How to download iOS 18 on your iPhone right now

It’s that time of year again when Apple lifts the curtain on its latest major operating system updates, showcasing the first developer previews. At WWDC 2024, Apple introduced iOS 18, promising a slew of exciting “Apple Intelligence” AI enhancements for the latest iPhone models. This update also boasts a more customizable home screen, significant redesigns for the Control Center and Photos apps, new effects in Messages, and much more.

While the new features are tantalizing, remember we’re still in the very early developer beta stages. The polished final release of iOS 18 isn’t expected until September, coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 16 models. Until then, expect a bumpy ride as the software matures.


Step 1: Back Up Your iPhone

If you’re daring enough to install an early developer beta on your primary iPhone, make sure you back it up first. This is a good idea before any major iOS update, but it’s crucial for a developer beta. Apple designs these betas for test devices without important data, so there’s no guarantee your information will survive the update.

Additionally, Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover iPhones running iOS betas. Should you need to take your iPhone in for repairs, you’ll have to revert to the last stable release of iOS 17. Follow our guide on how to back up your iPhone to ensure you have a fallback plan.

iCloud backups are the simplest method, provided you have enough storage. However, we also recommend making a backup to your Mac or PC. You can’t restore a backup made from a newer iOS version onto a device running an older version. Having a computer backup ensures you can revert to iOS 17 if needed, even if it’s a bit outdated.


Step 2: Register Your Apple ID to Receive the Betas

Gone are the days when you had to shell out $99 annually for Apple’s Developer Program to access developer betas. Now, simply sign up for a free Apple Developer account. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Apple Developer Program website at
  2. Select Account from the menu.
  3. Sign in with your Apple ID and follow the prompts.
  4. Agree to the Apple Developer Agreement by checking the box and selecting the Submit button.

If you participated in last year’s beta program, you don’t need to repeat this process. Just proceed to the next section to install the developer beta.


Step 3: Install the iOS 18 Beta on Your iPhone

Once you’re registered, getting the beta is straightforward. No more complicated profiles—just a simple toggle in your settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Select Beta Updates (this option appears if your Apple ID is part of a beta program).
  5. Choose iOS 18 Developer Beta.
  6. Select Back to return to the main software update screen, where the iOS 18 Developer Beta should appear.
  7. Select Update Now to start the download and installation.

The download and installation process can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. Once complete, your iPhone will restart with the new beta installed.

The iOS 18 Developer Beta setting will remain active in Software Update, ensuring you receive future beta updates. To stop receiving new betas, switch the Beta Updates setting to Off. This won’t revert your iPhone to iOS 17; you’ll need to restore from a Mac or PC for that. We recommend keeping updates enabled, as newer betas generally improve performance and stability.


Enjoy the Beta, But Proceed with Caution

Remember, early betas are rough around the edges. Expect app incompatibilities and reduced battery life. Apple won’t service devices running betas, so be prepared to revert to iOS 17 if you need repairs.

Happy beta testing! And if things get too dicey, you can always switch back and wait for the stable release in September.