Apple now lets you choose contacts who can access your account when you die — here’s how to set it up

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Apple Digital Legacy

Apple

Apple released a big iPhone update on Monday, iOS 15.2, which includes a new feature called Digital Legacy. It lets you choose specific people who will be able to access your account after you die.

Until now, it’s been very difficult for loved ones to access an Apple account of a family member or friend who died. Without the phone’s passcode or iCloud information, surviving family members sometimes had to get a court order for access to a deceased loved one’s digital data. That access can be helpful if a surviving family member needs phone numbers, emails, passwords, notes and other information.

The chosen contacts can access data stored in iCloud, like photos and documents, after the original user dies, so long as they have a special access key and a copy of your death certificate. So be sure to set up Digital Legacy with people who are likely to have a copy of your death certificate when you die.

I’ll show you how to set it up. First, make sure you’ve updated to iOS 15.2 by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

Here’s how to set up Digital Legacy

Apple Digital Legacy

Apple

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap your name at the top of the page.
  • Select “Password & Security.”
  • Choose “Legacy Contact.”
  • Choose up to five family members or friends.
  • These contacts will receive a special access code they’ll need to provide along with a death certificate to access your account.
  • Legacy contacts can then visit Apple’s website to request access after you die.

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