This hidden trick with let you voice unlock your iPhone

Siri has allowed us to use our voices to interact with our iPhones since all the way back in 2011. Unfortunately, it’s not really improved that much since then; in a world where generative AI can hold incredibly complex conversations, Siri feels a little dated. There are some useful things it can do, but there’s one thing Siri has never been able to do, and that’s unlock your iPhone.

It’s not really that much of a surprise. If you could unlock your iPhone just by asking Siri, then so could anyone else who got hold of your phone. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to have a secret passphrase you could use to get your iPhone to magically unlock? Well, it turns out that you can. Using the power of Voice Control, it’s possible (but definitely not recommended) to unlock your iPhone with your voice. Here’s how.

How to unlock your iPhone with a secret phrase

There are a few ways to unlock your iPhone with your voice, but this one is by far the coolest. You can create your own secret phrase that will magically unlock your iPhone, whether you want to go traditional with something like ‘Open Sesame!’ or geek out with something like ‘Computer, initiate auto destruct sequence, authorisation Picard, 4, 5, alpha, tango.’ Before you start, you’ll need a way to remember where the passcode numbers are positioned on your iPhone. You can lightly draw over them before you unlock your iPhone with a non-permanent marker, use small stickers as an indication, or I found that lining up a few pens around my phone that pointed to the rows and columns was enough.

  1. Wake your iPhone and mark where the digits of your passcode are located using a marker, stickers, or some other method.
  2. Unlock your iPhone and open Settings.
  3. Select Accessibility.
  4. Under Physical and Motor tap Voice Control.
  5. Toggle Voice Control on.
  6. Tap Commands.
  7. Select Custom.
  8. Tap Create New Command.
  9. Enter the secret phrase that you want to use.
  10. Tap Action.
  11. Select Run Custom Gesture.
  12. Using the indicators that you set up, tap out your passcode as if you were unlocking your iPhone; there are no numbers displayed as you tap.
  13. Tap Save.
  14. Go back to the previous screen and tap Save again.
  15. Lock your iPhone by pressing the side button.
  16. Tap the screen to wake it.
  17. Swipe up or say “Go Home” to start the unlock process.
  18. Once the passcode entry screen is visible, say your secret phrase.
  19. The gesture you recorded will now play, and this should unlock your iPhone, as if by magic.
  20. If the gesture plays, but it doesn’t work, you’ll need to repeat steps 1-14 to re-record your gesture more accurately.

How to unlock your iPhone by entering your passcode with your voice

You can also use Voice Control to unlock your iPhone by telling your iPhone which buttons to tap on the passcode screen just by using your voice. This isn’t a great idea with other people around, as they’ll hear your entire passcode.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  3. Under Physical and Motor select Voice Control.
  4. Toggle Voice Control on.
  5. Press the side button to lock your iPhone.
  6. Tap the screen to wake it and swipe or say “Go Home” to start the unlock process.
  7. Once the passcode screen appears, speak the digits of your passcode in order by saying “Tap One” or “Tap Nine” to get your iPhone to tap the appropriate digits.
  8. Give the instructions in the correct order, and your iPhone will unlock.

How to unlock your iPhone by activating Face ID with your voice

The above methods are a bit of a gimmick and not really a practical or secure way to unlock your iPhone. However, there is a secure way to unlock your iPhone without touching it all by using Siri to wake your phone, and then Voice Control to activate Face ID. As long as you’re looking directly at your iPhone, it will then unlock.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Select Voice Control.
  4. Toggle Voice Control on.
  5. Press the side button to lock your iPhone.
  6. Say “Siri” or “Hey Siri” to activate Siri, which will wake your iPhone.
  7. Wait until the Siri icon at the bottom of your screen disappears, to indicate that Siri has stopped listening.
  8. Now say “Go Home”.
  9. The unlock process will start. Ensure you’re looking directly at your iPhone, and it should unlock with FaceID without you having touched it at all.

Should I unlock my iPhone with my voice?

Face ID and passcodes exist on your iPhone for a good reason. Without them, anyone can pick up your phone, unlock it, and use it. Using some of the methods above means that anyone who overhears you using your secret phrase can use it to unlock your iPhone. They may then be able to see personal photos that aren’t intended for public consumption, read your personal messages or emails, or even use your banking apps, since the same passphrase that unlocks your iPhone may also be able to unlock apps that are locked with Face ID or a passcode. Our advice is to always stick to using Face ID or your passcode to unlock your iPhone.

In addition, Voice Control requires your iPhone to always be listening out for the special passphrase. It’s therefore likely that using this feature will drain your battery faster. However, you can minimise this problem by only turning on Voice Control when you need it. That’s because turning on Voice Control is something that Siri actually can do, so you can turn it off and on with your voice at will.

Long story short, this a fun trick to try, but we wouldn’t recommend it for long-term use as it’s definitely not secure.

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