We have a mobile app (iOS specifically) and we want to display a popup to our users when our Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy changes and explicitly require them to accept or reject the new terms.

If the user rejects the terms of the privacy policy they should be unable to continue to use the app. How should we handle this experience?

Obviously, we want the users to be able to reaccept the policy if they accidentally clicked the wrong button. So far the best solution I have been able to come up with is to display an alert if the user rejects informing them that they cannot use the app until the accept. Every time they come back to the app, they will be prompted to accept the new policy.

  • 1
    Is it possible, for user who rejected, to block some functionality, which is under new terms? E.g. having rejected new terms on privacy, they still able to create content, but cannot share it. And when they try to share, ask for re-acceptance. Apr 21, 2016 at 7:10
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    Let them onto the start screen(assuming it has one). When they try to select an option bring up the policy, if they reject just return to the start screen. Apr 21, 2016 at 8:29

6 Answers 6


Whenever your TOS change, you should show them whenever the app starts. Here's a simple mockup:

enter image description here

The user must click on the "Proceed" button to continue using the app. This button is enabled only if the checkbox "Accept the TOS" is ticked.

You might want to add another button "Exit" to allow the user to go back easily to the device's home screen.

  • Right, I like this. It has the benefit of being super clear, and the user also cannot accidentally tap the wrong button. Thanks for the suggestion!
    – rheotron
    Apr 22, 2016 at 1:14
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    Clean and simple. Building on this: If the checkbox is unchecked then the button label could change to "Close app" which will support users in understanding the implication of not accepting. Personally I would avoid rigid wordings like 'must' and try to make it more friendly, aiming at users understanding why this is needed. Apr 26, 2016 at 8:29

How about justy shutting down the app? The next time you start the app, it will immediately prompt again to accept the terms and conditions.


Well, if you don't want them to be able to use the app at all, as opposed to limiting functionality, then your approach is probably the best way to go.

I would ensure it is framed something like "Are you sure you no longer want to..." and give them the option then and there to either confirm or cancel their choice.

If they confirm their rejection then quit the app and ensure that upon relaunch it prompts them again to accept the terms and conditions.

However, if there was a way to limit the app's functionality, then I would do this instead. They can still engage with the app to some degree and upon trying to do something that needs them to accept the terms and conditions, then prompt them again.


As it depends on your app functionality, I think in general you should allow to use your applicated with restrictions. Here is some reasons to do so.

  • Most likely your application has some user data which should be still accessible to user even with new TOS, e.g. history, settings, high scores, etc.
  • Most likely you don't want user to remove your app. In such case you have chance that he adopted your TOS when you change them one more time.

I think the best way is to lock features which really require to accept TOS and notify user when he want to use them - like alerting to turn on Bluetooth or geolocation.


The legalese as very nicely put in another answer will never be understood enough by a regular user to be read thoroughly.

But yes for legal reasons it is always better for the company to put that TOS text somewhere over there.

However this does not prevent you from repeating the main points in simple language with some humour. And it does not prevent you from explaining to the user why these terms of service are necessary.

This can be a good time for feedback as well ;) Why not let the user pinpoint which part of the terms of service is a deal breaker for him or her?

An html editor that would let the user mark with color the unwanted TOS parts and perhaps a free text field below would tell you a lot more than a simple “decline”

terms of service one screen to select and another to markup with special html editor



TOS are draconian nightmares, and not really worth the virtual ink they're printed with because nobody ever reads them.

Comprehension is also a problem. The great majority of people wouldn't understand what they're agreeing to, even if you did (somehow) force them to read your TOS. Legalese is not English, not user friendly and very difficult to comprehend. "And, " and "and" and ", and" are very different things in Legalese. I think. Who knows. Not many people.

Approach this with the kind of humour and humility it deserves and you may have more people sign your TOS. Write the entire TOS in simple English and some folks may even celebrate it and promote you company for you.

Add humour to the entire thing and you'll gain like this:



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