Don't run the iOS 12, macOS 10.14 Mojave betas if you value your data

Posted:
in iPhone
Every year, Apple debuts a new beta version of iOS and macOS right after the WWDC keynote. in beta form. Also every year, people will lose time and money after doing so, and blame Apple for it.

macOS Mojave


The first betas for iOS 12 and macOS Mojave 10.14 came out recently, and it's time for your annual reminder to not install it on your main hardware. Just don't do it.

Maybe you've heard this before. Every year since Apple started wide beta testing, AppleInsider is deluged with emails from users who installed a new beta on their iPhone or Mac and it is now crash city.

To a person, they all ask how to downgrade, and why did Apple ship such a buggy piece of... software.

Every year, we give the same answer. These early updates are very much for developers only, and websites like AppleInsider to take the risks to tell you about it. We've already had a couple of devices that we've had to recover after an installation went bad, and in each case, we had to completely format the drive, and start again.

It's been only less than a day. Look around -- there are trouble reports everywhere, and you know what? That's fine, because it's a first beta of an operating system that won't ship until September at the earliest.

What betas are not intended for, is for you to try install and try to modify that massive Photoshop file for that difficult client that was expecting it yesterday. It is not intended for the iPhone that the school uses to call you, if there's a health problem with your kids.

Why this point is lost, isn't clear to me. What we're seeing again is user beta installation without the awareness that the software is unstable and crash-prone. Unsurprisingly, iPhones and Macs that barely work can be the result.

Crashes and instability this early should be expected. This is what beta releases are for, to find the sources and exterminate them ruthlessly. A public beta will launch later this month, and perhaps that version will be less buggy, but you should still wait unless you've got spare gear.

All hope is not (quite) lost

You've got time to revert if you're on iOS. You can visit ipsw.me and find your model number to download the appropriate install file. Then you'll need to disable Find My iPhone, put your device into DFU mode, and queue up iTunes on your Mac or PC to select "Restore and Update," installing the latest publicly available version of iOS.

Things are slightly better on the Mac for crisis recovery. There, you could install the new macOS version on a partition or external drive, and keep your regular macOS install (relatively) safe.

Seriously, though. Please, don't do it on your main gear. If you do, you'll be sorry, sooner or later. And if you do, I hope you've got good backups, and time on your hands for disaster recovery.

And, when those problems develop, they are on you, not on Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    _rick_v__rick_v_ Posts: 141member
    Wanting to run this awesome cool beta, I googled for and downloaded it from some weird site.  Now, not only is my Mac crashing, but so is every other computer on my network!  Apple broke my network!

    /s

    cornchipSgt Storms(trooper)anton zuykovjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    I plan to have iOS 12 Beta 1 installed on my iPhone X tonight. Apple advises backing up devices before installing Beta software so FUD articles like this one is just more clickbait nonsense in my opinion.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    As a former Apple QA engineer I got a great belly laugh reading this delightful 101 primer for the dimwitted and woefully naive.
    cornchipbonobobracerhomie3Sgt Storms(trooper)netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,335member
    I am not a developer, and have never installed a beta OS on any product. I am a very happy person.
    Sgt Storms(trooper)watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Tesla Autopilot = beta
    bonobobSgt Storms(trooper)cornchipcincyteewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,896member
    I plan to have iOS 12 Beta 1 installed on my iPhone X tonight. Apple advises backing up devices before installing Beta software so FUD articles like this one is just more clickbait nonsense in my opinion.
    Its not a FUD article at all. So many times we hear about someone installing a beta OS and then bitching because it operates like shit and they had to wipe their device and put it back to the previous OS. Same goes for macOS as well.
    MisterKitgatorguySgt Storms(trooper)netmagewillcropointStrangeDaysmelgrosswatto_cobrachia
  • Reply 7 of 32
    sage advice. although if you are developer and you don’t know this you should really be changing jobs. If you are a developer and complain about betas ruining you data you should be fired.
    Sgt Storms(trooper)netmagewillcropointwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,098member
    If you want to live life on the edge but still have a safety net you should at least consider installing betas on to a VMWare or Parallels virtual machine. If if fails miserably, no big deal. 
    Sgt Storms(trooper)watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 262member
    It is fun to install and use the betas, that is if you have some extra compatible devices to try them on. Bring on the public betas!!!
    Sgt Storms(trooper)watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    I plan to have iOS 12 Beta 1 installed on my iPhone X tonight. Apple advises backing up devices before installing Beta software so FUD articles like this one is just more clickbait nonsense in my opinion.
    The article isn’t aimed at developers. This is for the unwashed zombie-like hordes of mouth-breathing cockwombles who will rush out and install this software without so much as a glance at the warning page. 
    aegeanSgt Storms(trooper)cornchipStrangeDayswatto_cobradamn_its_hot
  • Reply 11 of 32
    aegeanaegean Posts: 114member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I plan to have iOS 12 Beta 1 installed on my iPhone X tonight. Apple advises backing up devices before installing Beta software so FUD articles like this one is just more clickbait nonsense in my opinion.
    The article isn’t aimed at developers. This is for the unwashed zombie-like hordes of mouth-breathing cockwombles who will rush out and install this software without so much as a glance at the warning page. 
    LOL!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Haha, always happens every year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 715editor
    Apple's advice to developers is to have a device dedicated to development, and install on that, not a primary use device. 

