Activating iCloud E2EE with Advanced Data Protection

So today, I decided to beef up my iCloud security, with a possibility of moving some things back to iCloud as quite a lot of folks say it’s now working better.

However, when I go to activate Advance Data Protection, it I get this message:

So I have to remove 3 devices from my account to get this to work. My iMac is very much well alive and could only upgrade to Big Sur as can my Mac Air. In removing them from my account I can no longer access my appstore apps.

Am I wrong to be extremely annoyed? To get E2EE I have to stop using 3 perfectly good devices. This is not cool apple. It pushes me even further from using iCloud and I will no longer buy any apps from the appstore. At least apps purchased online can still be installed.

I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with apple.

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Those devices don’t have the functionality to decrypt your now encrypted iCloud data. Is it not better for Apple to tell you now, before it’s irreversible instead of crashing or mangling your data on those devices?


AFAIK Apple’s Advanced Data Protection only removes Apple’s ability to decrypt our data.

If you aren’t concerned about the remote possibility of Apple employees looking at your data, or the government showing up with a search warrant, why bother with ADP?

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That’s not quite true. The setting states that apple already encrypts and decrypts certain kind of data like the wallet. This is adding the ability to add zero knowledge encryption.

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This gives me control of my data. Which is important to me.


If your iMac and MBA are relatively new, and if ADP is really important to you, you may want to try installling Ventura on them using OCLP. For the iPad, you’re out of luck.


Yes, OpenCore and giving the iPad to a family member is a solution here. Aren’t you already carrying encrypted drives everywhere, though? Just put your sensitive data there.

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I do have an encrypted ssd with all my data. However, it would be handy to be able to access certain things in icloud like photos.

The fact that apple already encrypts and decrypts certain data demonstrates the tech is there even in older devices. To ask folks to remove older devices from from their account to use this features really isn’t acceptable to me, especially when these devices are fully functional and easily handle certain workflows. They could have said you need to turn off icloud, but to ask you to remove the device completely from your account locking those devices out of purchases and account info. That’s a really poor practice IMO.

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I agree, but every manufacturer/developer reaches a point when they stop supporting older products. I’ve always mixed & matched software and services from different providers so I don’t have to depend on Apple (or any single vendor) for anything, except security updates.

Using older Apple hardware can frequently require making some compromises.

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I’m not sure we can reasonably expect Apple to go back and update all OSes with the ADP support going back… just how many versions and where would the cut-off date be, and based on what criteria? We also don’t know the technical reasons for not enabling the feature on older OSes – perhaps it’s not that simple?

There’s an Apple TV preventing me from turning on ADP, and until recently, I also had a Watch Series 3 (which I meanwhile replaced with a Series 8), which was also preventing me from turning on ADP as it could not run watchOS 9. So all these operating systems, not just macOS and iOS, would need to be updated for an arguably niche feature. I think the established update policy is that older systems that are still supported get security updates only, which this is not.