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Apr 12, 2001
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Several iPhone 13 users have taken to online forums and social media to report that after receiving their brand new iPhones, they're experiencing a bug preventing it from communicating with their Apple Watch, making what's supposed to be a seamless experience an annoyance.

iphone-13-apple-watch-bug.jpeg

As outlined on Reddit, after receiving an iPhone 13, some customers cannot toggle on the "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature, allowing users to unlock their iPhones while wearing a mask thanks to their Apple Watch. When attempting to activate the feature, some customers are prompted with an "Unable to communicate with Apple Watch" prompt, with no clear solution.

Posts and comments on Reddit suggest that typical problem-solving solutions aren't working, such as restarting both devices and even unpairing and repairing the Apple Watch to the iPhone. Posts on Twitter and Reddit indicate that the issue is widespread amongst new iPhone 13 users, but at least so far, we aren't seeing reports of other iPhone models being impacted.

The iPhone 13 initially shipped with an outdated build of iOS 15, so customers experiencing the bug should first ensure they're running the latest iOS 15 and watchOS 8 version. Still, even then, reports suggest that does little to amend the issues.

The new bug joins a growing list of bugs related to iOS 15 and the new iPhones, including a bug that may result in Apple Music being inoperative after a restore, a bug that may cause widgets to reset, and a bug impacting reported iPhone and iPad storage.

Apple is currently testing iOS and iPadOS 15.1, but given the growing number of issues experienced by users, the company may decide to release iOS 15.0.1 before its first significant dot update for iOS and iPadOS 15. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the bug, and we'll update this if we hear back.

Article Link: iPhone 13 Users Experiencing 'Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch' Bug With Mask Unlocking
 
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bigandtasty

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2006
467
371
Gotta love those FREE NEW features! Hopefully it is just a bug due to iPhone not coming out until Friday
 

gank41

macrumors 68000
Mar 25, 2008
1,913
1,412
I’m not sure this is related to iPhone 13’s only. I’ve been unable to unlock my iPhone 12 Pro w/ my S6 Apple Watch on the last iOS 15 release (build 19A346).
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G4
Sep 11, 2014
10,280
15,219
I’ve not yet upgraded any of my iPhones iPads etc over to iOS 15. With regard to the phones, I guess I won’t be able to make a direct copy from my old iPhone to the 13 Pro when it gets here unless I update the old phone.
 

Paulejonesy

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2013
47
13
Had this with my last new Mac. try these steps. You'll need a Mac signed into the same iCloud account.

1 Open "Keychain Access"


2 In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items"


3 Search for "Auto Unlock"


4 You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."


5 Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)


6 Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)


7 There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"


8 Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)


9 Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"


10There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"


11 Delete both files


12 Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail.

Worked for me then. Hope it helps you all out now.

P.
 
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danmanmtl

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2005
100
122
Montreal
Had this with my last new Mac. try these steps. You'll need a Mac signed into the same iCloud account.

1 Open "Keychain Access"


2 In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items"


3 Search for "Auto Unlock"


4 You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."


5 Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)


6 Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)


7 There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"


8 Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)


9 Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"


10There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"


11 Delete both files


12 Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail.

Worked for me then. Hope it helps you all out now.

P.
This is a phone issue, not a mac issue. Your post is for fixing unlock your mac with watch.
 

tedley

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2009
156
135
Sacramento
Apple, stop releasing beta software to stable channel!
I'm sure it's not beta. This is to be expected. This is why I never buy release day. There are always things that pop up that weren't caught in initial testing. I like waiting a few months and give them time to iron out some of the bugs that popped up at release time. That's just my preference though.
 
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Jus711

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2011
137
60
Same issue, tried unpairing and pairing, rebooting both, updated both the 15.1 and 8.1 beta but no avail.
 
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filchermcurr

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2016
69
145
Poor Apple. :( They're only a small $2 trillion dollar company. They can't be expected to test that things work before releasing them! We expect too much.

Joking aside, before people start screaming at me about the complexity of software, I know. However... I also know that it would be easy enough to have a list of major features, say, one that includes unlocking with the watch or 'using Apple Music'. And to have a small team who is given the list. This team, we could call them something fancy sounding like "Quality Assurance", would then test these features to ensure that they work as expected.

I dunno. Just a crazy thought I had.
 

AJTC

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2012
116
179
We need iOS 15.0.1 to fix this and the storage full issue. It would be bad if they wait for 15.1 for this in particular.
 
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Cybertruck20

Contributor
Jun 21, 2017
68
112
Chicago, IL
I’m having issues just getting my watch to pair in initial setup. It didn’t transfer over when I setup the new phone and it’s taking forever to pair after setting up as new. Sitting at the apple store waiting for that to finish… maybe I’ll be out soon
 
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bigboy29

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
260
234
So hang on; what exactly is broken?

So it is not the sync between phone and watch that is actually busted; just the unlock using the watch if you are wearing a mask?

But the watch still unlocks when phone unlocks, workouts sync and watch is generally still syncing with the phone?
 

zpjet

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2005
13
7
This is a phone issue, not a mac issue. Your post is for fixing unlock your mac with watch.
Well - the *Unlock items are in iCloud Keychain, so it would make some sense.
There was a weird thing there - I had two entries for iPhones, one was 12 mini I used last year and another iPhone 13 Pro I got today, but the dates on those two records were kinda swapped (mini had today's date, 13 much older), so I got them passwords and talks etc recreated but it is still the same.
I did have a moment when I didn't delete all of it and I got the very same error on the Mac so I guess if we had a chance to edit Keychain on iPhone we could fix it.
I'm so used to unlock when wearing a mask but it's not the end of the world, someone will find a fix or it will be solved by an update.
 
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