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macOS Sierra public beta coming today: Here's how to get started

If you want to get your hands on the next version of the Mac operating system, now’s your chance. Apple on Thursday is releasing the public beta of macOS Sierra, the successor to OS X EL Capitan.

To get the beta, you must sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program, which requires an Apple ID. The Sierra beta installer is downloaded through the Mac App Store.

Before running the installer, be sure to back up your data. Remember, this is beta software, and it’s possible that some of the software you have may have problems.

There are a couple of conditions that Apple has if you want to use the Sierra beta:

  • You’re encouraged to use the bundled Feedback Assistant app to tell Apple about any issues you have with the Sierra beta.

  • The Sierra beta is “Apple confidential information.” Essentially, it’s for your eyes only. You’re not supposed to post screenshots of the Sierra beta on the internet, and you’re not supposed to discuss the software with anyone who is not also enrolled in the Beta Software Program.

Installing the beta will not void your Mac’s warranty. And when the final version of Sierra is released this fall, you can upgrade from the beta.

If you install the beta and decide later that you want to go back to your previous operating system, you have to erase your drive completely, reinstall the previous operating system, and then restore your data from a backup.

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