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How to Reset the Advertising Identifier in iOS

You can reset reset your Advertising Identifier on any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch if you use iOS 6.1 or newer. This means you can basically throw all the anonymously gathered data about a device that is used to serve relevant ads out the window and start fresh, thereby removing any of the targeted data that has been accumulated and assigned to that Advertising ID.

How to Reset the Advertising Identifier on iOS 6.1 to iOS 8.0

  1. Open “Settings” then choose “General” and tap “About” button.
  2. Scroll all the way down and find “Advertising”, from there tap on “Reset Advertising Identifier” and confirm the ID resetreset-ad-tracking-id-iosOnce confirmed, iOS will regenerate a new random blank ID.

     

     

    How to Reset the Advertising Identifier on iOS 8.0 and Newer

  1. Open “Settings” then choose “Privacy
  2. Scroll all the way down and find “Advertising”, from there tap on “Reset Advertising Identifier” and confirm the ID resetreset-ad-tracking-id-ios8

 

You can also turn iOS ad tracking off completely.

Why you might want to reset the Advertising Identifier

All of the accumulated data is anonymous, there isn’t some universally important reason to reset the Ad ID and by no means should it be considered standard procedure. Because the data is anonymized, the reasons to reset the ID tend to be fairly unique situations:

  • The ads you are being served are tied to past activities that are no longer relevant to your interests
  • You or your employer are particularly sensitive about privacy
  • Your iOS device is company owned, and you don’t want IT to (potentially) discover that you’re searching the web for things unrelated to work by having ads for unrelated stuff show up on the device
  • You are transferring an iOS device to a new owner or family member, and you don’t want to go all out and reset to factory settings for some reason

Of course there are other reasons as well, but again it’s important to stress this isn’t some super important thing to think about for 99.5% of iOS users.

For some historical background, the Advertising Identifier is a relatively new creation, and previously advertisers tracked anonymous data by the actual device UDID. Because the UDID is tied to hardware and not possible to reset, Apple created the Advertising ID as an alternative to the UDID, one which can be freely reset and directly controlled by the user much like cookies and browser history can be managed at any time.

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