Give family access to your iPhone in the event of death

Give family access to your iPhone in the event of death

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Our telephone has now become an indispensable part of our lives. We can’t live without it anymore. But what happens to all the data on our iPhone when we die? In the latest update of iOS 15, you can take care of your digital legacy.

In update 15.2 you can set a contact that you have set up to have full access to the data on your phone and in iCloud if you die. This includes access to your photos, messages, contacts, passwords and other accounts.

Do you want your digital legacy on you iPhone you can do it in a few steps.

Set up legacy contact

Before you assign a bereaved person to take control of your phone, you should of course first check whether all of that person’s data is still up to date. Is the phone number and email address correct? This is important, because if this information is incorrect, the person will ultimately not be able to access your data. The other doesn’t need an Apple ID or Apple device to become an inheritance contact.

Once you’ve checked the details, you can go to the Settings app on your phone. Choose here Apple ID and then for Password and security. There you will find the option Inheritance contact. Tap this and you can go via Add inheritance contact add a contact.

In iOS 15.2, you can easily set up an inheritance contact.

Follow the steps and you’ll be prompted to share a passcode with the contact you’ve chosen. You can print this code or send it via iMessage. Optionally, add something to personalize the message. When you are ready, you can send the message.

The other person will then receive a message in which he can confirm that he wants to take care of your data as a next of kin. You will then receive confirmation by e-mail that your digital inheritance has been arranged.

Inheritance contact‑access key

The access key in combination with a death certificate is required to gain access to your data. Inheritance contact must be made via this Digital legacy page make a request to access the account of a deceased friend or relative. After approval of the application, the inheritance contact has access to your account for three years. After that, your account will be permanently deleted.

You can in principle add multiple contacts, but of course all these people will receive full access to all your data.


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