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The NHS COVID-19 app is compatible with Apple phones with iOS versions 13.5 and higher. This includes the latest versions of Apple phones such as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.While the app does work on iOS version 13.5, we recommend you upgrade to version 14 or higher. Read more about how to upgrade your Apple smartphone.

If you install the NHS COVID-19 app on a phone for the first time, you'll be asked to accept permissions to Exposure Notifications, which allows the contact tracing app to work.

If you've recently upgraded to a new or different iPhone and have restored from a previous backup, this prompt will not appear. You may see a message saying "Unfortunately, you cannot run this app".

This is because the upgrade does not keep your Exposure Notification settings. You will need to manually turn on Exposure Notifications again in your phone settings for the app to work.

You can also turn on Exposure Notifications by following these steps:

  1. Go to your phone’s settings and select ‘exposure notifications’.

  2. Make sure ‘active region’ is set as ‘England and Wales - Department of Health & Social Care'.

  3. Select the arrow next to this option, then scroll down to ‘share exposure information’.

  4. Make sure the toggle for ‘share exposure information’ is switched on.

When you have completed these steps, go back into the NHS COVID-19 app and follow any prompts for set up.

If you're still having difficulty turning on Exposure Notifications after a recent phone upgrade, please try reinstalling the NHS COVID-19 app.

You should also note that when you change your phone, your contact tracing and venue check-in data will not be transferred across to your new phone. This also includes when you restore the app from a back-up, so you may wish to make a note of any venues recently visited before closing down your old phone.

This is because the privacy-protecting features of the app stores app data on the specific device or handset that the app is on. This data is never backed up for privacy and security reasons, which means that your app is secure and safe.