▶️ How to make sure your family can access your iPhone data when you die


It isn’t something any of us like to think about. What will happen to your digital data when you die?

I’m talking about the photos, notes, documents, files, contacts and calendars you keep on your phone. Those photos and videos are likely on your phone and nowhere else. Gaining access to a person’s iPhone or Android device is a long process and it is never guaranteed that the big tech companies will unlock someone’s phone even if a family member can prove the person is deceased.

In other words, all that data is lost forever.

A few years ago Apple introduced Apple Legacy Contacts which allows family members to unlock an iPhone and Apple ID when they pass away. But you have to set it up before anything happens to you. Here’s how:

  • Go into general settings on your iPhone
  • Tap on your ID at the top of the first page
  • Select “sign-in and security”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Legacy Contacts”

RELATED: Voice assistants may cause you to fall victim to fake business number scam

REALTED: Apple releases fix for issue causing iPhone 15 to run ‘warmer than expected’

You’ll be able to add Legacy Contacts here and anyone in your Family Sharing Group will be shown at the top of the page. You can add them simply by tapping their name. This will send an iMessage notifying them of your choice. A long string of numbers, letters, and special characters will serve as the access key along with a QR code that will be encrypted on their phone.

You can also print out the access key and QR Code to share a hard copy with them. This can also be stored alongside your will and shared with a family attorney for safekeeping.

In the event something happens to you, a Legacy Contact will use the access key or QR Code and provide a copy of the death certificate to Apple at which time it will unlock the phone and allow the Legacy Contacts to download data (photos, notes, files, contacts, etc) from the phone.

Apple famously will not unlock an iPhone or Apple ID under any circumstance unless Legacy Contacts are set up beforehand.

It’s the best way to leave your digital legacy to family members, safely.

What the Tech blog: www.whatthetech.tv


Top Local Stories