How to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has a number of nifty features that should make you give it some consideration. Every now and then, someone asks me a question about it. For example, Can you use Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone? Can you unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch?, someone asked me, recently.

Yes, you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone in certain situations. It is one of the benefits of owning an Apple Watch. Let’s look at a few scenarios in which you might need to use this feature.

unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch
You can unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

When you may need to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

For example, if you have an iPhone that uses Face ID and you are wearing a mask or sunglasses, you can set up your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone when you glance at its screen.

You can also unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch when you have a passcode on your iPhone. To do this, you need to enable the Unlock with iPhone option in the Settings app on your iPhone. This way, you don’t have to enter your passcode on your iPhone every time you put on your Apple Watch.

Requirements to use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone

  • Your iPhone must support Face ID (iPhone X or later) and has iOS 14.5 or later
  • An Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later

The feature that lets you unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch also requires the following:

  • Your Apple Watch needs to be paired with your iPhone.
  • Your iPhone and Apple Watch need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. (You don’t need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.)
  • Your Apple Watch needs to have a passcode, and wrist detection must be turned on.
  • Your Apple Watch needs to be on your wrist and unlocked.
  • You need to be wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose, or sunglasses or ski goggles that cover your eyes. 

How to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone

  1. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are compatible, updated, and charged. You also need your Apple ID and password.
  2. Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo. Then, bring it near your iPhone and wait for the pairing screen to appear on your iPhone.
  3. Tap Continue on your iPhone, then hold your iPhone over the animation on your Apple Watch. Center the watch face in the viewfinder on your iPhone. Wait for a message to say that your Apple Watch is paired.
  4. If you don’t see the pairing screen, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap Start Pairing.
  5. Tap Set Up Apple Watch and follow the onscreen instructions to choose settings, create a passcode, set up features, and install apps.
  6. Wait for the progress wheel to appear on your Apple Watch. It might take a few minutes to finish the setup.
  7. When the setup is done, you can start using your Apple Watch with your iPhone.

How to setup your iPhone to allow your Apple Watch unlock it

To allow Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone for Siri requests or when an obstruction prevents Face ID from recognizing your face, do the following: On iPhone, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, then enter your passcode. Scroll down to Unlock With Apple Watch, then turn on the setting for your watch.

How to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

  1. Make sure that you’re wearing a mask, sunglasses, or ski goggles and that your Apple Watch is on your wrist and unlocked.
  2. Wake your iPhone by raising it or tapping its screen.
  3. Glance at your iPhone to unlock it. Then you can swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to begin using it.

Your Watch will confirm the unlocking action with haptic feedback as well as an alert on your phone screen. You can now proceed to use your iPhone the usual way.

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