Starting with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, Safari automatically removes tracking parameters from URLs while in private browsing mode, in order to prevent cross-site tracking. When a tracking parameter is detected while browsing or copying a link, Apple says Safari cuts out the URL identification components, while leaving the rest intact. The links will still work as expected, but they will no longer have unique identifiers.

Blue flag safari icon
Apple calls this new feature Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection, and it also works with shared links in the Messages and Mail apps. It can even be enabled for regular Safari browsing. On an iPhone, open the Settings app, tap Safari → Advanced → Advanced Tracking & Fingerprint Protection, and select All browsing. Users can also turn off the feature in this menu if they prefer not to use it at all.

In its WWDC 2023 video for developers, Apple shared an example URL before and after removing tracking parameters. The original URL contains a unique “click_id” parameter that advertisers can use to track user activity across websites. Safari automatically removes this parameter to protect user privacy.

Prevent Safari link tracking
iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma will be released later this year and are currently in beta for users with an Apple developer account.