How to disable the Ultra Wideband U1 chip on the iPhone 11
February 2, 2020

Prevent background tracking on your iPhone by doing this.

If you own an iPhone 11 or an iPhone 11 Pro, then you have the first iOS device that contains the new Ultra Wideband U1 chip. This is a new positioning technology that gives a more accurate location along with spatial awareness. This means that a device like the iPhone 11 can use the chip to determine its exact position relative to other devices in the room.

The Ultra Wideband U1 chip is primarily used by AirDrop so it can tell you which device is nearest to you when sending files through it. But the introduction of the chip also meant that it can also track a user’s location even when all background services are turned off.

This, of course, irked various privacy advocates, who told Apple that there should be an option to turn off the feature. Good thing Apple added an option to completely disable the U1 chip when iOS 13.3.1 rolled out last week, but it’s buried inside Settings so some might have trouble finding it.

Worry not and follow the steps below to see how to disable the Ultra Wideband U1 chip on the iPhone 11.

Note: you must be running iOS 13.3.1 on an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max to do this.

Open Settings, scroll down and look for the Privacy menu

Inside, look for the Location Services menu which should be at the top

Scroll all the way down and look for System Services

Inside, look for the option that says Networking & Wireless. Disable it to turn off the Ultra Wideband U1 chip

A note will pop-up saying that turning this option off will no longer enhance location services for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Feel free to turn it off if it is not a concern for you.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
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