On April 26, 2021, Apple released the OS 14.5 update for the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPadOS 14.5 software for the iPad and tvOS 14.5 one for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. With these software updates came a global toggle allowing users to tell all apps not to be tracked by default, bypassing the new privacy permission prompt altogether. Now, some people have experienced issues attempting to turn on the feature, with the “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ toggle grayed out in Settings. Here’s why that’s happening and what you can do about it.
Disabling all app tracking in iOS 14.5
If you have the iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5 updates installed on your devices, you will be greeted with a new system prompt every time an app tries to track your activity across other apps and websites for ad targeting purposes. You can respond to this prompt in two ways, by hitting the“Ask App Not to Track“ button or choosing the option “Allow Tracking“.
But instead of deciding whether you want to be tracked on a per-app basis, Apple also offers you a global toggle in Settings → Privacy → Tracking to disable tacking altogether.
From there, you can slide the switch labeled “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ to the OFF position. Doing so will prevent apps from tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. In other words, toggling on this setting is the equivalent of automatically choosing the option “Ask App Not to Track“ in the privacy permission prompt.
Some people, however, have reported issues toggling this setting on or off.
Why is “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ grayed out on my iPhone?
Indeed, why is “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ grayed out on your device? People who are faced with the same issue will find the answer in a support document on Apple’s website which lists a few instances when the “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ setting may be grayed out:
- If your Apple ID was created in the last three days.
- If your Apple ID is managed by an educational institution or uses a configuration profile that limits tracking.
- For users with child accounts or under age 18 by birth year, signed in with an Apple ID.
An important thing to note: child account age varies by country and region.
Don’t worry about being tracked while this setting is greeted out—Apple says that in any of the aforementioned cases, all apps that request to track you will be denied permission by default. And should the status of your Apple ID account or device change down the road, you will be allowed to toggle the setting “Allow Apps to Ask to Track” on or off at will.
That's very interesting! I wonder if there's some other setting that would make it so this can't be toggled 🤔
— Donny Wals 👾 (@DonnyWals) April 28, 2021
Doing so means will prompt the app’s next request to track to pull up the permission prompt.
Summing up, use a personal Apple ID account for adults that has been created more than three days ago and you should have no issues toggling “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ on or off.