How to turn COVID-19 contact tracing on / off on iPhone

Apple and Google have partnered to implement secure and private coronary virus communication tracing on iOS and Android. Follow how to turn COVID-19 contact tracing on IVS in iOS 14 as well as iOS 13.

Update 8/24: Virginia is the first U.S. state to provide supported applications. Now, the apps are also available in Alabama, Arizona, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming. Other countries in the world to see support include Canada, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland. Stay up to date with our US state tracker here.

Update 9/1: Apple and Google have released Exposure Notifications Express which means users don’t have to download the local health department app, but local health department assistance is still needed. The change is available in iOS 13.7 as well as iOS 14 Beta 4 and later.

Anonymous COVID-19 contact tracing (not GPS location) via Bluetooth starts with iOS 13.5. Contact tracing on the iPhone is called “exposure notification” and is turned off at the system level by default.

With iOS 13.1.1 and earlier you need to download an application from your local health authority that requires your explicit permission to use anonymous Bluetooth data to work.

With iOS 13.7 and iOS 14 Beta 4 and later you can use contact tracing on iPhone without having to download a separate health department application but still need local health department assistance. Learn more about Exposure Notification Express here.

Apple and Google have done a perfect job of highlighting how contact tracing has been created for privacy and security, read more about it in our full explanation and on Apple’s website.

Note: COVID-19 exposure notifications (contact tracking) have been disabled by default on iOS 13.5 and later. It does not collect any data without you turning it on, contact tracing is opt-in.

How to turn COVID-19 contact tracing on / off on iPhone

We will monitor iOS 13.6.1 and earlier iOS 13.7 / iOS 14 Beta 4 and then how it works.

IOS 13.6.1 and earlier

  1. Go to your iPhone’s settings
  2. Swipe down and tap Privacy
  3. Now choose Health
  4. Tap Kavid-19 exposure logging Upstairs
  5. You will need an approved application before you can start exposure notifications. But then you can tap the toggle to turn notifications on or off
  6. You can manually delete exposure logs at any time under Settings
  7. Follow here when health authority applications are available in the United States

Here’s how these steps look:

13.7 and 14 beta 4 in iOS and beyond

Users who create this software do not need to install specific health department applications to use exposure notifications, but local health department support is still needed for the feature based on where you live.

Communication tracing is off by default.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Swipe down and tap Exposure notice The battery is just above
  3. Contact tracing (exposure notifications are off by default)
  4. Tap Turn on exposure notifications See if the feature is available in your area
  5. You can only use this feature if a local health authority makes it available
  6. You can toggle “Availability Alerts” if you don’t want to know when a contact search is available in your area

Here’s what it looks like:

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