Apple Explains Why 'Allow Apps to Request to Track' May Be Grayed Out on iOS 14.5

Starting with the iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5 software updates released this week, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies' apps and websites for targeted advertising purposes.

Allow Apps Request Track Feature
On an iPhone or iPad, users can manage tracking permissions on an app-by-app basis in the Settings app under Privacy > Tracking, and there is also an "Allow Apps to Request to Track" setting that applies to all apps. Each app that asks for permission to track while this setting is toggled off will be treated as if you tapped "Ask App Not to Track."

In a new support document, Apple said there are a few circumstances where the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" setting is grayed out, however, including:

  • For users with child accounts or under age 18 by birth year, signed in with their Apple ID
  • If your Apple ID is managed by an educational institution or uses a configuration profile that limits tracking
  • If your Apple ID was created in the last three days

9to5Mac previously reported that some users are still seeing the toggle grayed out even when the first two circumstances listed above do not apply to them, suggesting that there could be a bug or other issue going on. Apple has yet to respond to requests for comment.

Some users suspect there might be a correlation between the "Personalized Ads" setting and whether "Allow Apps to Request to Track" is grayed out.


On devices with the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" setting grayed out, all apps that request to track are denied permission by default and cannot access the device's random advertising identifier, known as the IDFA, according to Apple. Apps are also not permitted to track your activity using other information that identifies you or your device, such as your email address, although this policy is not enforced at a technical level.

Apple recently shared a video with more details about its new App Tracking Transparency requirement for those interested in learning more.

Related Forum: iOS 14

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
17 months ago

Who remembers the days pre ios7 when ios was so simple and intelligently designed nothing needed an explanation?
I too remember when iOS was so lacking in features that it didn't need as many explanations for those features.

One way to look at it is that if you want to use iOS 14.5 like you used iOS 6 and below, none of these preferences matter anyway because they're for features that didn't exist at the time.

Technically, iOS is just as simple but has added complexity for those who want it. :)
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cableguy84 Avatar
17 months ago
Who remembers the days pre ios7 when ios was so simple and intelligently designed nothing needed an explanation?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
l0stl0rd Avatar
17 months ago
none of the 3 points apply but it is still grayed out ;)

However personalized adds it turned off grayed out too
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmelgar Avatar
17 months ago
As a developer, I've never liked disabling or graying out an option without explaining in the UI why it is disabled.
Otherwise you end up with issues like this that require press release, lol. Much easier to add text describing why it's disabled or not have the option appear at all.
Apple used to be good about this.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NPC Compliant Avatar
17 months ago
Perfectly reasonable safeguards
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
17 months ago

Who remembers the days pre ios7 when ios was so simple and intelligently designed nothing needed an explanation?
You most be referring to the dull/boring stitched-leather all over iOS versions! How much I do not miss these.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

generic tracking prompt green

Report: iOS Users Who Opt-Out of App Tracking Continue to Be Tracked by Facebook and Snapchat

Wednesday December 8, 2021 5:50 am PST by
"Loose" interpretations of Apple's privacy policies allow apps such as Facebook and Snapchat to continue tracking users for targeted advertising even when they have asked to not be tracked, The Financial Times reports. In May, Apple launched its App Tracking Transparency feature that allows users to opt-out of being tracked across apps and websites for advertising purposes. Seven months...
generic tracking prompt green

Apple to Ban Apps That Reward Users for Enabling App Tracking

Tuesday April 27, 2021 4:04 am PDT by
Apple says that it will ban and reject apps on the App Store that attempt to offer users monetary incentives to enable tracking through App Tracking Transparency (ATT), one of many measures the company is taking to ensure developers follow through with the new framework. Yesterday the Cupertino tech giant released iOS and iPadOS 14.5 with several headlining features, including ATT. ATT is a...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

Everything New in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Face ID With a Mask, Emojis, Apple Card Widget, Universal Control and More

Thursday January 27, 2022 12:08 pm PST by
Apple is working on new iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates for the iPhone and the iPad, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we've had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4,...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

App Store Now Supports Unlisted Apps Discoverable Only With a Direct Link

Friday January 28, 2022 11:27 am PST by
Apple recently announced that the App Store now supports unlisted apps discoverable only with a direct link, as outlined on its developer website. Developers with apps that aren't suited for public distribution can submit a request on Apple's website to distribute unlisted apps, which don't appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings....
iOS 15

Apple Seeds Fifth Betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday March 1, 2022 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fifth betas of upcoming iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after Apple seeded the fourth betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. Developers can download iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS...
app tracking transparency

Apple's Craig Federighi on App Tracking Transparency: 'Users Deserve and Need Control' of Data

Monday April 26, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
With Apple now enforcing its App Tracking Transparency rules with the release of iOS 14.5, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern did an interview with Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi to talk about Apple's aim with the feature and how it works. For those unfamiliar with App Tracking Transparency, it requires app developers to get express user permission before accessing a...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares New 'Tracked' Ad With Humorous Real-World Analogy of App Tracking Transparency

Thursday May 20, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new privacy-focused ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting App Tracking Transparency on the iPhone. In the spot, a man orders a coffee, and the barista follows him out as he gets in a cab, providing his date of birth to the cab driver. The cab driver and the barista follow him throughout his day, keeping track of his whereabouts and viewing his personal data....
f1618938547

Android Users Largely Excluded From AirTag Unwanted Tracking Improvements

Wednesday February 16, 2022 2:33 am PST by
Apple's recently announced unwanted tracking improvements for AirTags, which seek to cut down on individuals being unknowingly tracked with the device by another person, may not be a significant help to Android users. Unwanted tracking "has long been a societal problem," according to Apple, which is why ‌AirTags‌ were initially built with privacy in mind with the "first-ever proactive...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...