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(Pocket-lint) - Apple's macOS Monterey will be available on the 26 October for download, but is available to download via a Public beta if you can't wait that long. The Public beta has been running since July to anyone that fancies have a play on their iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or any other type of modern Mac as long as it meets the minimum requirements

Until the availablity of the full blown full release of macOS Monterey, you can get the beta version of Apple's next operating system update running on your computer right now. It's free to join, but you will need to install the proper certificate from Apple's public beta website (don't worry it's really easy), before you can access the updates over the air and start enjoying the new features. 

If you've joined Apple's free beta program previously, you'll need to enroll again for this latest version. Here's everything you need to know.

How to download and install the macOS Monterey on your Mac

For the full release of macOS Monterey you can simply go to System Preferences > Software Update to check if the new update is available from the 26 October. If you want to play around with the macOS Monterey Public beta before then you'll have to work through a couple of steps first.

If you are installing the Public beta we would recommend you install it on a secondary computer and not your main one. This year's beta has had the odd bug (it's a beta after all) and you should be aware that some of the features, like Universal Control, haven't been made available. 

We've detailed the download and installation steps below.

  1. Back up your device (see this Apple support page).
  2. Visit the Apple Beta Program website on your Mac and click the signup button.
  3. Sign in with your Apple ID login.
  4. From there, read and accept Apple's agreement.
  5. From your Mac, visit beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/guide.
    • You may need to sign in with your Apple ID login.
  6. Download the Beta Configuration Profile. (Follow the on-screen steps.)
    • You'll need to tap the macOS tab.
    • Scroll down to and select "you can enroll your Mac".
    • On the next page, select Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility option.
    • If you see a popup asking if you want to allow downloads, click "Allow."
  7. The beta installer (macOSPublicBetaAccessUtility.dmg) will go to your Downloads.
    • Locate it and double-click it to open it.
  8. Double-click on the .pkg file inside to run the installer.
  9. You may see a warning advising you to back up your Mac.
    • Click OK and then click Continue twice.
  10. Agree to Apple's software license agreement.
  11. Now, click on "Install" and enter your admin password if prompted.
  12. The installer will download.
    • System Preferences Software Update should open with the beta download.
  13. Click on Upgrade Now to download the public beta software when prompted.
    • It will take some time to download the file.
  14. When the download is complete, your Mac should restart.
  15. After a restart, the ‌macOS Monterey‌ installer should launch.
    • If it does not, it can be found in the Applications folder.
  16. From here, click "Continue" and walk through the steps as instructed.
    • You'll agree to the terms and conditions again.
  17. Select the drive that you want to install the public beta on.
    • You can choose your main drive or a partition you've created.
  18. Click Install and enter your administrator password.
  19. Then, click OK, followed by Restart (or wait for your Mac to reboot automatically).
  20. After your Mac restarts, the Monterey installation process will begin.
    • It takes some time for the update to install.
  21. When the installation is finished and your Mac reboots, it will be running the beta.

Can your Mac run the public beta?

If you want to check if it'll run on your system, see our guide on the topic: 

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When will the final version of macOS Monterey roll out?

Apple has seeded several developer and public betas of macOS Monterey so far. We are expecting the final versions of the software update to officially launch for all supported Mac models in October following the company's "Unleashed" event on 18 October. The final version will also be free and downloadable over the air through the App Store on your computer - no Apple beta program required. 

Want to know more about macOS Monterey?

Then check out our comprehensive feature run-down:

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Stuart Miles. Originally published on 1 July 2021.