Guide to installing iOS 5 beta

[Update: Mon 7 November] Manually updating to iOS 5.

[Update: Thu 13 October] iOS 5 is now available! Download iTunes 10.5 first, then update your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to iOS 5.

[Update: Saturday 23 July] iOS 5 beta 4 is now available: Over the air software updates is now possible.

[Update: Tuesday 12 July] iOS 5 beta 3 is now available. Find out how to match your version of iOS with the right version of iTunes for a trouble free upgrade.

[Update: Sunday 26 June] iOS 5 beta 2 – important – back up your 10.5 beta 1 iOS devices before installing iTunes 10.5 beta 2. More information available at Guide to installing iOS 5 beta 2 – what to do if you see "iPhone could not be synced because the sync session failed to start".
Error message: "iPhone could not be synced because the sync session failed to start"

[Update: Sunday 12 June] A separate set of instructions for installing iOS 5 beta on the Apple TV is also available.

iOS 5 was announced and released at the World Wide Developers Conference today. In order to try out the latest beta version of iOS 5 you need to be a member of Apple's iOS Developer Program. This article is a simple guide to install iOS 5 beta on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

If you aren't a developer a preview of what iOS 5 can do can be seen on the Apple website.

Before you start

  • You need a Mac.
  • Make sure that your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch has been registered as a development device in the iOS Provisioning Portal in the Members Center. This process requires your device's Unique Device ID (UDID). To get this, launch iTunes, connect your device, go to the Summary tab and click on 'Serial number'. This will toggle and show the UDID. 
  • Please be aware that once you upgrade to iOS 5 beta, there is no going back to iOS 4.

Installing iOS 5 beta on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

  1. Login to the Apple Developer Member Centre and go to the iOS Dev Center. 
  2. Download iTunes 10.5 beta and the appropriate iOS 5 beta for your iOS device.
  3. Install iTunes 10.5 beta.
  4. Double-click 'ios_5_beta__XXXXXX.dmg' to mount the image. 
  5. Launch iTunes and connect your iOS device. Click Sync and make sure that a fresh backup has been made.
  6. Hold down the Option key and click 'Restore'. Navigate to the mounted image and select the xxxxxxx.ipsw file. 
    [3 Aug 2011] If you encounter Error 20 during this process, please see this article Error 20 – how to solve
  7. iTunes will then wipe your device and install iOS 5 beta (make sure you've made a fresh backup – see step 5). Follow the instructions. This will take a few minutes and your device reboot during this process.
  8. iTunes will inform you that your device has been recognised as a registered development device.
  9. iTunes will then ask you to restore from a backup. It should default to the last backup and the 'Last Synced' field should confirm this. Click Continue. The restoration process takes about 20 minutes.
  10. After the restore process all your data such as e-mail, text messages, contacts and photos should be restored.
  11. Your device will then take you through a series of setup screens including your Apple ID . Setting up iCloud is just a matter of flicking on the On switch.
  12. You are now done and iOS 5 will start to synchronise your apps, books, contacts, calendars, photos and music to your device over WiFi and in the background. 

Congratulations, you no longer need to connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to a PC and iTunes for updates.

Note: if you receive an error 3002, it's because you did Option-Upgrade rather than Option-Restore. See step 6.

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