Use private Wi-Fi addresses in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7

To further protect your privacy, your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch can use a different MAC address with each Wi-Fi network.

To communicate with a Wi-Fi network, a device must identify itself to the network using a unique network address called a media access control (MAC) address. If the device always uses the same Wi-Fi MAC address across all networks, network operators and other network observers can more easily relate that address to the device's network activity and location over time. This allows a kind of user tracking or profiling, and it applies to all devices on all Wi-Fi networks.

To reduce this privacy risk, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 use a different MAC address for each Wi-Fi network. This unique, static MAC address is your device's private Wi-Fi address for that network only.


Prerelease versions of iOS 14, iPad OS 14, and watchOS 7 are available through the Apple Beta Software Program.

Join Wi-Fi networks with a private address

Using a private Wi-Fi address doesn't affect how you join or use most Wi-Fi networks. Connect to Wi-Fi as you normally do.

  • 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.

Turn private address off or on for a network

You can stop or resume using a private address with any network. For better privacy, leave the setting on for all networks that support it.

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap the information button  next to a network.
  3. Tap Private Address. If your device joined the network without using a private address, a privacy warning explains why.

Apple Watch

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap the name of the network you joined. If you haven't joined the network yet, swipe left on its name and tap more .
    The more button in Wi-Fi settings
  3. Tap Private Address.

Learn more

Published Date: