How To Install iOS 6 Without A Developer Account

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We're still digging up new iOS 6 features. Image courtesy of William Gamache (madmonorailprods@bell.net).
Too impatient to wait for iOS 6's public release? Install it now. Image courtesy of William Gamache (madmonorailprods@bell.net).

Itching to get your hands on the iOS 6 beta Apple released on Monday? Well, right now, it’s only available to registered developers. But according to some, there is a way you can install iOS 6 on your device. The process is incredibly simple, and all you need is the latest iTunes release and the iOS 6 .ipsw file for your device.

According to iPhone developers, you can install iOS 6 on an unregistered device as easily as you can on a registered one. Before we tell you how to do it, there’s some stuff we need to get out of the way. It’s boring, but important.

First, iOS 6, as you know, is still in beta, and a very early beta at that. That means that not everything works as it should, and that you can almost guarantee at least some of your favorite apps won’t function. Second, this firmware is intended for registered developers only. Although it can reportedly be installed on unregistered devices, there’s a very good chance you could be one of the unlucky ones who gets stuck with a device that won’t work.

Finally, we haven’t tested this so we cannot confirm anything. Those who have tested it have reported mixed results; while it works well for some, it doesn’t work for others.

We’ll tell you how it’s done so that you can test it yourself, but that decision is yours, and we won’t accept any responsibility for anything that goes wrong. If you do proceed, back up your device and ensure you also have the iOS 5.1.1 .ipsw in case it doesn’t work and you need to downgrade.

Okay, here goes:

  1. Download the iOS 6 beta file for your device. You can find this either by searching Google, or from the iPhone Developers site linked at the bottom of this page.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, upgrade to the latest version of iTunes (10.6.3), then open it up.
  3. Plug in your device and allow it to back up.
  4. Now hold down the option key on your Mac (that’s shift for Windows users), and click on the ‘Check for Update’ button. Do not click the ‘Restore’ button because it won’t work.
  5. Select the iOS 6 .ipsw file you just downloaded and allow it to install.

You should now be running the iOS 6 beta, and you can either setup your device as ‘new’, or restore your content from the backup you made earlier.

If the process fails and your device cannot be authorized, then restore your device back to iOS 5.1.1.

If you do attempt this, let us know how you get on in the comments.

Source: iPhone Developers