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Apple says everyone is wrong about iCloud Private Relay being blocked

The saga continues.

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Apple’s iCloud Private Relay is one of the best privacy features that was introduced in iOS 15. It hides your browsing data from anyone who would want that data, including cellular carriers, internet companies, and Apple themselves. Earlier this week, there was some controversy over the feature, which Apple wanted to set straight.

The whole controversy started when some users started reporting that the feature was ‘blocked’ on their cellular carrier. Those fears were lent strength by an open letter that some European telcos signed, protesting how the feature stops them from seeing data they need to run their networks effectively.

Blame was flying everywhere, including from the US-based arm of T-Mobile, who blamed Apple for a setting change introduced in iOS 15.2.

That’s all apparently fake news, according to Apple. The company says that T-Mobile is blaming them incorrectly, that no carrier partners are blocking Private Relay, and that it could all be because of a simple setting that isn’t toggled on.

iCloud Private Relay is an innovative internet privacy service that allows users with an iCloud+ subscription to connect to the internet and browse with Safari in a more secure and private way. We have rolled Private Relay out in beta and it’s available in most countries around the world. No carrier partners have blocked their users from taking advantage of Private Relay.

No changes were made to iCloud Private Relay in iOS 15.2 that would have toggled the feature off. Users are encouraged to check their Settings to see if Private Relay is enabled on their device or for a specific network.

A new support document explains iCloud Private Relay more clearly. It also details further steps you can do if you can’t get it working on the network you are using.

Apple has also tweaked the wording on the Private Relay section in its Settings app, so it better reflects what is going on. Previously, it used to say something about a lack of carrier support when you couldn’t enable Private Relay.

That was misleading, so in iOS 15.3, the feature now also mentions that it could be because of a disabled setting in your Celluar settings.

If iCloud Private Relay is not working correctly for you, we’ve got a guide on how to enable the setting in the Cellular section so you can get it working.

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