A fix is coming for Unlock with Apple Watch not working on iPhone 13

Do you run into weird issues when attempting to unlock iPhone 13 with Apple Watch? You’re not alone. Apple has recognized that people are having problems with this feature and has promised to deliver a fix, but wouldn’t say when.


  • Some iPhone 13 owners report issues with the Unlock with Apple Watch feature
  • For some reason, the phone is unable to communicate with the watch
  • Apple has acknowledged the issue, saying a future update will fix this bug
  • It’s unclear when the fix might arrive though

A person shown wearing a face mask and starring at their iPhone screen

Unlock iPhone 13 with Apple Watch not working?

The problem is officially acknowledged in a support document on the Apple website.

Apple has identified an issue where Unlock with Apple Watch may not work with iPhone 13 devices. You might see “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch.

According to the company, the software bug will be resolved in an upcoming software update. It’s unclear when the update might arrive though.

How to fix Unlock with Apple Watch not working on iPhone 13

Until Apple releases iOS and watchOS software updates squishing this bug, you can make your life easier by turning off the malfunctioning feature. To do so, launch the Settings app on your iPhone and hit Face ID & Passcode from the list, then type your passcode.

How to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

Now scroll down and turn off the feature next to your watch’s name. Doing so will turn off the Unlock with Apple Watch feature until you turn it back on. Turning off Unlock with Apple Watch lets you use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13, mini, Pro and Pro Max.

What do the Reddit users say?

Reddit users have provided a slew of potential fixes, including the nuclear option that involves resetting both the phone and the watch and trying to pair them again. Unpairing the Apple Watch and then repairing it to the iPhone 13 model does not result in a fix.

Apple’s new iPhone 13 lineup is exhibiting other teething problems. As iDB reported, restoring an iPhone 13 from an iCloud backup can result in losing access to Apple Music. On top of that, all iPhone 13 models, and some iPads, have been reported to reset their home screen widgets after restoring the device from a backup. Some of the issues are rooted in iOS 15 itself, like a bug making some iPhones show their storage as full even when it isn’t.