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Here’s How to Easily Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

Being able to unlock iPhone with Apple watch saves you from the trouble of typing in passwords, making patterns, or using biometrics. It just makes it super convenient when you are in the middle of something and want to take a quick look at something on your phone. So, read this post to make the most of your Apple watch’s iPhone unlocking feature.

How to Set Up Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch Feature

You can Set up Unlock iPhone with the Apple Watch by pairing your iPhone with your Apple watch and activating the iPhone unlocking function. Then, you’ll be able to open the lock of your iPhone easily.

Here is the two-step process to set up this feature:

1. Pair Your iPhone with Apple Watch

To do so:

  1. Put on your Apple watch.
  2. Turn it on by holding down the side button.
  3. Unlock your iPhone and hold it close to the Watch until you see a message pop up.
  4. Tap Continue on your iPhone.
tapping continue
taking picture of animation
  1. Then tap Set Up For Myself.
tapping setup for myself
  1. Take a picture of the animation on your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
taking picture of animation
  1. Alternatively, if you can’t use the camera, tap Pair Apple Watch Manually on your iPhone, and follow these steps.
  2. A message will appear telling you that your Apple Watch has been paired.
taking picture of animation

2. Set up the Unlock iPhone Feature

To finally set up the feature, do the following:

  1. Tap Set up Apple Watch on your iPhone.
  2. You can tap Restore from backup if you have a backup of your previous Apple Watch. 
clicking on restore from backup
  1. Then follow the onscreen steps to transfer data to your new Watch.
  2. Next, tap Enter password to sign in with your Apple ID.
tapping on enter password
  1. Type in your password.
typing password
  1. Tap the Sign in button.
iphone screen sign in
  1. Adjust your Apple Watch’s text size and set a passcode with the onscreen prompts. You can also set up features like Apple Pay and Emergency SOS.
bolding text and size
  1. Now, set up cellular service if you have an Apple Watch cellular model. You can also download Apple Watch apps for your iPhone. Your iPhone’s Apple Watch app will let you set up these features later.
  2. Let your Apple Watch sync with your iPhone.
apple watch syncing
  1. As soon as the setup process is complete, keep your iPhone close to your Apple Watch.
  2. Your Watch will get a notification asking you to press the digital crown when it’s ready.

How to Use Apple Watch to Unlock Your iPhone

To use Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone, navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone > enter your password in the Face ID & Passcode section > turn on Unlock with Apple Watch settings app. Then wear the Watch, wake your iPhone, and look at its screen. You’ll feel a tap on your wrist to tell when your iPhone has been unlocked.

You can use this unlock feature with Face ID even while wearing a face mask. However, you must first enable the Unlock with Apple Watch option in settings by following these steps:

1. Enable Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

To do so:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
navigating to settings
  1. Drop down and tap on Face ID and Passcode.
selecting face ID and passcode
  1. Enter your iPhone’s Passcode.
  2. Scroll down and tap to turn on UNLOCK WITH APPLE WATCH by toggling the button.

Now, you have enabled the Unlock iPhone feature in your settings. In the next section, you will learn how Unlocking iPhone features work with Apple Watch.

2. Use Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

Here is the process to Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch:

  1. By wearing Apple Watch on your wrist and with your face mask covering your mouth and nose, open your iPhone by swiping it.
  2. If you glance at your iPhone, it will recognize that you are wearing a mask, and your Apple Watch will unlock it.
  3. When your iPhone is unlocked, Apple Watch will notify you by showing your name and saying: Unlocking with this Apple Watch.
  4. The Lock iPhone button will also allow you to lock the iPhone again if you want to do so.

What to Do if You Can’t Unlock My iPhone With Apple Watch- 5 Troubleshooting Tips

If you can’t unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch, you can try to reset your Face ID, ensure both your Apple Watch and iPhone are properly connected, turn the unlock feature on and off or disable and re-enable the Apple Watch passcode. 

Here are some tips to fix the issue of unlocking the iPhone with an Apple Watch:

1. Reset the Face ID

Apple Watch unlocks via Face ID, which detects masks on faces. Hence, resetting Face ID is a good idea if you can’t Unlock your iPhone With Apple Watch. Follow the steps to reset your Face ID:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your iPhone.
  1. Drop down and select the Face ID & Passcode option.
opening settings menu
  1. Type your Passcode.
  2. Tap Reset Face ID.

2. Make Sure Apple Watch has Connected to the iPhone Actively.

Your Apple Watch may pair with your iPhone but will not be connected actively. Here is how to verify that your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone:

  1. On your Apple Watch app, swipe up from the bottom to access the menu.
  1. Control Center appears on the screen.
clicking on control centre
  1. Suppose the iPhone icon is green in the top-left corner. Hence, this indicates that your connection is secure.
  1. You lose connection to your iPhone via your Apple watch when it shows red instead of green.
  2. To enable it, navigate to Settings.
  3. Select Bluetooth.
  4. Your Apple Watch is visible in the My Devices list.

3. Turn off Apple Watch’s Unlock With iPhone Feature.

According to some users, turning off Unlock With Apple Watch and restarting both devices made it work on an ‌iPhone‌. With watchOS, you can unlock your Apple Watch using your iPhone as long as it’s unlocked. Follow the steps to turn it off:

  1. Go to the Settings menu.
  1. Select Passcode.
select passcode
  1. You’ll see Unlock With iPhone and toggle it to turn it off.
toggling unlock with iPhone on

You’re turning off one feature to bring back another, so this is a workaround, not a fix. Depending on your use case, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it.

4. Disable and Re-enable the Apple Watch Passcode

An Apple Watch passcode is required to unlock Apple Watch. To see if this setting triggers anything, disabling and enabling it may help. Here is how you will turn off and on the Apple Watch passcode:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app‌.
opening iPhone watch app‌
  1. Select Passcode from the Watch tab.
selecting passcode
  1. Turn off the Passcode.
turn off the passcode
  1. You’ll need to enter your Apple Watch’s current Passcode to confirm.
  2. It’s now time to reboot your Apple Watch and ‌iPhone‌.
  3. After rebooting, re-enable the Passcode.

5. Check Wrist Detection

If your Watch can’t detect your wrist, you may face issues unlocking your phone with it. So, follow these steps to check whether Wrist Detection is on or not:

  1. Open your iPhone’s Watch app‌.
  1. Tap Passcode.
choosing passcode
  1. Check that the Wrist Detection switch is in the ON position.
toggling wrist detection on

Frequently Asked Questions

How to disable Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch feature?

If you want to disable the Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch feature, follow these steps:

1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
2. Select Face ID & Passcode.
3. Ensure that your Apple Watch’s name is toggled in the grey OFF position under Unlock With Apple Watch.

Can I unlock my iPhone with Apple Watch even if I am wearing a face mask?

Yes, you can unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch even if you are wearing a face mask or any face coverings. To unlock your phone with Face ID on your Apple Watch, simply enable the Unlock With Apple Watch option in settings.

Do I need the internet to unlock my iPhone with Apple Watch?

Yes, to unlock your iPhone using Apple Watch, you’ll need both the internet and Bluetooth enabled. Also, when setting up your Apple Watch and iPhone, ensure they’re close to each other.

How to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch?

To unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch, make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, and that “Unlock with Apple Watch” is enabled on your iPhone. Then, simply wear your Apple Watch and hold it near your iPhone. Your iPhone will automatically unlock, as long as your Apple Watch is unlocked and in proximity to your iPhone. This feature is only available on certain models of iPhone and Apple Watch and requires WatchOS 2 or later and iOS 9 or later.

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