How to turn on end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, and iPhone backups in iOS 16.2

Apple releases a major security improvement with iOS 16.2 that brings the long-required feature of full encryption of 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.

iOS 16.2 is currently finishing its developer and public beta testing. A release candidate was made available yesterday, so it won’t be long until it goes public.

But if you don’t want to wait to try Apple’s advanced data protection and other cool features like a customizable always-on display for iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Music Sing, and more, you can learn how to install your public free trial right now in our full explainer:

While end-to-end (E2E) encryption was already in place for Apple Messages, iCloud Keychain, health data, and more, the update brings E2E to backed up messages (Messages in iCloud) iPhone iCloud backups, iCloud Drive, notes, photos, reminders, Safari bookmarks, and shortcuts Siri, Voice Memos, and Wallet Cards. Read more about the nitty-gritty in our full coverage and Apple support document.

How to turn on end-to-end encryption on iPhone for iMessage and iCloud backups

  1. Make sure you Running iOS 16.2 (Install the free trial if you don’t want to wait)
  2. open the Settings app on your iPhone
  3. Click on your name On the top
  4. Choose now iCloud
  5. Swipe down and tap Advanced data protection
  6. Faucet Turn on Advanced Data Protection
    • If you do not have a recovery contact or a recovery key set up, you will be asked to do so first
  7. If you just finished setting up a recovery contact/key, go back to Settings app > iCloud > Advanced data protection and press Turn on Advanced Data Protection
  8. Follow the instructions
  9. You may be required to update your other devices that are signed in to your iCloud account before you can enable end-to-end encryption (E2E)
    • Alternatively, you can remove the hardware on the old software to move forward with the process

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

If you don’t have a recovery contact or key already set up, you would do this first:

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

After you’ve finished setting up your recovery contact/key, go back to the Advanced Data Protection screen and tap Turn on Advanced Data Protection.

One more thing to consider, you may need to update your other Apple devices to the latest version to enable end-to-end encryption — or you need to remove them from the Apple ID home screen in the Settings app.

How about end-to-end encryption accessing Messages in iCloud, backups, and more? Will you turn on the feature? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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

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