Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

If you regularly wear a Covid mask or sunglasses, it soon becomes tedious when your iPhone won’t unlock because Face ID didn’t recognize your face. But did you know that if you have an Apple Watch, you can use it to automatically unlock your iPhone when your face is partially covered? There are a few things you need to configure to get it working, which we’ll cover below. It’s worth it and it’s very convenient. It’s more or less Face ID 2.0.

Read more: Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Series 8: Should You Upgrade?


If you want to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch, your phone and watch must be compatible and paired. A wrist detection and passcode must also be enabled on your watch. Then when you raise the phone to your face, the watch will unlock it, as long as the watch is unlocked.

How to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

It only takes a couple of minutes to set things up. Then you no longer have to take off your sunglasses or Covid mask when you want to unlock your iPhone with Face ID. Your Apple Watch will take care of business for you.


apple iphone 14 pro nearby cameras

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

Let’s first take a look at the requirements for both the iPhone and Apple Watch for this to work.

  1. Your iPhone needs to have Face ID activated. (iPhone X or later). You also need iOS 14.5 or later.
  2. Your Apple Watch must be a Series 3 or later, running watchOS 7.4 or later.
  3. Both the Apple Watch and the iPhone need to be paired with each other.
  4. iPhone and Apple Watch need Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
  5. The Apple Watch must have a passcode and wrist detection enabled. To enable wrist detection, go to Settings > Passcode on your Apple Watch and enable wrist detection.
  6. The Apple Watch must be on your wrist and unlocked (PIN must be entered).

If your devices meet all of these requirements, continue to the next section.

How to set it up

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Face ID and password. Enter your access code and on the next screen scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch. Activate the name of your watch.

ios face id passcode apple watch

Assuming you met all the requirements in the first section, activating the feature on the iPhone screen activates it instantly. From then on, if you are wearing a mask or dark glasses, bring your iPhone close to your face. The phone will unlock and you’ll get a slight haptic feedback from the watch (a quick double-click sound, like a dice roll).

Read more: Apple iPhone 13 Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know

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