    There are some bugs that really only exhibit themselves on a primary use device. Some developers will install a beta on a primary use device in order to find and report those bugs, but they choose to do so, knowing the risks.

    As opposed to non-developer people I know personally who install betas because they want the shiny new feature, and ask me, "what do you think about installing the beta?" "That's a bad idea, Lou." (a week passes) "So, I installed the beta. It's fine. I don't know why they don't release it to everyone right now. You know what I think? I think you and they are just trying to keep a hype cycle going." "OK, Lou."

    And it happens every year. Which is why we run an article like this, every year.
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 715editor
    sage advice. although if you are developer and you don’t know this you should really be changing jobs. If you are a developer and complain about betas ruining you data you should be fired.
    If you're a self-employed developer... 🤔
    cornchipchia
  • Reply 15 of 32
    Rayz2016 said:
    ...the unwashed zombie-like hordes of mouth-breathing cockwombles...
    My new favorite insult. Thank you.
    edited June 2018 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    pcor59pcor59 Posts: 1member
    Nice advice.
    I can imagine how many people, despite the warnings, are ready to complain about every beta crash.
    Personally I decided to use iOS beta on my iPhone and macOS stable on my MacBook.
    Just my 2 cents:  after 34 years in Information Technology, speaking about software, I consider "alpha" what many people call "beta", and "beta" what all call "stable"  ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    You should probably not sign in to your main cloud account with beta software either, even if the software is running on a spare computer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    kbeatkbeat Posts: 47member
    Even more fun is reading the forums on the actual dev and seed sites dedicated to authorized early users discussing issues and solutions with the releases. Despite the fact that you should absolutely know what you're doing, and what you're getting into, if you're authorized to be on those forums, you constantly get "that's it, I'm done with Apple/macOS/iOS/Safari/Insert Here forever" after they run into some bug that kills their workflow at the moment. They are positively indignant that such a bug could exist, even though their role in testing the software in the first place is to find and report such bugs.  :/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 497member
    I think there’s a perception out there that ‘beta’ is just an exclusive early adopters club for people who are in the know.  It’s good to at least try to remind them that it is for people who actually are in the know, and are prepared to put out frequent brush fires along with an occasional nuclear explosion, in order report back in detail what happened. 
    watto_cobrachia
  • Reply 20 of 32
    As a former Apple QA engineer I got a great belly laugh reading this delightful 101 primer for the dimwitted and woefully naive.
    The face of today's average iPhone user. Not only do they expect their battery on their 3 year old device to work as good as it did when it was new, they expect beta software to work flawlessly.  😂
    watto_cobra
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