Apple Digital Legacy will let a loved one access your data when you die


Apple Digital Legacy
Keeping your data alive long after you.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple is finally introducing a Digital Legacy feature that will allow a friend or family member to access your data after you die.

Users will be able to assign an administrator who gets access to things like photos, contacts and other things uploaded to iCloud. However, some data, such as saved credit cards and passwords, will be off limits.

Apple has faced some criticism in the past for refusing to unlock devices or accounts after a user has passed on. As things stand, there is no way to log into the Apple account of a decedent without their password.

That’s going to change when iOS and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey roll out this fall. A new Digital Legacy feature will allow users to assign an administrator who can access their Apple ID after they die.

Digital Legacy unlocks your data after your death

The service isn’t live yet, and Apple’s description of it is rather slim on the details. What we do know is that Digital Legacy will allow a friend or family member to log into your iCloud account using a legacy contact ID.

Once they’re inside, your assigned administrator will have access to much of your personal data, like photos, files, and contacts that would otherwise be lost. Saved credit cards and passwords will be off limits.

In addition to this, Apple will allow users to create Account Recovery Contacts. These will be used to help you access your own Apple ID in the event that you forget your password and are unable to log in.

Available this fall

Both features will be rolled out to iCloud users alongside iOS and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey this fall. All three updates are now in developer testing and public betas should be available in the coming weeks.


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