iOS 15's Annoying Apple Watch Unlock Bug Is Fixed

Apple promised to fix it, and now it has in iOS 15.0.1.

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Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

One of the handiest features Apple introduced during the pandemic was unlocking your phone with the Apple Watch. However, soon after the iOS 15 public release, it became clear “Unlock with Apple Watch” wasn’t working for some iPhone 13 owners. Good news: Apple’s patched the bug in its latest update.

The fix was released today as part of iOS 15.0.1. How do we know? The update summary explicitly says so. In addition to unnamed bug fixes, Apple notes it fixed an “issue where some users could not unlock iPhone 13 models with Apple Watch.” Doesn’t get clearer than that. To get the update, head to the Settings app, select General, and then Software Update. The feature works on the iPhone X or later that are paired with a Series 3 or later.

Image for article titled iOS 15's Annoying Apple Watch Unlock Bug Is Fixed
Screenshot: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Last year, wearing masks made using FaceID while out and about a chore. Unlock with Apple Watch was a clever workaround for those who already had invested in one. Given that mask-wearing is still common, it’s easy to see why iPhone 13 users were irked by the bug. Previously, the Apple Watch had also been used to unlock Macs or apps like password manager 1Password.

As for the other bugs fixed, the update notes say the Settings app had been incorrectly displaying alerts that storage is full and audio meditations were unexpectedly starting workouts on the Apple Watch for some Fitness+ subscribers.


iOS 15 has had its fair share of hiccups since its public release a few weeks ago. One involved missing audio from Instagram Stories if the ringer switch was set to silent. (That was fixed last week.) However, others have reported bugs such as Messages deleting saved photos during iCloud backups, AirPods Pro losing Siri controls, reduced touchscreen responsiveness, and removed Siri commands for phone calls, voicemails, and e-mail.