Apple Data Download: How to Get Your Copy & What Info You Will (and Won’t) Receive

Thankfully, your message history is not included in your downloadable Apple data.

Thankfully, your message history is not included in your downloadable Apple data. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Starting today, Apple will allow all U.S. users to download a copy of their data from the company, a feature Apple originally made available to users in Europe as mandated by GDPR.

The new function is part of Apple’s revamped privacy guidelines, which encourage users to turn on two-factor authentication to better protect their data. The new privacy settings also offers users the option to opt out of targeted ads and notifications from Apple.

Want your data? Here’s how to request your copy and exactly what you will (and will not) get.

Subscribe to Observer’s Business Newsletter

How to Download Your Apple Data:

  • Sign in to your Apple ID account page at appleid.apple.com on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or PC.
  • Go to “Data & Privacy” and select “Manage Your Data and Privacy.”
  • On the following page, go to “Get a copy of your data” and select “Get started.”
  • Select the specific sets of data you would like to download, such as calendar, iCloud contacts and App Store purchase history. You can also download everything by hitting “select all.”
  • Apple will then verify your identity and start organizing your data. When the file is ready, it will be available on your Apple ID account page for 14 days.

What’s in Your Apple Data File?

  • Your call history;
  • Your Apple ID account information and your login records;
  • Data you stored on iCloud, including photos, videos, contacts, calendars, notes, bookmarks, email and other documents;
  • App usage information from iCloud, Apple Music, Game Center and the Health app;
  • Your purchase records and browsing history from the App Store, iTunes Store and Apple Books;
  • Your purchase records from Apple retail stores.

What’s Not in Your Apple Data File?

  • Your messaging history (because your messages are encrypted information and can’t be accessed without your device passcode);
  • Your browsing history and other activities on Apple News, Apple Maps and Siri (this data is not downloadable because these three apps collect user information on an anonymous basis and therefore can’t attribute data to individual users);
  • Certain information in your purchase history, including credit card numbers, bank account numbers, device ID numbers and email addresses, will be masked in the file for theft protection purposes. If you want to view the masked data, you will need to sign in to your Apple ID account online or contact your bank.
Apple Data Download: How to Get Your Copy & What Info You Will (and Won’t) Receive