Wearing a mask? Unlock your iPhone using Apple Watch

The spread of COVID-19 makes us all wearing masks in our daily routines. So, for iPhone users, Face ID will not work when you try to unlock your iPhone when wearing a mask. Apple solves this problem for those who have Apple Watch and installed watchOS 7.4 and iOS 14.5 on their iPhone device.

Unlock your iPhone using Apple Watch when wearing a mask

While I was writing this guide the software is in beta and you can install the public beta right now. You can wait for the final feature release of iOS 14.5 and then you will be able to unlock your iPhone when wearing a mask with the help of the Apple Watch.


  • Apple iPhone with FaceID and Apple Watch.
  • Updated software must be installed on iPhone and Apple Watch, iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 respectively.
  • Your Apple watch must be on your wrist and nearby to the iPhone
  • Must be secured with a passcode and unlocked.
  • Also, make sure the Apple Watch wrist detection feature isn’t disabled, otherwise, you will not be able to unlock your iPhone with the help of the Watch.

How to enable Apple Watch unlock

To enable the feature “Unlocking with Apple Watch” you need to follow the steps given below:

  1. Open up the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Face ID & Passcode option and enter the passcode when prompted.
  3. On the next screen, scroll down to the section “Unlock with Apple Watch” and toggle the switch to enable it.

See also: Unpair Apple Watch with or without iPhone

Now, just raise your iPhone with a face mask on and it will be unlocked and you will see a notification on your Apple Watch as well “iPhone unlocked by this Apple Watch.” With this message, there will be a button “Lock iPhone” that you can use to lock your iPhone from the Apple Watch and force you to enter the passcode or use the Face ID without wearing a mask.

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