iOS 14.7 breaks “Unlock with iPhone” for some users

Apple had released the latest version of their mobile operating system iOS earlier this week. Now in a new support document, the company has acknowledged that the release contains a bug that might cause the “Unlock with iPhone” feature for some Apple Watch users to stop working.

Apple Watch locks itself when it is taken of the user’s wrist as a security feature. This is important was an Apple Watch can be used for payments or for controlling smart home devices like smart door keys. “Unlock with iPhone” is a feature that allows users to automatically unlock their Apple Watch when the iPhone is in proximity and is unlocked.

Apple mentions that the bug only affects models with Touch ID. The following models with TouchID currently support iOS14.7. If you have one of these models you might want to skip this update:

  • Phone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)

The company said the bug will be fixed in an update to be released soon.

Until the fix is available, Apple recommends unlocking the Apple Watch by entering the passcode directly on the screen of the Apple Watch.

If you experience this issue, just type the passcode directly on your Apple Watch to unlock it. This is required only one time, as long as you keep your Apple Watch on your wrist. If you forgot your passcode, you need to reset your Apple Watch.

Things get more complicated for Enterprise users though. For such devices where a Mobile Device Management profile is used that requires users to use an alphanumeric password, the only way is to disable the alphanumeric password.

If your Apple Watch is paired to an iPhone with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) profile that requires an alphanumeric passcode, you won’t be able to type a passcode directly on your watch.

Follow these steps if you can’t unlock your Apple Watch:

– Ask your MDM administrator to remove the alphanumeric passcode requirement from your iPhone.

Unpair and erase your Apple Watch.

Set up your Apple Watch again.

MDM administrators can defer updating supervised iPhones with Touch ID until the release of the upcoming software update that addresses this issue.