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How to stop apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5

iPhone 12 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

One of the newest and most notable features of iOS 14.5 — and one that's incurred the ire of Mark Zuckerberg — is called App Tracking Transparency, which prevents apps from tracking your activity on your iPhone or iPad.

Currently, an app can see what you’re doing even when you’re not using that specific app. For example, the Facebook app knows what products you’re looking at in the Amazon app, or what stories you’re reading on the web, so that when you go back to Facebook, you’ll see ads related to your other activity.

In earlier versions of iOS 14, you had the option to turn off tracking for all or none of the apps installed on your iPhone or iPad; iOS 14.5 gives you more granular control, allowing you to change permissions for specific apps. 

Moreover, when you install a new app, you’ll be presented with a window asking if you want that app to be able to track your activity. 

iOS 14.5 ad tracking features

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With iOS 14.5 now upon us, here's a closer look at how to adjust the app tracking settings.

How to use Apple's app tracking blocker

On an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings menu.

Apple app tracking

(Image credit: Future)

Next, open the Privacy menu.

Apple app tracking

(Image credit: Future)

At the top, select Tracking.

Apple app tracking

(Image credit: Future)

Turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track if you don't want any apps to track your activity.

iOS 14.5 ad tracking features

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you have iOS 14.5 and Allow Apps to Request to Track turned on, you’ll see a list of apps that have made such requests; here, you can manage each app individually.

You can also turn off App tracking on an Apple TV. The steps are similar: From Settings, select General > Privacy > Tracking > Turn off Allow Apps to Ask to Track.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.