Install & Run iOS 6 Beta Without UDID Activation or a Developer Account

Jun 16, 2012 - 73 Comments

iOS 6 Beta

Though we certainly wouldn’t recommend this, it turns out you can install iOS 6 beta onto an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, without using a developer account and without having to deal with UDID activation. It’s actually a lot easier to do than you’d think, and as long as the iOS device meets the compatibility requirements and you don’t mind the potentially iffy nature of the process, CultOfMac says you’re good to go.

We haven’t confirmed this specific method of installing iOS 6 but we’ll relay their instructions for the adventurous, before that understand a few caveats though: iOS 6 is in the earliest stages of its beta life, this means its generally unstable, some features don’t work, many apps don’t work. It’s absolutely not intended for a wide audience beyond developers who are building their apps for the platform. Attempting this could be harmful to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, and nobody is responsible for that but yourself. Proceed at your own risk.

  1. Install iTunes 10.6.3 and launch it
  2. Download iOS 6 beta IPSW for your device either through the Dev Center, get it from a friend, or get creative with Google as CultofMac suggests
  3. Connect the iOS device to the computer and perform a backup by right-clicking and choosing “Back Up”, let this finish before continuing
  4. Hold down the Option key in OS X (Windows use Shift key) and click on “Update” to use IPSW updating
  5. Select the iOS 6 IPSW file you downloaded, updating the device to iOS 6 beta

When finished, the device should reboot into iOS 6 beta.

Remember, this is beta software, meaning it’s not intended for widespread consumption and many things will not behave as intended. If you try this out don’t be surprised if you experience a buggy OS.

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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPad, iPhone

73 Comments

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  1. Emilio Graveran says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that you’ll get an error somewhere along the lines of “this device isn’t eligible for this build” or something without the UDID being registered with Apple? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Steven Chorkley says:

      No this is not true, the way this happens is a glitch and skips check as you restore you devise on ios5 the update installs as an update and doesn’t check apples servers!

      • ForeverSad says:

        Well I guess that’s just on iTunes side of the world. I had the misfortune of getting through all of it until I got to the iOS 6 beta setup part. That’s where I discovered I shot myself in the foot because, well it told me that my device was not registered for the beta. Oh well. At least iCloud is there for me still.

  2. Glen says:

    Interesting, I verified it does work with an iPod touch. I’m a real registered developer though so this isn’t too useful for me ;)

    • Khalil says:

      I need your help urgently I updated my iphone to the Beta 2, yet it won’t work. It’s telling the device is not registered as part of iPhone developer program!!! How can I solve this please help!!!

      • Aether says:

        Apple has fixed the bug where it does not connect to its servers. Therefore, you need to get a UDID at the cheapest from imzdl.com and then repeat the steps here

        • me says:

          Im running 6 beta 2 and its stuck at the activation screen and won’t restore and im not sure what to do to open the DMG file. i downloaded a file opener, but it wont work..
          my uncle put my on 6, and hes registered

  3. Danilo says:

    Is it works on iPhone 4 ?

    • Tyler says:

      It does work on iphone 4!!I have ios 6 beta 2 and nothing is really wrong at all. I didn’t need any info i set it up like ios 5…

  4. DPM says:

    I’m confused, the UDID checking happens upon boot of iOS 6 the first time. All the steps listed are normal steps required to install a different iOS on your iDevice (if you don’t go through the user update procedure).

    How does this bypass the first UDID check to make sure your iDevice is listed as a developer device in the iOS developer portal?

    • zzten says:

      Apparently the UDID check never happens… it’s probably a bug that will get fixed quick.

    • Alex says:

      This is something that Apple has let slip in the past, and I’m wondering if they didn’t leave this open on purpose, so that their tech savvy users could test the new OS at their own expense…

  5. Glenn Burns says:

    better to just WAIT!!!

  6. Ryan More says:

    I also am a real developer for apple. Tried it on my phone before registering it with the DEV portal and it doesn’t work on iPhone 4S.

    Emilio Graveran was right you do get an error when you try to downgrade from iOS 6 to 5.1.1.

    • Chrisag86 says:

      I have an iPhone 4S and am currently running ios 6. It works just fine. You have to download the new version of iTunes and reboot to ios 5.1.1 and set up as a new phone. Then you do the shift left click on update and choose the ios 6 file you downloaded. Boom you have the beta. Simple.

