At WWDC 2020 this June, Apple has announced some of the biggest changes ever to operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch and TV. The release of new Macs with Apple Silicon was the biggest show stealer. With the new ARM-based processors and the latest macOS Big Sur, the future of Mac is looking exciting and promising.
Big Sur Beta
While Apple did not specify when Big Sur will be available, the general rule is that it arrives as a free update for users 3-4 months after the announcement. We anticipate a release in late September or early October.
If you are eager to try out Big Sur before the public release this fall, you can try out the Beta version through the Apple Beta Software Program . However, be aware that the Big Sur Beta version may have operating system bugs and is not something you might want to test on your everyday system.
MacOS Big Sur beta version is now available for public on the Apple Beta Software Program. You do not need to spend $100 to get an Apple Developer account just to install the new system.
How to download Big Sur
- Sign up (or sign in) to the Apple Beta Software Program here using your Apple ID: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/welcome
You will be directed to the official page of ‘Guide for Public Betas’
- Scroll down to ‘Get Started’ and click on ‘Enroll your Mac’.
Simply follow the official page guide below to download public beta software on your Mac:
- Back up your Mac with Time Machine, which is Mac’s built-in backup utility. This may take a while depending on the number of files you have on your disk. We recommend cleaning up unused files before backup, to free up your disk space and reduce backup time. You can try Cleaner One Pro to automatically remove files and applications that you do not use.
Now that you are ready with plenty of free disk space and files backed up, go to the ‘Enroll your Mac’ section and click on ‘Download macOS Developer Beta Utility’.
This will prompt the download of the file ‘macOSPublicBetaAccessUtility.dmg’.
Run the dmg file to enrol your Mac to the public Beta program. Once you have completed enrolment, you will be prompted to download the macOS public beta from Software Update in System Preferences. Click Download to get Big Sur Beta.
- The macOS Big Sur installer will launch and guide you to install and set up the new system.
- You will receive a notification from the Software Update if a new public beta is available. Now take your time to explore the new Big Sur system!
Be sure to check if your current Mac supports the new system update before you jump in. Here is the official list of supported devices from Apple.
|MacBook||2015 and later|
|MacBook Air||2013 and later|
|MacBook Pro||Late 2013 and later|
|Mac Mini||2014 and later|
|iMac||2014 and later|
|iMac Pro||2017 and later|
|Mac Pro||2013 and later|
My Mac runs slow on Big Sur, can I downgrade?
If for some reason, you are not enjoying the experience with Big Sur, you can still downgrade to your previous OS version (Catalina or Mojave), depending on your Time Machine backup. You will need to erase your current drive first, and the rest of the process is the same as doing a disk recovery.
Erase your Drive
- Plug your Mac into power as this may take a while.
- Restart your Mac and hold the ‘Command’ and ‘R’ on your keyboard until the Utilities menu appears.
- Choose Disk Utility.
- Click Continue, then click Startup Disk (often shown as ‘Macintosh HD’).
- Click Erase.
- Choose the APFS file format from the list, then click Erase.
- Choose GUID Partition Map and confirm.
*MacOS Mojave and Catalina uses APFS, so you won’t need to mess with the Mac OS Extended system that you may have used in previous versions of macOS. It takes a few minutes to erase the drive.
Wait for this process to finish even if it seems like it is stuck or frozen. Once completed, you can start installing macOS Catalina.
Restore your Backup
Now you can restore your Mac to the previous condition using Time Machine backup.
1.** Restart** your Mac and hold ‘Command’ + ‘R’ on your keyboard to enter the Utilities menu again.
2. Select ‘Restore From Time Machine Backup’.
3. Click Continue, then choose the backup you want to restore from.
4. Click Continue after you choose the latest backup and wait for the restore to complete. *
*The restoring process will take some time to finish, make sure you check on your Mac every 30 to 60 minutes.
Your Mac should return to the state with your previous operating system and data once restoration is completed.
Downgrading is a tedious process, so we recommend checking all new features and compatibility reviews online before you upgrade to Big Sur Beta version.
Alternatively, you can wait for a few more months until the public release of Big Sur OS. You will be able to upgrade to the official release through App Store this Fall.
While you wait, you can prepare your Mac to its top condition for the update with Cleaner One Pro. You can remove junk files, large files, manage your disk storage and remove duplicates, all in one go. Try Cleaner One for free here.