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Unlock Your iPhone While Wearing a Mask

26th April 2021

Jacob Woolcock


Find it a struggle to unlock your iPhone in the store with your Face Mask on? Maybe checking emails at work is hard because FaceID doesn’t recognise your Face Covering? Well if you have an Apple Watch there is a solution coming very soon in iOS 14.5.

Yes that’s right, you’ll soon be able to unlock your iPhone using a version of FaceID that doesn’t get confused by Face Masks. It uses your Apple Watch to authenticate you and ensures that the phone is still as secure as ever.

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How many times you tried to unlock your iPhone in the shop or at work with your face mask on?

It doesn’t work with Face ID!

Well that’s all about to change with the new release of iOS 14.5 – here’s how it works…

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So look, we’ve all been there haven’t we trying to get our shopping lists up in the shop and because of wearing face masks so much nowadays Face ID is a real pain.

You have to tap on there and then put in your pin code every single time you want to unlock your phone.

Well not anymore! iOS 14.5 is out and it brings a great new feature where you can unlock your iPhone even when wearing a face mask in a secure and authenticated way by using your Apple Watch.

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to jump into the Settings App and then we’ll go down to Face ID and Passcode.

From here, enter in your Passcode to verify as you, and then you’re going to scroll down to where it says ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’

At this stage you’ll probably realise that you actually do need an Apple Watch to make this work – and the idea is your Apple Watch and your iPhone are linked to the same iCloud account.

So as long as your Watch is unlocked and it’s in proximity to your iPhone, Face ID will now do a reduced scan of just your eyes and that way it will get past wearing a mask.

This is still very secure and it’s still using multiple forms of biometric authentication because your watch is unlocked as well, but let’s try in action.

I’m going to lock my iPhone and then I’m going to swipe up as if I wanted to unlock my phone normally.

And look, just like that, it’s unlocked with my Apple Watch and Face ID combined!

My Watch has given me a little tap on the wrist to say my phone’s unlocked and I can lock it from my Watch as well if I want to.

This gives me that peace of mind that if someone did have my phone nearby and they were trying to get into it without me wanting them to I could lock it again from my wrist.

So there’s Face ID working whilst wearing a mask using the Apple Watch on iOS 14.5

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