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How to use private Wi-Fi MAC address on iPhone in iOS 14


Another one of the under the radar but valuable privacy changes to come with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is the option to mask your device’s Wi-Fi address. Read along for how to easily use a private Wi-Fi MAC address on iPhone and iPad.

Each device you use that connects to the internet has a media access control address or MAC address. In an iOS 14 privacy and security improvement, Apple is making it simple to use a private Wi-Fi MAC address with your iPhone and iPad.

The feature makes it more difficult for your device and activity to be tracked when using wireless networks and is applied on a per network basis.

Also, keep in mind that there are some issues with using a private Wi-Fi address in some school and enterprise settings.

How to use a private Wi-Fi MAC address on iPhone and iPad in iOS 14

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app
  2. Tap Wi-Fi
  3. Tap the blue “i” next to a network (one you’re already connected to or not)
  4. Tap the toggle next to Private Address to mask your iPhone or iPad’s Wi-Fi MAC address
  5. If you’re switching this on while already connected to a network, tap Disconnect to finish the process (you’ll automatically reconnect to the Wi-Fi network in a moment)

Here’s how these steps look:

That’s it! You should now see the new private address in place of your iPhone or iPad’s actual Wi-Fi MAC address. Remember using a private Wi-Fi address works on a per network basis, so repeat as needed.

Apple notes a few tips in a support document:

  • If your Wi-Fi router is configured to notify you whenever a new device joins the network, you will be notified when your device first joins with a private address.
  • If a network can’t use a private address to provide parental controls or identify your device as authorized to join, you can stop using a private address with that network.
  • Rarely, a network might allow you to join with a private address, but won’t allow internet access. If that happens, you can stop using a private address with that network.

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