With iOS 14.5, Apple Watch can unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing a face mask

For the first time, iOS users will be able use their Apple Watch to unlock their iPhone when wearing a face mask. Apple today released the first developer betas of iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, which delivers the feature to iPhone and Apple Watch.

With iOS 14.5, Apple Watch can unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing a face mask
Apple Watch unlocks iPhone when user is wearing a face mask in iOS 14.5

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

To enable the Unlock with Apple Watch feature, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then look for the “Face ID & Passcode” setting. Once you flip this toggle, your Apple Watch will be able to authenticate your iPhone as long as the following conditions are met:

• Face ID detects a mask
• Your Apple Watch is nearby
• Your Apple Watch is on your wrist
• Your Apple Watch is unlocked
• Your Apple Watch has a passcode enabled

Another thing to keep in mind here is that if you disable the Apple Watch wrist detection feature, then you will not be able to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch.

Once you enable the feature, your iPhone will unlock automatically with your Apple Watch the next time you wear a face mask. When your iPhone unlocks, you’ll receive a haptic feedback notification on your Apple Watch telling you that your iPhone was unlocked by the Apple Watch.

MacDailyNews Take: Twitter user Luca Ansevini demonstrates how Apple Watch can unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing a face mask:


  1. Similar to existing MacOS feature for unlocking a Mac (no password entry needed) when wearing an Apple Watch with same credentials as logged in user of Mac. It’s convenient. Apple should do this for Face ID iPads too.

  2. So in order to unlock your iPhone with the Watch whilst wearing a mask you have to enter your password on your Watch the other 100 times a day you look at it? Ridiculous “feature”, thanks Tim.

    1. No, if it works like the similar MacOS feature, you just wear Apple Watch like normal. It needs to be unlocked when you put it on like normal, not every time you use Apple Watch. Don’t be ridiculous 🙄

    2. So, Nick, I take it you didn’t review the article’s attached video posted by Luca showing how easy it is to unlock an iPhone with a Apple Watch nearby?

      I think you owe “Tim” an apology. Grin.

  3. EPIC fail. You actually need an Apple Watch to use this feature. What a crock.
    I guess I’m just gonna use the alternate face scan with my mask on because I’ve read that’s the way to do it.

  4. Being a pioneer and one to endure hardship, I actually go through the stress and physically demanding process of inputting my 6-digit password. Maybe I should receive a govt check?

  5. I have never had a problem with a face mask, or ski gear, or a hoody with sunglasses, total darkness, or anything else. The joys of a small phone, iPhone SE (2020).

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