iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia Add 'Rotate Wi-Fi Address' Option to Cut Down on Tracking

With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple has replaced the Private Wi-Fi Address option for Wi-Fi networks with a new Rotate Wi-Fi Address option that's aimed at better minimizing tracking.

rotate wifi address ios 18
Available when accessing the settings of any Wi-Fi network, Apple says the opt-in Rotate Wi-Fi Address feature changes your Wi-Fi address at random times.

A rotating Wi-Fi address helps reduce tracking by changing your Wi-Fi address at various times. Tracking can happen when your address always appears the same to other devices and people using the same network as you.

The prior Private Wi-Fi Address setting assigned a different MAC address to a device for each Wi-Fi network it connected to.

Rotate Wi-Fi Address, like Private Wi-Fi Address, is separate from the additional Limit IP Address Tracking option that can be turned on for Mail and Safari.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia

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Top Rated Comments

jimsong Avatar
2 weeks ago
This is great for being on a public network but it makes identifying which devices are connected to my home network much more challenging. It would be nice if you could specify private networks where this rotation would not happen.

EDIT: never mind, it looks like this is configurable on a per-network basis, which would be great news!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
2 weeks ago
Shouldn't the address be upside down when it is rotated?
And maybe they could add a setting where you can choose the rotation angle.
Though I'm sure that trackers will catch on pretty quickly.

Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redheeler Avatar
2 weeks ago

I just use a VPN
A VPN doesn't hide your MAC address to computers on the same local network, it hides your public IP address to whatever remote website/server you're connecting to.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dcjames Avatar
2 weeks ago
Users will really need to be careful when using this feature on metered/temporary access networks where one purchases wifi access per-device (I have been on ferries around Greece that do this). If a user enables this feature for such a network, and iOS changes the MAC Address seen by the network during the middle of the session, the device will no longer be recognized and the user would have to re-purchase access every time the MAC is rotated.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
2 weeks ago
Pick your fandom time:

* “I’ll try spinning! That’s a good trick!”
* “Rotate the shield frequencies.”
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jgreg00 Avatar
2 weeks ago

This isn’t new. It’s just renamed. It used to say “Private Wi-Fi Address”.
So you're telling us all that you only read the headline?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)