Apple has recently released iOS 14.5 enabling a feature to help millions of iPhone owners who have been struggling to unlock their phones with FaceID while wearing a mask during Covid.

Combined with Alexa, I use my iPhone as a shopping list. Being able to say “Alexa add XXX to my shopping list” from anywhere in my house, as I think of it, is unbelievably convenient. Unlocking my iPhone and checking the Alexa App while masked up in a Supermarket is not. I’ve never missed TouchID until this point!

Apple has finally resolved this issue for anyone who also has an Apple Watch. Running the latest versions of iOS and WatchOS now allows you to use your watch to automatically unlock your iPhone for you.

Unlock Your iPhone Wearing A Mask

You must be running iOS14.5 and WatchOS7.4 to enable this feature. You must also enable these requirements:

  • Your Apple Watch needs to be paired with your iPhone.
  • Your iPhone and Apple Watch need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
  • 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.

How To Turn On Unlock With Watch

To enable Unlock with Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode, then type your passcode.
  3. Scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch, then turn on the feature next to your watch’s name. If your watch doesn’t have wrist detection enabled, you’ll be asked to turn it on.

Unlock Your iPhone Wearing A Mask - Settings Unlock Your iPhone Wearing A Mask - Enabled

When enabled your iPhone will unlock for you when it detects you’re wearing a facemask. You must be wearing a Facemask otherwise the iPhone will just unlock normally. Your Apple Watch will vibrate on your wrist to confirm your iPhone has just been unlocked.

Unlock Your iPhone Wearing A Mask