Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch SeSource: Daniel Bader / iMore

WatchOS 7 introduced a new feature that is very useful but rarely discussed. Apple Watch users now have the ability to use a private Wi-Fi address. Just like your other devices, your Apple Watch routinely connects to its known Wi-Fi networks. Your watch is trackable by its MAC (media access control) address. If you are not using a private Wi-Fi address, your watch will always connect to the network using the same MAC address. Apple is making it easy for your Apple Watch using watchOS 7 to use a private Wi-Fi address.

Why is a private Wi-Fi address important on your Apple Watch?

While we use our Apple Watch for fitness and convenience, we may not think about the fact that it connects to the same Wi-FI networks as your iPhone. Do you want everyone that you do business with throughout the day to collect data on you? Where you shop, what you buy, what times you travel?

If you are not using a private Wi-Fi address, then your Watch connects to a network with the same MAC address every time. It's leaving a digital footprint behind with lots of personal information. However, if you turn on a private Wi-Fi address, it's like we go undercover throughout the day, unrecognizable to the networks that want to collect data from us.

How to use a private Wi-Fi address on watchOS 7

Setting up a private Wi-Fi address is simple. Here's how to do it.

  1. Tap the digital crown and tap settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.

    Using a private Wi-Fi address on Apple Watch, showing how to open Settings, then tap Wi-Fi.Source: Mark Goldschmitt/iMore

  3. Tap the name of the network you joined.
  4. Turn on the private address toggle.

    using a private Wi-Fi address on Apple Watch, tap network, and turning on private address.Source: Mark Goldschmitt/iMore

At times, you may need to disable private networks on your watch if, for example, you try to connect to a network that does not allow private addresses to join. Just follow the above steps and toggle off the private address. Apple considers privacy to be a fundamental human right, and privacy is part of its commitment to its customers. It has made joining a network using a private Wi-Fi address very simple in watchOS 7, using the above steps. Stay private, stay happy.


That's all there is to it. You now know how to move about your day without being traced as you move from network to network. Do you have any questions about private Wi-Fi addresses on your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.

Apple Watch


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