Here's How to Unlock Your iPhone While You're Wearing a Mask With the iOS 14.5 Beta

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Has this been a minor yet constant struggle for you throughout the pandemic? Then Apple has a solution.
Has this been a minor yet constant struggle for you throughout the pandemic? Then Apple has a solution.
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

So, you’ve heard about a new feature that will allow you to unlock your iPhone while you’re wearing a mask, and you want it. (Who could blame you?!) The good news is, you can access it with a public beta that’s now available. The bad news is that you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before you’re able to use it. You’ll also need an Apple Watch, and your smartwatch will need to be on your wrist, unlocked, and password-protected. Oh, and charged.

Got all that? Good.

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the most recent public beta updates for both your watch as well as your iPhone, so iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4. (Make sure your devices are backed up just in case anything weird happens during the process.) You’ll also be prompted to provide your Apple ID password, so have that handy. Then, head to in Safari on your iPhone and select Get Started. From this page, you’ll be able to select which of the public beta programs you’re interested in downloading. Select the iOS tab and scroll down to where it says enroll your iOS device and select this option. Next, scroll down and click the blue Download profile button. You’ll then see a series of prompts to install the public beta profile.


Once you complete this process, head to Settings, select General, and click on Software Update. This is where you should now see an option to Download and Install the iOS 14.5 public beta. Follow the instructions for installing the update, have a sip of water, and then prepare to install your watch update. Keep in mind, your watch will need its charger and will require at least 50 percent battery life.

From that same beta landing page in Safari, click Get Started and then select the watchOS option from the top menu. From this page, you should see a blue Download profile button—click it. Follow the prompts to download the public beta profile, and then head to your Watch app. Once your watch is connected to its charger and at least halfway charged, navigate in the Watch app to General, then Software Update, and select Install underneath the watchOS 7.4 public beta description.


Once the public beta profiles have been installed on both your watch as well as your iPhone, you should be able to enable the feature that allows your phone to be unlocked while wearing a mask. Head to your phone’s Settings, scroll down to Face ID & Passcode, and you should now see an option to Unlock with Apple Watch. Toggle this feature on. Your Apple Watch should now buzz as it’s unlocking your phone when you’re wearing a mask, and the watch will display an option to re-lock your phone as well. The unlocking is near instantaneous, and definitely much easier than entering your passcode.

And that’s it, you’re done! It may have taken a minute to set up, but hopefully, you’ll be free from having to yank on your mask or manually enter your passcode every time you need to unlock your phone moving forward.