Apple has launched a big security enhancement with iOS 16.2 that brings the long-requested feature of full encryption for iMessage in iCloud, iPhone backups, and eight other apps/categories. As part of the process, you’ll need to set up a recovery contact/key – here’s how to turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, device backups, Notes, Safari, Photos, and more.
While end-to-end encryption (E2E) has been already present for Apple’s Messages, iCloud Keychain, Health data, and more, the update brings E2E to your Messages Backup (Messages in iCloud) your iPhone iCloud backup, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes.
How to turn on iPhone end-to-encryption for iMessage, iCloud backups
Apple notes that the feature is only available in the US at this time “and will start rolling out to the rest of the world in early 2023.”
- Make sure you’re running iOS 16.2
- You’ll also need to update your Mac, iPad, HomePods, etc. to the latest update to use the feature – which may take some time to do
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone
- Tap your name at the top
- Now choose iCloud
- Swipe to the bottom and tap Advanced Data Protection
- Tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection
- If you don’t have a recovery contact or recovery key set up, you’ll be prompted to do that first
- If you just finished setting up a recovery contact/key, head back to Settings app > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection
- Follow the prompts
- You may be asked to update your other devices signed into your iCloud account before you can enable the end-to-end encryption (E2E)
- Alternatively, you can remove devices that are on old software to move forward with the process
- For security purposes, it’s possible Apple will make you wait to enable the feature if you’ve recently gotten a new device – that timeframe will appear on your screen during the setup
Here’s how the process looks to turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption with Advanced Data Protection:
If you don’t have a recovery contact or key set up already, you’ll do that first:
After finishing the recovery contact/key setup, head back to the Advanced Data Protection screen and tap “Turn On Advanced Data Protection”.
One more thing to keep in mind, you may need to update your other Apple devices to the newest release to enable end-to-end encryption – or need to remove them from the main Apple ID screen in the Settings app.
What do you think about end-to-end encryption coming to Messages in iCloud, backups, and more? Will you be turning the feature on? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Thanks for reading our guide on how to turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption!
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