iOS 14: How to Use a Private MAC Address on iPhone and iPad

woman holding up a sign with the Wi-Fi symbol cut out of it.

A feature that Apple added to iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 is the ability to use a private MAC address. Here’s where to find the setting.

Private MAC Address

A media access control (MAC) address is a unique identifier for Wi-Fi devices. Changing it isn’t an easy task until Apple’s newest operating systems made it easy. The new setting will rotate your MAC address every so often as an anti-tracking feature.

There are some situations where a static MAC address is best:

  • Sometimes a network will let you join with a private address but you won’t be able to connect to the internet
  • Some features like parental controls require a static MAC address

Apple lets you selectively enable or disable using a private MAC address for each network you connect to.

Screenshot showing how to enable iPadOS 14 private MAC address

Enable Private MAC Address on iPhone, iPad

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the blue “i” icon next to your Wi-Fi network.
  4. Turn on the switch next to Private Address.

Enable Private MAC Address on Apple Watch

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the name of your network you’re connected to. If you’re not connected to one, tap the three dots icon.
  4. Then, tap Private MAC.

Screenshot showing how to enable watchOS 7 private MAC address

So far this feature doesn’t appear to be included in macOS Big Sur.

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