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How to Upgrade to (and Downgrade from) the iPadOS 15 Beta Safely

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Getting the latest and greatest update for your iPad may seem like a great choice at first, but should you upgrade to the newly announced iPadOS 15 Beta? The new update brings a lot of features and the quickest way to gain access to those with a developer account.

Well, we’ll be taking a look at the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading to the latest beta version and how can you upgrade to it without any hassle. So let’s get started, shall we?

What do you need to know before updating?

It would be best to keep a few things in mind before updating to the latest gen OS. This will help you keep your iPad healthy and maintain the performance it first came with, and those things are:

BackupsBackups are an integral part of keeping your data safe through the updating process. It essentially gives you the power to revert back to the current iPad with all your data intact. This means that if you screw something up in the updating process, you can simply revert back to how your iPad already was instead of starting everything anew.

Compatibility – Compatibility is another significant factor before updating, as not all iPads on the market. The upcoming iPadOS 15 update is said to be compatible with iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models. However, if you have any older devices, you’re out of luck as those won’t work with the new update.

Stability issues – As with every Beta OS and developer release, expect to see stability issues, bugs, and app crashes as the OS is not in the stable build and will likely have problems with apps and other processes. So, if you need a perfectly functional device, we would recommend you to stay away from the Beta update.

Risks of updating – There is a slight chance that you may end up with a bricked iPad while you’re updating through an IPSW image, and it can make your device entirely not functional. So, if you can’t take that risk with a Beta update, stay away from the entire upgrading process.

Developer Program – Apple has a developer program, and it is the only way you can get the Beta update for iPadOS 15. Hence, you need to be in the developer program to get the update, and the subscription will cost you $99. 

Note: If you don’t have a developer profile, you can sign up with the public beta programme linked here and wait for the public release of the beta update scheduled sometime in mid to late July of 2021.

So, now that you have decided on getting on with the update process, let’s take a look at what and how you should proceed further. Well, the first step is to create a backup so let’s look at how you can do so.

How can you make a backup?

Backups are essential for saving your data, and here are the four ways you can make a backup right on your Mac or on iCloud:

Note: You can’t use an iPadOS 15 backup on iPadOS 14 or lower.

1. Finder Backup

You can backup your iPad through Finder using the steps below:

  • Connect your iPad to your Mac and select your iPad in the Finder section as shown above in the image
  • Now, click on the “General” tab and choose “Back up all of the data on your iPad to this Mac.”
  • Select “Encrypt local backup” if you want your backup file to be encrypted
  • Finally, click on the “Back Up Now” button, and the backup will be created.

2. iTunes Backup

You can also use iTunes to create a backup of your iPad, and here’s how you can do so:

  • Connect your iPad, open up the iTunes app, and select the iPad button near the top left of the iTunes window
  • Click on “Summary” and then on the “Back up Now” button to start the backup, as shown above
  • You can also select the “Encrypt Local Backup” button to protect your backups
  • Let the backup be completed, and you will have a complete backup of your iPad.

3. iMazing Backup

iMazing is a third-party app that can help you create quick backups and manage your iPad, and here’s how you can quickly make an iPad backup:

  • Download and install iMazing Backup here and run it.
  • Now connect your iPad and let iMazing scan your device. After your device is visible on the main screen, select your iPad from the left sidebar and click on “Backup”.
  • This will take you to a new screen, and you have to click on the blue “Back Up” button to start the backup process.
  • Let the backup be completed, and you will have a complete local backup stored on your Mac. You can use this backup after you complete your upgrade to iPadOS 15 or if you want to downgrade to iPadOS 14.

4. iCloud Backup

The iCloud Backup is the most accessible backup on the list as it only requires you to have your iPad and a decent internet connection. Here’s how you can use iCloud to backup your device:

  • Go to the “Settings” app on your iPad
  • Now click on your profile and then on “iCloud”.
  • Finally, toggle the “iCloud Backup” button to on and click on the “Back Up Now” button.
  • This will start the backup process, and after it’s finished doing its thing, you can go to iCloud to see all your data present there.

Now that you’ve made a backup let’s get on to the process of upgrading your iPad. Here’s all the information required for upgrading your device.

How to upgrade to iPadOS 15?

Upgrading to iPadOS 15 is not rocket science and can be done in under 30 mins. However, you would need to follow the steps listed below correctly so that you don’t end up bricking your device.