    • Sparky says:

      Would this actully work on the iphone 4? Or do u know when that is coming out in the fall?

  7. Barry prentice says:

    I may be wrong but when updating you don’t need to activate the phone it’s only when you do a restore to factory settings that it needs reactivating. As for downgrading to 5.1.1 try putting into dfu mode first, it worked for me.

    • Dean Reid says:

      It worked fine for me until I tried restoring so I could do an update… phone got bricked and wouldn’t let me do anything. I tried dfu mode for downgrading, to 5.1.1 but it failed, but it found the latest 6.0 update which is downloading now!

  8. 911 says:

    Warning for people doing this – Normally Apple checks for developer ID’s (UDID) on these beta’s – and if this version isn’t checking, next version may. The big problem – it can be much harder (perhaps impossible) to roll back to a stable version of 5 if you are already using 6 – and most importantly – these beta’s expire after a few months as they roll out new ones (which there is no guaranttee of being easily installable as this one is.) Point being – there is a decent chance you may brick your phone a month or two down the line if you try this.

  9. I confirm it’s perfectly working
    I tried it once before with my 1st generation iPad and iOS4 beta
    and I did it 2 days ago with my iPhone 4S and iOS 6 beta
    I guess the most reliable way is to fresh restore iOS 5 ( with no jailbreak ), activate, and then update to iOS 6 beta.

  10. Peter says:

    Real link to download ios6 beta

  11. Paul says:

    didn’t work for me. its telling me in not registered dev. ah well

  12. Jack says:

    I have tried this already, it does not work. It simply bricks your device and says something like: You do not have permission to use this file. I would be surprised if this works. Can someone reply saying if this really does work?

  13. B says:

    I have been running the beta flawlessly since Thursday. There were no issues with the install. My only concern would be that if the next beta wont install and the current beta expires like previous betas from ios5.

  14. B says:

    Also I used the new Maps app for a short trip outta town and it worked very well with a clean UI during nav. The only issue was the voice assist volume is mixed too high compared to music playing. I do have the 4S so I cant speak for others since not all features will be available on other devices.

  15. D says:

    Im a dev with Apple too, i put iOS6 on my iPhone4 then downgraded quite easy in DFU mode.

    the reason i downgraded was because Maps didn’t work which i use on occasion.

    if someone is a none dev and want to use ANY beta iOS, its not exactly smart. its a beta…not everything is going to work properly

    • Peter says:

      Maps is working quite well!!!
      Be sure not to activate Facebook. For that screws up Maps!

      • D says:

        maybe its cuz I’m in Canada, but there wasn’t any map details at all. just a blinking pin for my location.
        i didn’t have Facebook on.
        no big deal really, it is a beta.

        i just don’t think that people who aren’t dev’s should be playing with any beta iOS, cuz usually you hear them whine it bricked their phone when Apple clearly warns about this. if you’re not a dev….then beware and don’t expect compensation lol

  16. Marcos says:

    I did it few days ago and I must say: It’s working on my iPhone better than Mountain Lion Preview 4 on my Mac.

  17. Bruno Gama says:

    and remember: don’t be a a-hole and give a bad reviews in the app store if you are running iOS 6 beta DEVELOPER PREVIEW.

  18. Christopher says:

    Once beta 2 is released it wouldn’t surprise me if this bricks your phone.

    • As stated above:

      Nope. I did this when iOS 6 beta 1 was released, and it’s updated to beta 2, beta 3, and now beta 4 through Settings->General->Software Update with no issues, and since the next release should be the Gold Master, you’re all good.

  19. 619 says:

    not compatible with ipad 1

  20. Dii says:

    If you don’t have your UDID registered there are things you will not be able to do… For example apple ID / phone number merging will not work.

  21. jonathan says:

    what does it mean hold the command key and click update? im in itunes with the 10.6.3, and idk where to click the button buz it doesnt say update anywhere…

    • f10M4N31 says:

      Idk about what it says for Macs, but for Windows, it should say “Restore”. HERE ARE THE EASY STEP TO RESTORING TO iOS 5.1.1 (WINDOWS):

      1. Open iTunes and make sure sync cable is plugged into
      computer, NOT iDevice
      2. Power off iDevice
      3. HOLD DOWN on Home button while plugging sync cable into
      iDevice and KEEP HOLDING DOWN on Home button for a few
      seconds.
      4. iDevice should go into DFU/Recovery mode
      5. [Shift] click on “Restore” and locate 5.1.1 software.

