You Should Stop Trying to Unlock Your iPhone 13 With Your Apple Watch. It Won’t Work

You Should Stop Trying to Unlock Your iPhone 13 With Your Apple Watch. It Won’t Work
Photo: Ming Yeung, Getty Images

If you’re tired trying to unlock your iPhone 13 with your Apple Watch only to fail miserably, don’t worry: You are not alone.

Apple said on Sunday in a support note that its handy “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature, which allows users wearing a face mask or sunglasses to unlock their device without Face ID or a passcode as long as they have their Apple Watch on, might not work on some iPhone 13s. The company said that users who try to unblock their phone might receive a message that says “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” or might not be able to set up the feature at all.

Users with iPhone 13s reported in recent days that the bug seemed to only affected Apple’s newest line of phones. Some stated that the feature worked fine on older models, such as the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Only the iPhone X and later versions can use the feature along with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

For iPhone 13 users who love this feature, Apple unfortunately doesn’t have a quick fix, although its note on Sunday does at least mean you can stop trying to fix it. (Various users tried valiantly to reset, unpair, and repair for hours to no avail). Some did report that a full reset of both devices fixed the problem, but that seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to be able to unlock your phone with your watch when there are, you know, other options to do so.

Apple did promise that the glitch will be fixed in a future software update, although it didn’t say what the problem was or when to expect the update. Until then, iPhone 13 users are most likely out of luck.

“Until the update is available, you can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13,” Apple said.

To turn off the Unlock with Apple Watch feature, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.