The MacOS Catalina public beta is live. Here’s how to download it

everything apple announced at wwdc 2019 macos catalina
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you’re eager to try out some of the new features that Apple has planned for its next major MacOS update, known as Catalina, you can now download it from Apple’s Apple Beta Software Program. It’s open to any Apple user with a valid AppleID. The official public release in September of this year will likely prove to be more stable, but if you like your operating system cutting edge and are a little persnickety, then you can dive in now and get ahead of the game.

If you want to learn more about MacOS Catalina first, you can read all about new features like Sidecar and Project Catalyst, here.

Step 1: Join the Apple Beta Software Program

how to download macos catalina appledeveloper01

If you’re haven’t already, you need to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. It gives you access to the latest large-scale beta operating system releases for iOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and TVOS that are stable enough to make it out of the developer-only beta track. Test driving public beta software lets you tap into advanced capabilities in certain apps and fast-tracks your access to Apple technical support, as beta testers allow them to polish their software before the official release.

Best of all, the Apple Beta Software Program is free to join. If you are curious about how it works and what to expect, you can learn more from the program’s FAQ page.

Step 2: Backup your Mac

If you have anything important on your Mac, we’d recommend backing it up to an external drive or cloud storage service. Updating to a new and somewhat unstable version of MacOS carries with it some risk of running into problems during the installation process. If you’ve backed everything up beforehand, then reverting to the old install is quick and easy.

If you need help backing up your Mac, follow these step by step instructions.

Step 3: Download MacOS Catalina

If you’ve made sure you’ve backed everything up and signed up for the Beta Software Program, it’s time to actually download and install MacOS 10.15 Catalina. Head to the Beta Software Program login page, sign in with your AppleID, and select the Download button. Scroll through the list of potential downloads until you find MacOS 10.15 Catalina Beta 1.

Select the Download link next to it to begin the download.

Step 4: Install the update

Once it’s finished, open the newly downloaded package file ending in the “.pkg” file extension and follow the onscreen instructions. The update utility will then grab Catalina from Apple servers. Once fully downloaded, it will prompt you to start the update. If you want to perform it on your main drive (only recommended if you’ve fully backed it up first) then follow the on-screen instructions and when prompted, select Install to begin.

If you’d rather install the new update to a different partition, when given the option, select Show all disks, and then choose the partition you want to install it on before continuing.

Note: If you’re installing this on a MacBook, we’d recommend plugging in the power cord if you haven’t already. You don’t want a dead battery to interrupt your install, as this can seriously corrupt your data.

Once the install is finished, you’ll have a new MacOS Catalina installation that you can use to your heart’s content.


Will the Surface Pro 7 ditch Intel chips for Qualcomm’s 5G support?

Microsoft might announce a new Surface Pro 7 towards the end of this year and according to new rumors, it might do with a new chip under the hood. Not an Intel chip though, but one from AMD, or even Qualcomm.

Not on my watch: How to fix the most annoying Apple Watch problems

Have you been struggling with one or several Apple Watch problems? Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common issues people are having, along with a few workarounds and fixes for dealing with them.
Movies & TV

20 Netflix hacks, tips, and tricks to make your streaming experience better

Netflix's tried-and-true formula hardly begs for improvement, but you can get even more out of your subscription with these 20 Netflix tips and tricks, sure to improve your online streaming experience.
Home Theater

Get the most out of your Chromecast with these handy tips

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.

Track down a lost phone with these simple solutions for Android and iPhone

Need to know how to find a lost phone? We have a simple guide right here that will help you to locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older model.

You can get a 2018 MacBook Air for just $999 with this latest deal from B&H

Other retailers like B&H are offering their own sweet laptop deals during Prime Day 2019. In fact, you can score a 13-inch 2018 MacBook Air with a Retina display at a $100 discount from B&H right now.

Amazon Prime Day discounts makes upgrading to RTX graphics even more affordable

Looking to upgrade your graphics card? Today may be the day to do it, thanks to Amazon's Prime Day shopping event. Amazon is offering Prime members steep discounts off of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, or RTX 2070 graphics.

Upgrade your gaming rig with our favorite graphics cards for every budget

If you're serious about games, a good graphics card is essential. There’s no one-size-fits-all option for graphics cards, but our recommendations can help you pick from the best graphics cards for your needs.

AMD or Intel? We take a look at the pros and cons of both processors

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.

The best mouse deals for Prime Day 2019: Razer, Logitech, and more

This year's big shopping event, Amazon Prime Day, offers some fantastic discounts on mice. We've scoured this year's sales and made picks for what we think are the best mice you can buy on Prime Day.

Keep your portable computer safe and shiny with the best laptop bags for 2019

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.

Amazon Prime Day deal slashes $200 off of this MacBook Pro

Amazon’s Prime Day deals have extended to Apple’s MacBook Pro, with deep discounts galore. You can save $200 on a 2018 MacBook Pro, making it a superb bargain if you’re in the market for a MacBook.

Walmart Prime Day sale: 4K TV, Apple Watch, and Nintendo Switch Deals

The Walmart Prime Day sale continues to go strong as the first day of Amazon's 48-hour deals event comes to a close. There are loads of great Apple Watch, Nintendo Switch, and 4K TV deals going on right now.

Don't pay for that app! These top-notch screen recorders are absolutely free

Our list of the best free screen recorders showcases some of the top apps for capturing video on your computer - without paying for the feature. Whether you're in a business or on your own, take a look at the these options.