How to Download and Install iPadOS 16 Beta on iPad or iPad Pro Right Now

BY Parth Shah

Published 6 Jun 2022

iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 brings significant updates to the iPad. The public beta is not coming until July, but you might be tempted to install the developer beta on your iPad right away. If that’s the case, check out our guide on how to install iPadOS 16 on your iPad with or without a developer account.

Apple has only released the developer beta of iPadOS 16, with the public beta scheduled to start early next month. This means that you cannot get the iPadOS 16 beta on your iPad by simply jumping on the public beta program. Instead, you will have to get your hands on the IPSW or the developer beta profile to get the update on your device.

iPadOS 16 gets multitasking improvements with Stage Manager, floating apps, updates to system apps, Weather app, Freeform to brainstorm ideas with team members, and more. You can always try iPadOS 16 on your iPad and then restore it to iPadOS 15.6 after a few days. The public beta release of iPadOS 16 is scheduled for July.

Before you start, check the list of iPads compatible with iPadOS 16. We will show you how to install the iPadOS 16 beta using an IPSW firmware file and a developer beta profile. Let’s get started. 

Installing iPadOS 16 Beta on iPad: Things to Know

  • If you want to install the iPadOS 16 beta using the IPSW firmware file, you must have the latest beta of Xcode installed on your Mac.
  • Create a backup of your iPad running iPadOS 15.6. However, it is strongly recommended that you do not restore this backup on your iPad after updating it to iPadOS 16 due to compatibility reasons.
  • Do not use your iPad as a daily driver with iPadOS 16 installed as you are going to run into compatibility and stability issues.
  • Once you install the iPadOS 16 beta on your iPad, you will get OTA updates for future beta releases as well.
  • The OTA update will be around 2-3GB or even higher in size, so make sure you have access to a speedy Wi-Fi connection (connect your iPad to a 5 GHz frequency Wi-Fi network and not the slower 2.4 GHz one).
  • Ensure that your iPad has at least 50% charge or put it on a charge while downloading the OTA update.
  • All device data will remain intact, though it is always recommended to create a backup.

How to Get the iPadOS 16 IPSW Firmware File

To download the iPadOS 16 beta IPSW, you must have an Apple developer account (don’t worry, we have another method as well). If not, you can try getting your hands on the IPSW from other third-party sources or download it from the developer account of your friend or family member. The IPSW file will be noticeably bigger than the OTA file, so make sure you download it on a fast internet connection.

Step 1: Go to Apple’s developer site. If you are not a member, you need to join the program from here.

Step 2: Click on the Discover tab followed by iPadOS on the page that opens.

Step 3: Click on Download and log in with your Apple developer account credentials. You can also directly head over to the Apple Developer download page.

Step 4: From the iPadOS 16 beta section, click on Download Restore Images followed by iPadOS restore image. Then, proceed to download the iPadOS 16 beta IPSW for the device you want to install the OS on.

If you go with the IPSW installation route, you only need to do this the first time around. After that, you will get OTA updates for all future iPadOS 16 beta releases.

How to Install iPadOS 16 Beta Using IPSW Firmware File

Now that you have downloaded the iPadOS 16 IPSW file on your Mac, follow the steps below to install the same on your iPad. 

Step 1: Connect the iPad to your Mac. It should be automatically detected and show up in Finder. On PC, you need to open the iTunes app first. If you connect the iPad to your Mac for the first time, you will have to accept the prompt to trust the computer on the device.

Step 2: Open a new Finder window, and under Locations, you should see the connected iPad. Click on the device name and wait for a few seconds.

Step 3: Hold the Option key and click the Check for Updates button. In the window that opens, select the iPadOS 16 IPSW file you downloaded in Step 1.

Step 4: The installation process will now start. Your iPad will restart during the process. Once done, go through the initial setup process and set up your iPad again. Make sure your iPad is connected to the internet for activation purposes.

If you don’t have access to Mac, you can install the iPadOS 16 beta using the beta profile as well. Here’s how. 

How to Install iPadOS 16 Beta for Free Using Beta Profile

Step 1: Get your hands on the iPadOS 16 beta profile for iPad from your friend or someone in your family who has access to the Developer Account. Alternatively, you can also find the beta profile easily on social media platforms (it will weigh around 100kb in size). AirDrop the file to your iPad or simply email the beta profile to yourself.

Step 2: Proceed to open the emailed iPadOS 16 beta profile link on your iPad. You will be automatically redirected to the iPadOS Beta Software Profile screen once the download is complete. Make sure to use Safari to download the file. If not, just open the Settings app, and you should see the Profile Downloaded option. Tap on it.

Step 3: Go to Settings > General > Profile, where you will see the iPadOS 16 beta profile. You will have to tap on Install three times before selecting the Reboot option. You must first remove the iPadOS 15 beta profile from your iPad before installing the iPadOS 16 beta profile.

Step 4: Once your iPad reboots, head over to Settings > General > Software update. The iPadOS 16 developer beta OTA update should show up for download for your iPad, and you need to press the Download and Install button for the update to start.

If not, wait for a few minutes and try again. If that still does not work, restart your iPad again. Depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi connection, the installation process can take up to a couple of hours or even longer.

Once you install an iPadOS 16 beta on your iPad, it will automatically receive all future beta OTA updates directly from Apple.

A Word of Caution

Since iPadOS 16 is still under development, and this is the first beta we are talking about, there will be plenty of bugs and issues. Ideally, you should report them to Apple so that they are fixed in the next beta or before the final release of the OS later this year. 

Did you install the iPadOS 16 beta on your iPad? How’s your experience so far? Drop a comment with your experience and the new iPadOS 16 features you liked the most.