      NOW YOUR iDEVICE SHOULD BE FRESHLY RESTORED ON iOS 5.1.1.

  22. Justin says:

    This works I have done it can alleys go back to 5.1.1 cos I have the ipsw file for 5.1.1 iOS 6 Is ok but full of bugs will go back to 5.1.1 I think

  23. Justine says:

    This has been working for me flawlessly since the weekend (no restore, just straight up upgrade to iOS 6, latest iTunes, iPhone 4S) but I’m scared my phone will get bricked when Beta 2 gets released. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

    • No, it won’t:

      Nope. I did this when iOS 6 beta 1 was released, and it’s updated to beta 2, beta 3, and now beta 4 through Settings->General->Software Update with no issues, and since the next release should be the Gold Master, you’re all good.

  24. Tony says:

    Hi Justin..Im a retired ios developer when apple bring out ios beta 2 chances are it will brick your device i sugest you put it back to ios 5.1.1 at least when the proper ios which you’ll recieve in the fall will work fine, ok matey..ive been tempted my self but to use the beta but i know that could happen…ok….

    • Alex says:

      But Apple is still actively signing iOS 5.1.1 because it’s the current firmware, so it should be dead simple to downgrade back to a stock IPSW even after Beta 2 becomes available, right?

  25. sam says:

    FU this screwed up my phone and i dont know how to go back to normal. Someone please help me, I am stuck.

    • JK says:

      Your own fault. You were warned. No one did this but you.

    • Stephan says:

      still need help ?

      do you see the activation screen on your iphone ? plug it into itunes and it will detect the status – you can download the ipsw file via itunes (pretty automatic) the rest is just wait and tada your iphone will come to live again

    • JOHNNY 5IVE says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! SHAME!

  26. Nick says:

    @John Your a saint.

  27. Nick says:

    @John Your a saint.YO PEEPS! If your like me and you dont want iOS 6.1 beta anymore, all you have to do is hook your iPhone into your computer, download the 5.1.1 FW version, then make your iPhone go into DFU mode, then go into Itunes, click on your iphone icon in itunes, hold shift and alt and then click restore then a window will come up, from there select the 5.1.1 FW and then click open. Your iPhone will now be restoring to the 5.1.1 FW and once your iPhone boots up, your all good! Hope this helped

  28. Morgan says:

    so i’ve been having trouble with the maps off and on today…. the transit part doesn’t work for its life, which i noticed it wouldn’t be since it isn’t through google maps anymore… (which i don’t understand why they dropped in the first place)…. the map seemed to work at first, then throughout the day got progressively worse, first with the “server not responding” when trying to get directions, then the map just stopped showing the actual map altogether, just a grid….
    given that my phone had already done a backup while in iOS 6, i didn’t realize i’d have such a problem restoring it from that backup when attempting to downgrade it back to 5.1.1.. after trying to restore the backups more than once, iOS 6 seemed to work decently again…..
    here’s my question….
    when a new beta rolls out, will i be able to easily upgrade it again, or will this “bricking” actually occur? and if this bricking occurs, will i be able to just downgrade and wait for the final release in the fall like the rest of the world?

  29. Kenn says:

    Will this work on the new apple tv?

  30. Brianna says:

    Downloaded the file and got the message that I’m not a developer. Tried to dfu restore my phone and it won’t take. Any idea as to how to fix this??

  31. Doesnt matter says:

    I have the ios 6 beta link but when i choose it when i do the restore and open the file it says my firmware file isnt compitable. HELP?

    • Gareth Smith says:

      make sure you have a:
      iphone 3gs
      iphone 4
      iphone 4s
      ipod touch 4th generation
      ipad 2
      the new ipad
      if you have tried the devices meantioned then post back

  32. Atwal says:

    After reading this post i was able to fire up my iphone 4 with iOS 6 beta 2 without udid and till now its working fine.
    Now there’s iOS 6 beta 3 out, can i just update it via OTA….??? Is it safe ??? Help Someone….

  33. muun says:

    this DOES NOT work on beta 3 btw

  34. Steve says:

    works fine for me..

  35. aldarion says:

    Is this still work? Iphone 4 8gb.

  36. mario says:

    one things that work for me to baypass ios 6 activation screen is to download diskaid then scroll to “filesystem/root/setup.app” and delete the folder “setup.app” then reboot thethred ………finish

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