How to install the iPadOS 18 developer beta on your iPad

How to install the iPadOS 18 developer beta on your iPad

Apple kicked off WWDC 2024 with the reveal of the next big update to hit the iPad, iPadOS 18, alongside iOS 18, macOS Sequoia and more. But did you know you can already install iPadOS 18 on your iPad?

It might not be the final release of iPadOS 18 – that’s not due until later this year – but if you’re curious, you can install the iPadOS 18 developer beta on your iPad right now. The best part? You no longer need a paid Apple Developer account to access the beta.

We should warn you: the iPadOS 18 beta will likely be buggy, especially the software’s first iteration, so installing it on your primary iPad is not advisable.

With that all said, here’s how you can install the iPadOS 18 developer beta on your iPad right now. 

What you’ll need: 

  • An iPad running iPadOS 16.4 or later
  • An Apple developer account (free)

The Short Version 

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

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

    The first step is to associate your Apple ID with an Apple developer account if you haven’t done so in the past. Don’t worry; unlike previous developer betas that required a paid developer account, you can use a free account. Just sign in with your Apple ID at developer.apple.com to enrol. 
    Apple Developer portal

  2. Step
    2

    Back up your iPad

    Before we go any further, it’s worth making a backup of your iPad, either via iCloud or on your PC or Mac.

    That’ll be invaluable if you decide that iPadOS 18 is a little too buggy in its current form and want to downgrade to iPadOS 17. The issue is that you can’t restore from an iPadOS 18 backup in iPadOS 17, so unless you want to start anew, we’d recommend keeping that backup safe. iPad iCloud backup

  3. Step
    3

    Open the Settings app

    On your iPad, head to the Settings app. That’s the app with a cogwheel icon if you’re unsure. iPadOS home screen

  4. Step
    4

    Tap General

    From the main Settings menu, tap General on the left-hand toolbar. iPad Settings app

  5. Step
    5

    Tap Software Update

    From within the General menu, tap Software Update. General section of Settings app

  6. Step
    6

    Tap Beta Updates

    Tap the Beta Updates button to select the beta you’d like to install on your iPad. This might take a couple of seconds to appear in the menu while Apple verifies that you’ve got a developer-associated Apple ID connected to your iPhone. iPadOS software update menu

  7. Step
    7

    Tap iPadOS 18 Developer Beta 

    From the list of available beta programs, tap the iPadOS 18 Developer Beta and tap back in the top-left to go back to the main software update menu. Select iPadOS 18 beta profile

  8. Step
    8

    Tap Download and Install

    If you selected the correct beta in the previous step, you should now be able to install the iPadOS 18 developer beta on your iPad. Simply tap Update Now to download and install the update, and enjoy iPadOS 18! Install the iPadOS 18 beta

Troubleshooting

I can’t see the Beta Updates menu. What should I do?

Make sure that you’ve associated your Apple ID with a developer account by logging in at developer.apple.com, and be sure to verify that you’re logged in with that Apple ID on your iPad.

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