The 42-year-old Englishman, who has signed a deal until 2026, replaces the sacked Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Londoner Beale had worked as a coach under Steven Gerrard when the Ibrox side won the Scottish title in 2020-21.
He followed Gerrard to Aston Villa in November 2021 before opting to become a manager in his own right.
"I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution," Beale told the Rangers website.
"For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.
"In the time since I left, I've had different experiences in the Premier League and then being a manager in the Championship. I feel more ready, more equipped to do the job, even more so than when I departed a year ago.
"I am here to win. That's the most important thing. But also to win with style, in a way that makes the fans excited."
Beale turned down an approach from Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers when QPR were top of the table in October. They currently lie seventh in England's second tier after five games without a win.
He takes over a Rangers side who dispensed with Van Bronckhorst's services only five months after the Dutchman led them to Scottish Cup triumph and the Europa League final.
They have won just twice in seven outings and trail reigning champions Celtic by nine points.
"Equally our players and staff at both the training ground and at Ibrox are looking forward to working with Michael. He has a clear plan and will get to work with the group straight away along with the technical and support staff."
QPR director of football Les Ferdinand added: "Naturally we are hugely disappointed to lose Mick.
"Our extensive research when we were looking for a new head coach highlighted him as being very much aligned with the direction we are moving in as a football club.
"The start to the season we have made, coupled with very attractive football being played, gave us cause for optimism as we looked to build on the previous three seasons.
"That optimism remains but there is no doubt it is a blow to lose Mick so soon into his tenure."