Apple developers have been toying around with the next version of its desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, for some time and this week it’s the turn of Apple’s adoring customers to lay hands on it.
There are a number of steps to take in order to be able to take advantage of the beta version of the software this Thursday and unleash it on your Apple MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro.
1. Sign up for the beta programme
Apple has been inviting its users to sign up to the beta programme ever since it was unveiled at WWDC 2014 and the good news is that it is still open via this link (opens in new tab). It is capped at just one million users so get over there now if you haven’t already.
2. Back up all data
Once you have signed up for the beta programme, this is as good a time as any to backup all data just in case the worst scenario happens and the OS X crashes. This can be done by using any one of a number of cloud storage services such as Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, or Box. For those that prefer to have a hard copy of the data there is always the trusty Time Machine backup option to an external drive or USB memory stick.
3. Use a separate machine
Some people will have the luxury of two machines that can handle OS X Yosemite and if this is the case then why not run the new version on the machine that’s used least? It means that when the bugs and errors start to crash the machine, you won’t be worried about all your precious files going to waste.
4. Activate the programme
At some point tomorrow Apple will email you a link and an activation code that allows the latest version of Yosemite to be downloaded. Once installed Apple will furnish you with a handful of updates over the next few months and the final update will be automatically installed when it becomes available in the autumn.