How to get iMessage quantum security

Apple has launched a major security upgrade for iMessage – protection against quantum computers. Read along for how to get iMessage quantum security on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, why it’s valuable, and more.

In February, Apple revealed what it calls the “most significant” cryptographic upgrade for iMessage called PQ3. Now the new iMessage quantum security is available for all iPhone users that install iOS 17.4.

For more details on what quantum security is, check out our full explainer:

How to enable iMessage quantum security

  1. Install iOS 17.4 on your iPhone
    • Install iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4 to upgrade on iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch
  2. Your iMessage will automatically be upgraded with PQ3 (quantum protection) over time

How long does the iMessage upgrade take?

  • Apple says that there will be an automatic “ramping up” of iMessage conversations switching to the post-quantum encryption protocol and will require devices on both ends of iMessages to be running iOS 17.4.
  • Apple predicts the PQ3 iMessage quantum security upgrade “will fully replace the existing protocol within all supported conversations this year.”

Why is PQ3 important now?

how to get iMessage quantum security 1
via Apple

Getting ahead of future quantum computer-based attacks is important. One of the present threats is an approach called “Harvest Now, Decrypt Later.” Threat actors steal data now and when more powerful computers are available in the future to crack existing encryption, they access the data. iMessage quantum security (PQ3) helps protect against this vulnerability and more.

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