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How to unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch

Apple introduced the ability to unlock iPhones with the Apple Watch earlier this year, which comes in handy during a pandemic where we have to wear masks most of the time. If you didn’t know this option was available and want to try it out, it’s pretty simple to set up.

  1. On your iPhone, head to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enter your passcode.
  3. Scroll down and look for the Unlock With Apple Watch option. If you have more than one Apple Watch, you will need to turn the setting on for each one. Or select the smartwatch you want to enable the feature on.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to unlock your iPhone with the smartwatch, but make sure you’re wearing the Watch. Your Apple Watch must also have a passcode and be unlocked and close to your handset. The Apple Watch will tap your wrist to let you know that your iPhone has been unlocked.

However, some iPhone 13 have been reporting over the weekend that they can’t get the feature to work. The company addressed the problem in a new note on its support page. Some users see the error message “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch,” or they can’t set it up entirely. Apple is working on a fix, but it hasn’t given a timeline for releasing the software update. Gizmodo noted that some users went as far as a complete reset of both the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch to get it to work.

If you don’t want to go through that trouble, you can turn off the feature by heading to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Basically, the same as when you’ve first set it up.

This feature works on Apple Watch Series 3 and later and the iPhone X and later (those models with Face ID).

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