iOS 17 beta: How to get the developer beta for free

The developer beta of iOS 17 announced at WWDC 2023 is free to download for all iPhone users.

For the first time, Apple has made access to developer betas open to everyone(opens in a new tab). Previously, access required membership to Apple’s Developer Program which cost $99 a year. But with iOS 17, you don’t have to be a subscribing member of the program to download the update and test it out for yourself. Here’s how to do it.


WWDC 2023: iOS 17 updates core features and adds a new Journal app

iOS 17 developer beta: Be ready for bugs

First things first. The iOS 17 developer beta will be buggy. Software updates are initially rolled out to developers and testers for a reason. Companies like Apple rely on developer programs for their expertise in seeking out and reporting bugs before it can be deployed to the masses. If you download the iOS 17 developer beta, expect to run into bugs and issues. Think of this version as an almost-final draft that still needs a few tweaks and refinements.

Backup your iPhone

Because the iOS 17 developer beta isn’t going to run smoothly like your current iOS, be sure to make a backup of your device before installing. This way you can revert back to your previous iOS 16 update if things go wrong.

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Even better, if you have another iPhone kicking around that you never traded in or keep for emergencies, install iOS 17 on that one instead. Note: iOS 17 isn’t supported on iPhone Xs or earlier, so make sure the device you’re using is compatible. Here’s a full list of all iPhones compatible with iOS 17.

How to install the iOS 17 developer beta

Before you do anything, make sure your iPhone is running on the latest version of iOS 16.

1. Go to the Apple Developer site

Open Safari on your iPhone and go to in a new tab). Click the parallel lines icon in the top left corner and go to Account in the dropdown.

Account dropdown on the Apple developer site

Tap account to get started.
Credit: Apple

2. Sign in with Apple ID

Here, you’ll be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. No special developer ID needed, just your regular old Apple ID that you use for everything else.

Apple ID sign in page on the Apple developer site

Sign in with your Apple ID.
Credit: Apple

3. Agree to the terms

After this you’ll get a two-factor authentication code sent to your devices. Input the code to allow access. Go back to your Account in the dropdown. Here you’ll be prompted with a legal agreement for participating in the developer beta. Read and check the confirmation box at the bottom and tap Submit.

4. Find the iOS 17 developer beta in Software Update

Close Safari and open Settings > General > Software Update. You should see a button for Beta Updates. Open this page and select iOS 17 Developer Beta from the list.

iOS 17 developer beta option in the Software Update setting

Tap iOS 17 Developer Data in the Software Update setting.
Credit: Apple

5. Download and Install

Back on the Software Update page, you’ll see the iOS 17 developer beta available to install. Tap Download and Install. This should take a few minutes.

iOS 17 download page in Software Update

Tap Download and Install to get started with iOS 17.
Credit: Apple

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