installation process will begin as normal.

If the latest developer beta does not appear on the Updates list, restart your Mac. Then, open the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab.

The developer beta update can take a long time to finish downloading, depending on the size. You can check the status in the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.

How to install the macOS Big Sur developer beta

After macOS Big Sur is finished downloading, you will be prompted to install the software automatically.

Your Mac will reboot to install macOS Big Sur. You’ll see a black screen with the Apple Logo and a progress bar. Grab a cup of coffee while you wait for the software to finish installing.

How to install the macOS Big Sur beta on a partition

To keep your Mac’s data from getting corrupted by a beta operating system, you can partition your Mac’s hard drive to run macOS Big Sur in tandem with your current operating system.

The installation helper will allow you to transfer information from your current operating system, or you could choose to do a clean installation to start your Mac from scratch.

How to get started with the macOS Big Sur developer beta

Once your Mac reboots, you’ll be set up with macOS Big Sur. You’ll have to follow a couple of steps to get started.

You’ll be directed to your Home screen where you can start digging around to find all of the fun new features.

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