How to download the iPadOS 16 developer beta 3 to your iPad


Ipad Air 5 Split ScreenSource: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

Apple has dropped the beta for iPadOS 16 for developers with a registered developer account, as it needs developer input for new features and testing. Since this is beta software that we’re talking about, it is highly recommended to only put the iPadOS 16 beta on a device that is dedicated for beta software and development. After all, you wouldn’t want your primary device to brick because of an early software release, right?

Here’s how to download and install the iPadOS 16 developer beta on your best iPad.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That’s why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

What’s new with iPadOS?

July, 6 2022: Apple launches iPadOS 16 beta 3 to developers

Apple has just released the third developer beta for iPadOS 16. This update contains bug fixes and improvements from the first beta. As always, this is beta software meant for developers to test out new features and not for the general public. Install the iPadOS 16 beta at your own risk.

How to download the iPadOS Restore Image to your Mac

This first part is easy and works just like it does on any Mac operating system.

  1. Navigate to developer.apple.com on your Mac.
  2. Click on the Discover tab.
  3. Click on iPadOS at the top of the screen.
  4. Click Download in the upper right corner.
  5. Log in with your developer account credentials when prompted.
  6. Under iPadOS 16 beta, click on Download Restore Images.
  7. Click on the iOS restore image for the device you’re installing the developer beta on.

How to make an archived backup of your iPad

Before you begin, make sure you back up your iPad. While the beta process is fairly straightforward, any time you make any significant change to your device you risk problems. And with your personal data, it’s always — always! — better to be safe than sorry. Even if you back up every night, you’ll want to make sure it’s absolutely up-to-date.

  1. Connect your device to your Mac using the cable it came with.
  2. Launch a Finder window.
  3. Select your connected device under Locations in the sidebar of the Finder window.
  4. Click Pair to pair the device to your Mac.
  5. Tap Trust on the device to confirm that you want to pair it.
  6. Enter your passcode on your device.
  7. If you don’t already have a backup on your Mac, click Back Up Now to make a backup.
  8. Click Manage Backups after you’ve made a recent backup.
  9. Right or Control click on your device backup.
  10. Click Archive.
  11. Click OK.

Archiving will prevent your current backup from being overwritten by an iPadOS backup in the future, should you want to revert for any reason.

How to install the iPadOS beta using your Mac

  1. With your device still connected to your Mac, open a Finder window if you haven’t already.
  2. Select your connected device under Locations in the sidebar of the Finder window.
  3. Hold down the Option key and click on Check for Updates. This will launch another window with your recent files.
  4. Click on the IPSW restore image.
  5. Click Open.
  6. Click Update when prompted.

iTunes will now install iPadOS onto your iPad. This process will take some time, and you shouldn’t unplug your iPad from your Mac until the update is complete.

How to install the iPadOS beta using a profile

Before you do anything else, make sure you have a developer account with Apple — without a paid account, you won’t be able to download any non-Xcode betas.

Thanks to Apple’s configuration profile, you can download iPadOS betas directly on your iPad, no Mac required!

  1. Go to developer.apple.com on your iPad.
  2. Tap on the “Discover” tab.
  3. Tap on of the operating system buttons in the bar near the top of the screen.
  4. Tap Download.
  5. Log in with your developer account’s username and password.
  6. Go to the iPadOS 15 beta section and tap the download. This will start the process of downloading the iPadOS beta software profile on your iPad.
  7. Tap Close.
  8. Open Settings.
  9. Tap Profile Downloaded.
  10. Tap Install. You may need to enter your Passcode.
  11. Agree to the Consent form and press Install once in the upper right corner, and once at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Press Restart to apply the changes to your iPad.

To install the iPadOS beta, you’ll need to visit Software Update on your iPad once you have the profile loaded.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, tap on General, then tap on Software Update.
  2. Once the update appears, tap on Download and Install.
  3. Enter your Passcode.
  4. Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  5. Tap Agree again to confirm.

Your iPad will reboot to install iPadOS 16. There will be a couple of progress bars going across the screen. Sit tight, and let everything finish.

How to get started with iPadOS beta

Once your iPad reboots, it’ll be running iPadOS the latest beta. 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.

  1. Tap Continue.
  2. Enter your Apple ID password. iCloud settings will update, so give it a minute.
  3. Tap Get Started.

Once that’s done, you’ll be on the Home screen and ready to rock the latest iPadOS beta on your best iPad.

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