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How to stop cell phone companies from secretly selling your info to advertisers

Opt Out Advertising

There’s a reason advertisers love Google so much. The company is better than any other when it comes to collecting information about you, its users, and then using that information to serve targeted advertisements on the websites you visit. In Google’s case, the trade-off is that you get to use all of its amazing software and all of its great services for free — how evil!

Of course, Google isn’t the only company that uses your browsing history and other private data to sell ads.

DON’T MISS: My dream of having Google take over my iPhone is almost a reality

We now spend a tremendous amount of time on our smartphones, and this makes mobile the new frontier for data collection. After all, the things we do on our phones often paint a much better picture of our wants and needs for advertisers.

As a result, all major smartphone platforms including Android, iPhone and more have ways of tracking what we do and using that info for advertisers. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to opt out of much of the ad tracking that goes on behind the scenes, and we’re going to tell you exactly what you need to do.

iPhone and iPad

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap Privacy
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Advertising
  4. Next to Limit Ad Tracking, slide the toggle to the right to enable this feature
  5. Underneath the Limit Ad Tracking option, tap Reset Advertising Identifier… and then tap Reset Identifier on the pop-up (this will sever any ties between your device and any profiles you may already have with advertisers)


  1. Open the Google Settings app in your app drawer (not Android’s main Settings app)
  2. Tap Opt out of interest-based ads and confirm
  3. Tap Reset advertising ID

Windows Phone

Unlike iOS and Android devices, the easiest way to opt out of ad tracking on Windows Phone devices is to visit this page from your computer:

Make sure you’re signed into your Microsoft account and then in the second box labeled “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account,” click the Off option.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.