How to install iOS 16 public beta + downgrade to iOS 15

Earlier this week Apple made the iOS 16 beta available to the public. The release coincided with the second revision of the third iOS 16 developer beta, which brought about full screen now playing album artwork on the Lock Screen.

In this hands-on video, I demonstrate how to install the iOS 16 public beta using Apple’s recommended steps. In addition, I also show you how to downgrade iOS 16 to iOS 15 without losing your data.

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How to install iOS 16 public beta

Before installing the iOS 16 public beta, the first thing that I highly recommend doing is backing up your iPhone to your Mac prior to upgrading to iOS 16. This makes it so that you can easily downgrade back to iOS 15 should the need arise, and you can retain all of your apps and data with ease via the backup.

Step 1: Connect iPhone to Mac

Connect your iPhone to your Mac via a Lightning to USB cable.

Step 2: Establish trust on iPhone

If this is your first time connecting your iPhone physically to your Mac, you’ll need to approve the Trust prompt that appears upon connection, and enter your iPhone’s passcode to confirm.

Step 3: Open Finder and navigate to iPhone under Locations

On your Mac, open the Finder, and navigate to the name of your iPhone under the Locations heading in the Finder’s side bar.

Step 4: Establish trust on Mac

You’ll next be required to establish a trust relationship to your iPhone via your Mac. Tap the blue Trust button that appears in the Finder to establish the trust pair.

Step 5: Backup iOS 15

Under the General tab, you’ll see a Backups section. Check the box that says Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.

Check the box next to Encyrpt local backup, and enter a new password to protect your iPhone backup. You’ll need to verify the password your choose. Be sure to check the box next to Remember this password in my keychain to have macOS save your password.

Click the Set Password button.

The backup should commence, and depending on how much data there is to back up, it could take a while so exercise patience.

Step 6: Archive your backup

Once the backup is completed, click the Manage Backups button to view your latest backup.

Right click on the backup and choose Archive to archive the backup and prevent it from being overwritten by a future backup.

You may now close the Finder window.

Step 7: Visit

On your iPhone, open Safari and visit

Step 8: Sign Up or Sign In

Scroll down and click the Sign Up button if this is your first time registering on Apple’s Beta Software Program website. Otherwise, click Sign in to sign in with your Apple ID.

Step 9: Download profile

On the Guide for Public Betas page, ensure that iOS is selected, and scroll down until your see Step 2, Install profile. Tap the blue Download profile button, and click Allow on the prompt that follows.

Close Safari, and open the Settings app. At the top of the Settings app, beneath your iCloud panel, you should see a Profile Downloaded shortcut panel. Tap Profile Downloaded, and you’ll be taken to the Install Profile prompt under VPN & Device Management.

Tap the Install button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your device passcode to confirm.

Tap Install again in the upper right-hand corner, followed by the Install button at the bottom of the interface.

You’ll now be prompted to restart your device to apply the changes. Tap Restart to commence with the restart.

Step 10: Install iOS 16 public beta

Once your iPhone reboots, open Settings → General → Software Update, and iOS will check for a new update and find the iOS 16 Public Beta. It may take some time to download the update, which is several gigabytes in size. Once the download is completed, tap Install Now to proceed with the update. The update will take several minutes to install, and you’ll be met with the iOS “Hello” screen upon successful installation.

Congratulations, you have now installed the iOS 16 Public Beta on your iPhone.

How to downgrade iOS 16 to iOS 15

Step 1: Disable Find My iPhone

Go to Settings → iCloud → Find My → Find My iPhone, and disable Find My iPhone.

Step 2: Connect iPhone to Mac

Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning to USB cable.

Step 3: Put iPhone into Recovery Mode

To put your iPhone into Recovery Mode, do the following in quick succession:

  • Press Volume Up and release
  • Press Volume Down and release
  • Press and hold the Side button

Continue to hold the Side button until you see the connect to computer screen. This screen indicates that you’ve successfully entered Recovery Mode.

Step 4: Restore iOS 15 using Finder

A Finder window should appear indicating that your iPhone needs to be updated or restored. Click the Restore button and then click Restore and Update.

Click the Next button that appears on the release notes for iOS 15 or current public version of iOS. Click Agree on the Safety Info screen, and the restore process will begin.

Step 5: Restore iOS backup using Finder

Once your iPhone is restored, step through the iOS setup process until you arrive on the Apps & Data screen. From there, tap Restore from Mac or PC. The Connected to Computer screen should appear on your iPhone.

Open Finder on your Mac, and navigate to your iPhone under Locations in the side bar. Select Restore from this backup, and select the backup that was made earlier. Click Continue and enter the password to unlock your backup and click Restore.

Your iPhone should now begin the restore process. Once completed, apps and data will continue downloading in the background.


The steps for both upgrading to iOS 16 public beta, and downgrading from iOS 16 back to iOS 15 are fairly straightforward and easy to do. The hardest part is the wait involved when performing steps like downloading iOS 16 beta. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JeffBenjam.

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