WWDC 2017 took place on 5 June, which meant we got our first look at Apple’s next version of macOS (formerly OS X). macOS 10.13 High Sierra was revealed during the opening keynote of the annual developer conference, and became available to download just hours after it was unveiled, so here’s how you can start using it on your Mac now.

WWDC 2017 also saw the launch of iOS 11, Mac updates including a new iMac Pro, new iPad Pro models and more. You might also like: How to get iOS 11 now.

Things to consider before installing the macOS 10.13 High Sierra beta

Running beta software isn’t a choice you should make lightly, as by its very nature the code is still being worked on and bugs will appear – potentially big ones – which could cause you to lose data. If you are intending to put this on your main working machine as the only OS, then we’d strongly advise against it. Yes it’s cool to be on the cutting edge, but there are considerable risks involved when you use unfinished software.

A much better choice is to dual-boot your Mac, so that the preview OS is kept separate from your normal one. If you have virtual machine software such as Parallels or VMware, then that would also be a great way to sample the delights of macOS 10.13 without endangering your system.

As always you should run a complete system backup before starting any kind of operating system upgrade, as things can easily go wrong.

How to get the new macOS today

Apple has stuck to its usual macOS release pattern, which means the unveiling on 5 June resulted in the start of the developer beta of the software. If you’re a registered developer, you can install and start using the software now.

You’ll need to sign in to your Apple Developer Program account or enroll here.

For everyone else, the public beta is set to arrive in about one months time. Last year, macOS Sierra was available to start using from 7 July.

You can sign up to the Apple Beta Software programme here.

How to install macOS on a dual-boot system

Once you get a version of the new macOS beta, we recommend installing it into a second partition on your machine, or if you have a spare machine then feel free to wipe the existing OS and go it alone with 10.13. Remember that these are advanced procedures, and you proceed at your own risk.

To set up a dual-boot system you’ll need to do the following things. First of all open up Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) and select the main drive (usually the top of the list in the left hand panel). Then select the Partition option in the main panel.

Now you’ll see a large rectangle with the heading Partition Layout. Currently it will be a single drive, so click the Plus button beneath it and then click on the new partition that appears.

To resize the partition simply drag the partition corners. The Size box on the right shows you how much space the partition takes up.

It’s a good idea to rename the partition so that things don’t get confusing – maybe call it macOS Beta Test. When you’re happy with the name and space allocation click Apply.