How to unlock iPhone end-to-end encryption

Apple is launching a major security development with iOS 16.2 that brings the long-requested feature of full iMessage encryption in iCloud, iPhone backup and eight other apps/categories. As part of the process, you’ll need to set up a connection/recovery key – here’s how to set up end-to-end iPhone encryption for iMessage, iCloud, device backup, Notes, Safari, Photos, and more covers more.

iOS 16.2 is now ending its testing as a developer and public beta. The release candidate was made available yesterday, so it won’t be long until it starts rolling out to the public.

But if you don’t want to wait to try out Apple’s Advanced Data Protection and other great features like an always-on display for iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Music Sing, and more, you can learn how to get the free public beta sets up in our full description:

While end-to-end encryption (E2E) is already available for Apple Messages, iCloud Keychain, Health Data and more, the update brings E2E to your Messages Backup (Messages in iCloud) iCloud backup to your iPhone, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes. Read more about the finer details in our full appendix and Apple support documentation.

How to unlock iPhone end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud backup

  1. Make sure you are iOS 16.2 is running (Install the free beta if you don’t want to wait)
  2. Open it Settings app on your iPhone
  3. Click your name above
  4. Choose now iCloud
  5. Swipe down and tap Advanced Data Protection
  6. Rooster Turn on Advanced Data Protection
    • If you haven’t set up a backup link or recovery key, you’ll be prompted to do so first
  7. If you just finished setting up a connection/recovery key, apply Settings app > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn on Advanced Data Protection
  8. Follow up immediately
  9. You may be prompted to update your other devices signed in to your iCloud account before you enable end-to-end encryption (E2E).
    • Alternatively, you can remove devices running on old software to proceed with the process

Here’s what the process looks like to unlock end-to-end iPhone encryption with Advanced Data Protection:

Turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, backup 1

If you don’t already have a recovery link or key set up, you’ll need to do so first:

Turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, backup 2

After completing the recovery connection / key installation, return to the Advanced Data Protection screen and click “Turn on Advanced Data Protection”.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you may need to update your other Apple devices to the latest update to enable end-to-end encryption – or you may need to turn them off from the Apple home screen. Remove the ID in the Settings app.

What do you think about end-to-end encryption coming to Messages in iCloud, backups, and more? Will you open the feature? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading our guide on how to unlock iPhone end-to-end encryption!

More 9to5Mac tutorials:

FTC: We use automated affiliate links to generate revenue. A lot of.


For more Apple news check out 9to5Mac on YouTube:

Leave a Comment