App Tracking Toggle in iOS 14.5 grayed out for some iPhone users: Apple Inc. indicates why the feature may not be available

Apple Inc ATT
Apple ATT system-wide setting unavailable for some. Pic credit: Marco Verch/Flickr/CC By 2.0

The App Tracking Transparency framework is one of the most anticipated features that arrived with iOS and iPadOS 14.5. However, a few iPhone users who updated their devices, are claiming the toggle for the setting is unavailable.

A few Apple iPhone users haven’t been able to access the system-wide setting that prevents all apps from seeking permission to track them across apps and websites. Apple Inc. has now come forth with an explanation. It seems there are a few possible reasons why some iPhone users may not have access to the feature despite successfully receiving and updating their devices.

Apple Inc. offers a few reasons why the app tracking toggle in iOS 14.5 could remain ‘Grayed Out’:

Notwithstanding the backlash from companies like Facebook, Apple Inc. released the iOS and iPadOS 14.5 with the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. The ATT essentially allows iPhone and iPad users to prevent apps from tracking them across websites and other apps.

Essentially, ATT allows users to control whether developers can gather app data for ad targeting. The feature went live alongside the release of the latest iOS and iPadOS build, but some users claim they are not able to interact with it.

Simply put, a system-wide setting that is available in the Settings section remains grayed out for a few iPhone users. The setting is available at Settings > Privacy > Tracking.

Under normal circumstances, users can simply slide the toggle to ‘Off’. Turning the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” setting off disallows all apps from seeking permission. In short, a single setting bars all apps from tracking users.

Apple Inc. is aware that some iPhone and iPad users, despite updating their devices, might not be able to toggle the setting. In the latest support document, Apple explains why some users are not able to use the privacy feature.

Apple indicates there are a few instances where the toggle will not be available:

  • 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

Users unable to toggle the setting despite not falling under any of the circumstances:

Some Apple iPhone users have claimed that they are unable to access the setting. In other words, even if the abovementioned circumstances do not apply, the setting continues to remain grayed out for a few iPhone users.

According to some reports, Apple Inc. hasn’t yet responded to such queries. This suggests there could be an underlying bug. An unforeseen issue could be preventing some iPhone users from toggling the setting.

It is important to note that Apple Inc. hasn’t backtracked on its promise to offer the ATT framework. The company has had to deal with some pretty innovative tactics from big tech companies but stood its ground.

Some experts suggest rebooting the affected iPhone devices to check if the setting becomes available. Users could also try signing out of their Apple ID on the iPhone, rebooting the device, and then signing in again.

Incidentally, having the setting grayed out is a good thing, claim some reports. Its untoggled state actually means that users are denying all apps the ability to ask for additional permissions to track them.

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