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When wearing masks, you can unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch

Don’t let a face mask keep you from unlocking your iPhone. Use your Apple Watch to open your handset.

Your Apple Watch can already be used to open your Mac. In upcoming iOS and watchOS releases, you can also use your wearable device to open your iPhone. The feature works when you’re wearing a mask, and using Face ID to unlock iPhone isn’t possible. Here’s how to do it.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That’s why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

While the iPhone 12 series might be some of the best iPhones to date, in this time when many of us are still wearing masks, the Face ID biometric system has often proven more of a hindrance than a help. That’s why, in the recently introduced iOS 14.5 developer beta, Apple has introduced “Unlock with Apple Watch.” The feature lets your Apple Watch automatically unlock your iPhone when certain conditions are met, including:

  • Face ID on your iPhone detects that you are wearing a mask
  • Your Apple Watch is nearby, on your wrist, unlocked, and has a passcode enabled

To use the new feature, you must have iOS 14.5 or later installed on your iPhone and watchOS 7.4 or later installed on your Apple Watch. At the time of this writing, these software versions remain in beta.

To get started:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down, choose Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Login with your passcode.

  4. Scroll down, toggle on Apple Watch under Unlock with Apple Watch.

That’s it! You can now unlock your iPhone using your Apple Watch when certain conditions are met.

Apple will release iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 to the public this spring.


Do you have any questions about the Unlock with Apple Watch feature? Let us know in the comments below.

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