Apple’s Legacy Contact feature: what it is, how to set it up and use it

Function inherited from iPhone: Have you ever wondered what will happen to your data when you leave this life? If you’re like me, you probably have. And if so, this iPhone feature will relieve you as much as I do. Apple has a Legacy Contact feature, which debuted with its iOS 15.2 update. So if your iPhone has the 15.2 update or higher (or is eligible for it), you will also get this feature.

Before we dive into how to enable it, here’s an overview of what this feature does. In simple Cupertino words, the Legacy Contact feature is an easy way to allow someone you trust to access your Apple account data after you die.

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A similar feature has been offered by Google and Meta for years, and Cupertino is only catching up. Which means this feature is actually long overdue. To be clear, it’s not that Apple didn’t let anyone access this data in the event of the death of a loved one. He did, only with a court order, however. Fortunately, this lengthy process has been removed in favor of more convenient naming of the inherited contact by the user.

A user can set their old contact directly from their iPhone. After ensuring that the phone is running on iOS 15.2 or later versions, a user should go to their settings and click on their name at the top. Here they will find a tab called Password & Security, clicking on it they will find the “Legacy Contact” option.

Here, a user can add the contact to whom he wishes to pass his account in the event of death.

A few things to note here are that the inherited contact should be someone the user can trust because all the photos, videos, documents, and more stored in the iCloud account would be shared with that contact. Another important thing is that a key is generated, and this key can be printed or shared directly with the inherited contact. Without that key — and an accompanying death certificate — the Legacy Contact can’t access a user’s data. A user can add up to five legacy contacts.

These contacts could mostly access the contents of the user’s iCloud account, including calendars, contacts, files, emails, messages, photos, notes, device backups, and downloaded applications, among others. However, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain and purchased licensed media such as books, music, or movies would not be accessible to them.

It should also be emphasized here that a user cannot choose what data contacts could access. By activating this feature, they should give access to all this data, or they should abstain completely.

Once a user dies, their legacy contact, who would have received the key via Messages (if they have an Apple device) or from the user, should go to and sign in to the using their iCloud account. or other contact information, after which they should enter the passkey. Alternatively, this can also be done on an Apple device from the Legacy Contact settings. They would then have to upload the user’s death certificate and wait for it to be reviewed by Apple staff for up to two weeks, before getting a link to set a password for the account. This password can be used to log into an Apple device or the web to access data. This can be done by all old contacts entered by the user.

Parts of the user’s account would be disabled, such as the legacy contact would not be able to send text messages, although messages would still be received.

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