A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install IPSW Beta for iPhone and iPad

Installing iOS beta can be an exciting opportunity for iPhone and iPad users to get a glimpse of new features and improvements before they are officially released. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing IPSW beta files on your iOS device.

Please note that beta versions may contain bugs and stability issues, so it’s recommended to install them on non-primary devices or backup your data beforehand.

Will I lose my data when updating using this method?

No, if you follow each step in this tutorial, you will not lose any data, especially be careful at step 6.

Step 1: Prepare Your Device

Before you start the installation process, make sure you have a compatible iPhone or iPad model and have backed up your data using iCloud or iTunes. Additionally, ensure that your device has enough battery life or is connected to a power source during the installation process.

Step 2: Download the IPSW Beta File

To install the beta version, you need download the corresponding beta IPSW file from Apple’s Developer Program website or anywhere else on the internet. These files are typically directly hosted from Apple’s servers with a domain name starting with ‘updates.cdn-apple.com’.

We suggest using ipsw.dev to download .ipsw files for your device. This website continuously updates the latest beta IPSW files directly from Apple’s servers.

Step 3: Connect Your Device to a Computer

Connect your iPhone or iPad to a Mac or PC using a Lightning/USB-C cable.

Make sure you have downloaded the latest version of iTunes if you’re using Windows. If you’re using a Mac, you will need to install either Xcode beta or MobileDevice.pkg, which can be extracted from Xcode beta (two-finger tap or right-click on Xcode beta in the Applications folder, then select Show Package Content > Contents > Resources > Packages > MobileDevice.pkg - this will work on older Macs that do not support the latest macOS or Xcode beta).

Xcode beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer website using your free Apple ID account.

Step 4: Launch iTunes or Finder

Once your device is connected, launch iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to prepare for the installation process.

Step 5: Put Your Device in Recovery Mode

To proceed, you will need to put your device in recovery mode. The steps to enter recovery mode differ depending on the model of your device. Here’s how it’s done:

For iPhone 8 and later models:

  1. Press and release the volume up button.
  2. Press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the recovery mode screen.


For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:

  1. Press and hold the volume down button and the side button simultaneously.
  2. Keep holding both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

For iPad or iPhone 6s and earlier models:

  1. Press and hold the home button and the side (or top) button simultaneously.
  2. Continue holding both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

Step 6: Update Your Device

iTunes or Finder should now display a message indicating that it has detected your device in recovery mode. Click on the “Update” button while holding down the “Option” key (Mac) or the “Shift” key (Windows). This will allow you to select the IPSW beta file you downloaded earlier.

Step 7: Choose the IPSW Beta File

A file selection dialog box will appear. Navigate to the location where you saved the IPSW beta file, select it, and click “Open.”

Step 8: Begin the Installation Process

iTunes or Finder will now begin the installation process. The IPSW beta file will be extracted, and the software update will be applied to your device. Do not disconnect your device during this process, as it may result in an incomplete installation.

Note: You must have an active internet connection as it will check the IPSW signing status before it will proceed with the update.

Step 9: Complete the Setup Process

After the installation is complete, your device will restart and display the “Hello” screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device. You may be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID and restore your data from a backup if desired.

:bulb: Notes/Tips

  • It may be better to close all apps before installing the updates and/or turn off your device for about a minute or restart a few minutes after your device is updated
  • You do not need to install the MobileDevice.pkg from each Xcode beta version unless Finder does not recognize the new iOS beta
  • There is no MobileDevice.pkg equivalent to iTunes for PC which would require a new iTunes to support new/beta iOS
  • If you receive a new iPhone, you can connect to Mac to update or restore your device to the latest iOS before setting up your device.

Installing IPSW beta files on your iPhone or iPad allows you to explore upcoming features and enhancements. Remember to exercise caution and backup your data before proceeding with any beta installations. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to confidently install IPSW beta files and experience the latest iOS features before they become widely available to the public.

Will this be possible for IOS 17?

We have to wait and see if Apple releases the IPSW files for iOS 17 beta.

1 Like

You mention no data is lost after the update. Is this because we restore the backup, or is it only an update, and the data remains without a backup?

Let’s understand it simply like this:

  • Update: Upgrading without losing data.
  • Restore: Upgrading and erasing all data.

That’s why in step 6, you need to click the Update button while holding the Option key to select the .ipsw file.

I’m not getting the file selection dialog box after Option + clicking Update

nothing happens

When I select the file, it says

To update your iPhone to iOS 17.0, you need to install the latest version of iTunes.

However when I click “Check for updates”, I’m told

This version of iTunes (12.12.9) is the current version

Are you using Windows, right? Have you tried installing iTunes from the Microsoft Store?

That’s strange :confused: If you’re using a Mac, you can try using the Apple Configurator app. It can also install .ipsw files like iTunes/Finder.

1 Like

i’m trying to update to a beta ios 16 from an IPad Mini gen 1 running 9.3.5 now. could someone help me with a possible way?

Your iPad has hardware that’s too outdated to update to the latest iPadOS. There’s no way around it except for getting a more powerful, newer iPad.

what about an iPad 3 model A1430 or a Ipad Mini 4th gen, what update can those take?
i did try with 16.7.2 and says are not compatible , please advise

The iPad 3 can be updated to a maximum of iOS 9.3.5.
The iPad mini 4 can be updated to iOS 15.8 (the latest release).