Face ID is often obsolete, especially in times when masks are compulsory. However, you can also unlock iPhone 11 with Apple Watch and we”ll show you how to do it and all the settings to be made.

Not every iPhone can be unlocked with the Apple Watch and it is not possible with every Apple Watch either. The iPhone must have Face ID integrated. This working starting with the iPhone X. Older models like the iPhone 8 or even earlier models are no longer available. In addition, the whole thing only works with an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer.

There are also requirements for the operating system. The function is only available if at least iOS 14.5 is installed on the iPhone 11 and watchOS 7.4 on the Apple Watch.

Unlock iPhone 11 via Apple Watch: Requirements

If your iPhone and Apple Watch meet all the requirements, you can now start setting up the function. If you haven’t already, pair your iPhone and Apple Watch first. Now you have to activate the wrist recognition in the settings of your Apple Watch and set a code for the watch.

The practical feature has a catch: the method is not considered as secure as Face ID or passcode. Theoretically, someone else with a mask could unlock your phone – as long as they also have your Apple Watch. You can therefore only use the function to unlock and not, for example, for mobile payments with Apple Pay.

Step 1: Install the latest iOS update

To unlock your iPhone 11 with Apple Watch, you need at least iOS 14.5. Have you turned off auto-update? Below are the steps to install the latest iOS version manually.

  1. Navigate to Settings and tap General.
  2. Select “Software Update”.
  3. Tap Download and Install.
  4. Select “Install”. Enter your access code when prompted.
  5. Your device will begin installing the software update. Now you have to wait for the installation to finish.

Step 2: Install the latest watchOS update

  1. Place your Apple Watch on the charger.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to My Watch.
  3. Navigate to “General” and then to “Software Update”.
  4. Tap on “Install”.
  5. Enter your iPhone passcode (check how to unlock iPhone when forgot passcode)
  6. Now your Apple Watch will start updating. Please be patient until your smartwatch is fully updated.

Step 3: Set “Unlock with Apple Watch”.

After you have the correct software version, set up your iPhone 11.

  1. Navigate to the Settings app and tap Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enter your access code.
  3. Scroll down and toggle the slider to Unlock with Apple Watch.
  4. A message is displayed. Select “Activate”.
  5. Don’t have an access code on your Apple Watch yet? Then a message appears. An access code is required for this function. Choose Open and follow the steps on your Apple Watch screen.

Important Things to Consider when Unlock iPhone 11

After you have taken all the important precautions in the settings, you still cannot unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch at will. The feature is only available when something is hiding your face; the technology behind Face ID recognizes this. So if you don’t wear a mask, it’s impossible to use your watch to unlock an iPhone 11 passcode.

It is also important that at the time you want to unlock your iPhone, WiFi and Bluetooth are activated on both devices. In addition, the Apple must not only be close to you, but also on your wrist.

With all that in place, all you have to do is tap an iPhone or bring up the lock screen and let it recognize your hidden face. Then you can swipe up from the bottom to unlock it.