iPhone 13 Owners Are Unable to Use Unlock with Apple Watch Feature

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 24 Sep 2021

The convenient Unlock with Apple Watch feature is not working for some new iPhone 13 users. They are receiving an error message when they attempt to switch the feature on.

Apple had introduced the Unlock with Apple Watch feature in February this year. It was an efficient workaround for when Face ID wouldn’t work because of the face masks people were wearing.

If you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, you can enable this handy feature under the Face ID & Passcode settings. Once this setting is switched on, your iPhone will authenticate your identity and unlock the device using the connected Apple Watch if these conditions are met:

  • Face ID detects a mask
  • Your Apple Watch is nearby
  • Your Apple Watch is on your wrist
  • Your Apple Watch is unlocked
  • Your Apple Watch has a passcode enabled

The feature can also be used to lock your iPhone from the Apple Watch using the Lock iPhone option.

Unfortunately, a lot of iPhone 13 buyers today discovered firsthand that this feature doesn’t work on their new devices. Attempting to toggle it on results in an error message that reads, “unable to communicate with Apple Watch. Make sure your Apple Watch is unlocked and on your wrist, and your iPhone is unlocked.”

In fact, there’s a Reddit thread where people are complaining about this issue. Worryingly, none of the mitigants people have tried thus far, worked. Some tried toggling wrist deleted on and off, restarting the Apple Watch, restarting the iPhone, cycling Bluetooth on and off, and cycling Airplane Mode on and off, all to no avail.

Another user mentioned that unpairing and repairing the Apple Watch, hard resetting the Watch and the iPhone, and turning off the passcode didn’t help matters either.

The issue appears to be widespread and is clearly detrimental to the user experience Apple had in mind for the iPhone 13. We expect the company to fix the issue with an update to iOS, just like how it fixed the issues with Apple Music.

[Via 9to5Mac]