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
23 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
23 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
23 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
23 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
23 months ago
Perfectly reasonable safeguards
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
23 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off)

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...