A seemingly useful trick for unlocking your iPhone has been doing the rounds on social media which allows you to unlock your iPhone with a simple voice command. While it might sound handy, it’s one tip you should probably avoid if you want to keep your device secure.
Unlocking Your iPhone With Your Voice
We don’t necessarily recommend doing this for most users, but here’s how to unlock your iPhone by speaking to it if you’re curious. First, head to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control and tap “Set Up Voice Control” at the top of the menu. Tap “Continue” then “Done” after reading the information displayed.
Next, you’ll need to mark the location of the buttons you’ll be using on the “Enter Passcode” screen. Make sure that Face ID doesn’t automatically unlock your iPhone (cover the sensor at the top of the screen) and grab something like a whiteboard marker or makeup brush that you can easily wipe off your iPhone screen when you’re done.
Physically mark the location of your passcode sequence on the “Enter Passcode” screen. You’ll need to remember the sequence yourself, so make a note of the pattern as you’re doing so.
Head back to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control, tap on “Customize Commands” followed by “Create New Command…” and type (or speak) the phrase you want to use.
Tap on “Action” then select “Run Custom Gesture” and (using the marks you made earlier) tap out the unlock sequence used to enter your passcode. Now tap “Save” and then hit the “New Command” button to go back to the previous screen. Hit “Save” one more time and your gesture will be saved.
You can now trigger your command on the “Enter Passcode” screen to automatically fill in your passcode. You’ll find your new gesture under Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control > Customize Commands > Custom. Tap on it then tap “Edit” followed by “Delete Command” to get rid of it.
Why Voice Unlocking Is a Bad Idea
This trick has mostly made the rounds on TikTok, and though it sounds like a clever time-saver in theory, it’s not a great idea from a security standpoint. In one of the more popular TikToks, the author uses the phrase “please unlock my iPhone” to trigger the shortcut.
The phrase can be triggered by anyone, so enabling this feature provides a potential point of entry for anyone to access your device. You could try and secure your iPhone by picking a complex and hard-to-guess phrase, but if you use it in the presence of others it’s going to be hard to keep it a secret. It’s a lot easier to disguise your standard passphrase by simply holding your iPhone in a way that others cannot see.
This technique is often touted as a way to unlock your iPhone when your hands are dirty, but if you’re unlocking your iPhone you’re probably going to touch the screen anyway. Don’t forget you can always enable Siri from the lock screen under Settings > Siri & Search > Allow Siri When Locked and enable “Hey Siri” while you’re there to use your iPhone hands-free without bypassing your passcode.
Solving Face ID Issues
Another argument for this voice command is to solve problems that arise from Face ID not working properly. Unlocking your iPhone using facial recognition is fast and convenient, and you should use the feature if you have an iPhone that supports it. If you’re having trouble, you might want to try re-scanning your appearance under Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Reset Face ID.
You can also tap “Set up an Alternative Appearance” to add a second face if you find certain looks don’t work with Face ID as you’d expect. Enable “Face ID with a Mask” from this menu to use Face ID when wearing a face mask, and tap “Add Glasses” to scan any eyewear you regularly wear that may interfere with Face ID.
Once you’ve done this, Face ID should be a lot more reliable. More importantly, it’s tied to your appearance and doesn’t involve opening your iPhone up to snoopers who have guessed or overheard your unlock command.
Unlock Your iPhone With an Apple Watch, Too
Did you know you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone? This feature kicks in when Face ID doesn’t recognize you as a failsafe. You’ll get a tap on your wrist to notify you that your iPhone is unlocked, which can help avoid unwanted unlocks.
If you want to make your iPhone more secure, use a more complex passcode. You can also lock down a locked iPhone by restricting what can be done from the lock screen.
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