Which version should you choose? (Developer vs Public)

This should be obvious to everyone, so if you’re a developer and have a developer account ready, then get the developer built from the link here. However, if you’re a regular Joe looking to get your iPad to the latest version, get the Public Beta from the link here. Do note that having a developer profile with Apple isn’t easy, and it requires a $99 annual subscription fee. So, if you’re a casual user, we would recommend you go ahead and sign up with the public beta programme, as it is free and is a lot easier to access.

1. Install through OTA update

The OTA update method is the easiest and most convenient method of getting your iPad to the latest version. All you need to have is an iPad and a beta profile that you can get from the links below.

The developer build – https://developer.apple.com/download/

The public beta build – https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

  • Head on to the links above on your iPad and sign in with your profile
  • Now, download the beta profile for the respective betas and install it
  • Confirm the installation by going in the Settings app and then on the “General” section.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on “Profiles”, and click on the iPadOS 15 beta profile and install it by clicking on the “Install” button on the top right of the screen.
  • Once installed correctly, this will enable you to download the latest public beta straight to your iPad from the “Update” section on your iPad.

2. Install through IPSW image file

The second method to get iPadOS 15 Beta on your iPad is through installing it with an IPSW image file. Now, getting hold of this requires you to have a developer account. However, if you don’t have it, you can wait for Apple to release the Public Beta image, or you can get it through someone already with a developer build. Anyways, after you have the image file, you need to run iMazing and follow the process below:

  • Run iMazing and connect your device. Now, select your iPad on the left sidebar and click on the Update iPadOS button.
  • Now, in the following screen, you will get an option to choose your iPadOS image file, and once you have selected it, select the “Back up” button as well and click on the blue “Update” button as shown in the screenshot above.
  • Finally, let the process be completed and if everything goes well, you will be greeted with an iPad with the latest iPadOS 15 Beta installed.

Note: You can also install the IPSW file through Finder by holding down the “alt” key and clicking on the “Update” button, and selecting the IPSW image file, but to our experience, iMazing was just faster and smoother.

Pros and Cons of Upgrading to iPadOS 15 Beta

Pros

  • Early access to all the new features
  • Best in class security updates
  • Performance improvements and a lot more

Cons

  • Bugs and App crashes
  • Instability issues

How to downgrade to iPadOS 14?

If you have upgraded your iPad and are struggling with some performance or stability issues from the Beta update, you still have a chance to revert it back to the stable build. Doing this would get you back to your previous iPadOS version and would make your device entirely stable to use. It will also fix all the issues with apps or any other processes you’re having trouble with. You can use the steps below to get your iPad to feel as it once was.

1. Use Finder to downgrade

Downgrading is much easier than upgrading your iPad, and you can do this through Finder by Restoring your iPad. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to restore a backup. It implies that Finder will download the latest stable iPadOS version and install it on your iPad. You can follow the process below to get your iPad downgraded:

  • Connect your iPad to your Mac and look for it in the sidebar to the left on Finder.
  • Select your iPad and then click on the “General” tab. Now, you need to click on the “Restore iPad” button and then on “Restore” on the pop-up. Let Finder restore the stable iPadOS version on your iPad. You can check the screenshot above for further clarity on the steps.
  • Let the process complete and turn on your iPad and complete the setup process to see that it has been downgraded to iPadOS 14.

2. Use iMazing to downgrade

The other method to downgrade your iPad is through iMazing, and this is as simple as clicking three buttons. You can follow the process below to get your iPad degraded with the help of iMazing:

  • Firstly, run iMazing and connect your iPad. Let the app scan your iPad, and then select it from the left sidebar. Now, click on the “Reinstall iPadOS” button to get to the next screen.
  • Once you’re on the same screen as the screenshot above, simply click on the “Download iPadOS 14.6 from Apple Servers and Install” button and click on the blue “Reinstall button” in the bottom right-hand corner.
  • Let the process complete and follow all the prompts on your iPad to see that it has recovered to the original condition with all your data intact.

Note: You can also restore all the backups you took before and get all your data and apps back as it was before the upgrade and downgrade process.

Bottom line

We hope that this guide will help you upgrade or downgrade to the latest and greatest iPadOS 15 Beta, and if you’ve followed the steps and advice properly, your mind should be at ease with the whole process, and your data should be safe. However, if the worst happens and you end up losing any data or have any other queries, here are tools for iPad data recovery. With that said, we end our guide and wish you an enjoyable beta testing experience.

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