Apple introduced a new contact sharing feature in iOS 17 that automatically shares your contacts with people around you who also have an iPhone. This allows you to easily connect and start conversations with new people. However, some users may find this feature intrusive or simply want more control over who can access their contacts.
Fortunately, iOS 17 also gives you the option to turn off contact sharing completely. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to disable contact sharing on your iPhone updated to iOS 17. I’ll also provide some additional tips on managing this feature.
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Before getting started, make sure that:
- Your iPhone is updated to iOS 17 or later. To check, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
- You have the latest version of AirDrop installed. AirDrop handles the contact sharing functionality.
- Your contacts are synced to your iCloud account. You manage contact sharing at an account-level.
If your iPhone meets these requirements, you’re ready to turn off contact sharing.
Follow these steps to turn off contact sharing in iOS 17:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on your Apple ID banner. This is usually your name and email address associated with your Apple ID.
- Tap the “Bringing Devices Together” option.
- Toggle the switch for “Bringing Devices Together” off. The toggle should now appear gray instead of green.
|Open the Settings app on your iPhone
|Scroll down and tap on your Apple ID banner
|Tap the “Bringing Devices Together” option
|Toggle the “Bringing Devices Together” switch off
And you’re done! Contact sharing is now disabled on your device.
How Does Contact Sharing Work?
To understand how to best control this feature, it helps to first understand what contact sharing in iOS 17 actually does:
- It uses AirDrop and Bluetooth to share your contact information with nearby iOS devices.
- Your first name and phone number are shared. This allows people to address you directly and start a conversation.
- You do NOT share your entire Contacts list. You can still control access to this personal data.
- Contact information is encrypted end-to-end for privacy. No data goes through Apple’s servers.
- You can set your iPhone to share with Everyone, People You Know, or turn sharing off.
- “People You Know” uses data like previously shared contacts or communications to determine if a nearby device is familiar or not.
So in summary – it is not sharing your private data in bulk, but rather just a way to facilitate more personal offline connections. Keeping that in mind may help guide how you choose to manage the settings.
Who Can Access Your Shared Contacts?
Depending on what you select for your contact sharing settings, different groups of people nearby can access your contacts:
Everyone: Literally anyone with an iOS device nearby can view the contacts you share. This includes complete strangers.
People You Know: Only your existing contacts or people you’ve previously interacted with are able to access your shared information. This excludes strangers.
Off: No one has access to your shared contacts when turned off. You maintain complete control.
Take your preferences for privacy into account as you decide which option works best. If completely avoiding any contact from strangers is your priority, disabling the feature is the way to go.
Additional Settings to Consider
In addition to the main contact sharing toggle, there are a few additional iOS settings related to this feature you may want to review:
AirDrop Receiving: Determines who can send AirDrop content requests to you. Since contact sharing uses AirDrop protocols, you can further limit sharing by adjusting who can interact with you via AirDrop.
Show Me in Find My: Enabling this allows nearby iOS users to view your location in the Find My app. They can then send AirDrop requests based on proximity. Disable this to avoid strangers pinpointing your location to access your shared contacts and interact with you directly.
That covers the basics of how to disable contact sharing in iOS 17 on your iPhone! The simple toggling of that “Bringing Devices Together” switch gives you full control. Make sure to review any additional settings like AirDrop configurations to determine your optimal preferences based on your comfort level and priorities around privacy. Reach out or consult official Apple resources if you have any other questions on customizing this feature.