Should You Enable Apple’s Advanced Data Protection Feature in iOS 16

When Apple released iOS and iPadOS 16.2, one of the essential features in the update was Advanced Data Protection (ADP). Of course, we all want to ensure our devices have the most up-to-date security features, and this update makes the data you back up to iCloud more secure.

ADP adds end-to-end encryption for backups of your devices stored on iCloud. What does this mean? Only you can access the data those backups contain. If someone such as a hacker breaches Apple’s servers, they can’t get your stuff. Law enforcement can’t demand that Apple hand over your backup data. Apple can’t give it because not even Apple has access when ADP is turned on. The downside is you have to set up Account Recovery, and it would be a good idea to set up a Recovery Key. If you don’t have access to either of these, you wouldn’t have access to your backup data.

Update Your Devices

Turning this feature on is as easy as flipping a switch, but you’ll need to take a few steps first. Update to the latest software on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In this case, you must run at least iOS and iPadOS 16.2 and Mac Ventura. To complete this on your iPhone and iPad:

  • Launch Settings
  • Tap General
  • Select Software Update

As long as your devices are on 16.2 and MacOS Ventura 13.1, all should be well if you’re using a Mac.

Setup Advanced Data Protection

The steps are the same whether you set this up on an iPhone or iPad.

  • Launch Settings
  • Tap your Name at the top
  • Select iCloud
  • Be sure that iCloud Backup is turned on
  • Scroll down the and tap Advanced Data Protection

Apple will provide information on what Advanced Data Protection does and what it backs up. Follow the onscreen instructions to continue.

Below the option to turn on Advanced Data Protection, you’ll see Account Recovery. This option will need to be set up since Apple cannot help you recover your data. You can designate a Recovery Contact using a trusted individual who also owns an Apple Device. If you don’t have a trusted individual or would prefer, you can set up a Recovery Key.

Once this is set up, you’ll need to confirm the Recovery Key and verify your Recovery Contact, and now Advanced Data Protection is turned on.

If you decide to turn on Advanced Data Protection, be aware that if you are collaborating on files or Notes, end-to-end encryption is only enabled when all parties are using Advanced Data Protection.

Access to Your Data at

ADP disables web access to your iCloud data at, ensuring that your data is only available on your trusted devices. However, you can continue using to find your devices and check your iCloud account settings.

If you want to be able to access Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, Notes, Reminders, and Files on iCloud, Here is how to do that:

  • Launch Settings
  • Tap Your Name at the top
  • Select iCloud
  • Scroll to the bottom and toggle on Access iCloud Data on the web.

Now you will be able to access your data on iCloud.

Turn Off Advanced Data Protection

If at some point, you want to disable Advanced Data Protection, you can do so at any time.

  • Launch Settings
  • Tap Your Name at the top
  • Select iCloud
  • Scroll and Tap Turn Off Advanced Data Protection

Your device will securely upload the required encryption keys to Apple servers, and your account will use standard data protection again.


Setting up ADP is essential if you want to be fully secured on your device. But it’s not the only step. In addition, be sure to use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and turn off tracking. These are just a few of the steps you should take.

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