Opt out of targeted ads on macOS

Apple offers a way for advertisers to uniquely identify you in order to track your activity across applications and websites you consume on your mobile device. In this guide you'll learn how to hinder tracking on your MacOS device either by periodically resetting your Ad ID or by opting out completely.

Last modified
11th March 2021
Guide level
Guide OS
Guide Device

The Advertising ID is a unique identifier offered by the MacOS Operating System that advertisers might use to uniquely identify you. It facilitates the creation of a profile by advertisers or data brokers that can later be used for advertisement targeting or other purposes.

Opt out of targeted advertising

We have written before about the risks that targeted advertisements pose with regards to your digital privacy. To opt out of targeted ads on macOS, open the System Preferences app, go to the Security & Privacy page, and then click on the Privacy tab (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Privacy settings

To change the settings you need to click the lock icon in the lower left corner of the window, input your password, and then click Unlock (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Unlock settings

On the left menu, scroll down and click on Advertising (Fig. 3). To renew your Ad-ID, click on Reset Advertising Identifier and then click on Reset identifier when prompted. To opt out of targeted ads, enable Limit Ad

Fig. 3: Disable Targeted Ads

Disable location data collection

On the privacy menu (Fig. 1), select Analytics, and then disable Share Mac Analytics (Fig. 4) to prevent diagnostic messages which are shared with Apple from leaking your location data.

Fig. 4: Disable analytics

Next, select Location Services, find the System Services item, and click on Details.... Disable Location-Based Sugestions, Significant Locations, Location-Based Apple Ads, and Wi-Fi Networking (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Disable location-based ads

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