Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch: Here's how!

With iOS 14.5, the iPhone has the ability to unlock it with the Apple Watch. But that will probably not work automatically. Because there are some requirements and settings that must be observed beforehand. If you want to unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch, you will find the most important information here. I'll list the official requirements, show you the settings under iOS and give you a little step-by-step guide. Have fun trying.

Unlock the iPhone with the Apple Watch - Here you will find the requirements, the settings and the procedure for the Face ID alternative when wearing a face mask / mouth and nose cover.

Unlock the iPhone with the Apple Watch - Here you will find the requirements, the settings and the procedure for the Face ID alternative when wearing a face mask / mouth and nose cover.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch: requirements

The whole thing does not work with all iPhones and not with every model of Smartwatch. You need at least an iPhone X (2017) or a newer iPhone with Face ID. IOS 14.5 or later must be installed on this. The smartwatch must be an Apple Watch Series 3 (2017) or later with watchOS 7.4 or later. Furthermore, Apple mentions the following points to be fulfilled:

  • The two devices must be paired with each other
  • Both devices must have Bluetooth and WLAN activated
  • The watch must have a code and wrist recognition
  • The watch must be on the wrist as well as unlocked
  • The function only works if a face mask is worn

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch: Settings under iOS

If you have ticked off all of the above, it may still be the case that you are not yet able to unlock the iPhone with your Apple Watch. Because you probably have to take a quick look at the iPhone's settings app. This is the exact procedure:

  1. The Settings open on the Apple iPhone
  2. On the list item Face ID & Code tippen
  3. Enter the iPhone code to access
  4. Under Unlock with Apple Watch activate the function
  5. If the wrist detection is not yet active, this will be noted

The "Unlock with Apple Watch" option will not be displayed if an Apple Watch is not yet paired with your iPhone. If the menu item is missing, you first have to connect your Apple Smartwatch to the mobile phone.

Tip: How to find the app tracking setting in iOS 14.5

Unlock iPhone with face mask thanks to Apple Watch

If you are out and about, shopping in the supermarket, on public transport or the like, then you are probably wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose. That of course throws Face ID in the way. But if everything is set up according to the information given above, you can use your iPhone quickly and easily as follows without removing the mask or having to enter the iPhone code:

  1. Wake iPhone from sleep by lifting it or tapping it
  2. Look at the display as when using Face ID
  3. After recognizing the watch (and subsequently unlocking it) swipe up on the display

You can find more information and screenshots on the topic in the official Support document from Apple.

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2 comments

  1. Sebastian says:

    Works on my AW6 and iPhone XS in 2/10 cases. So not useful at the moment. I hope for 14.6.

    After the long beta it was a bit disappointing.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      I haven't tried it yet. Even if it works, it will probably take a moment and in that time I also typed in the code. But maybe better after Apple here ... would actually be a practical function if it worked quickly and reliably.

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