How to add a legacy contact in iOS 15.3 to pass on your iPhone data when you die

Legacy Contact feature on an iPhone running iOS 15.2
(Image credit: TechRadar)

As devices become more sophisticated and we share more content between family and friends, what happens with our data when we pass away?

Apple released iOS 15.2 in December 2021, which allows you to add a legacy contact to your account. This means that when you do pass away, the contact is able to access all of your data. That's everything like photos, messages, contacts, and passwords for other accounts.

Adding a legacy contact is a straightforward affair that can be done in minutes, so here's a run-through to add a contact to your account for when the inevitable occurs.

How to create a legacy contact

1. Make sure that the contact you want to add as a legacy one, has the correct details. They can be added through an email or a mobile phone number, so go to their contact details to double-check these are correct.

Once that's been done, go to Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security > Legacy Contact > Add Legacy Contact.

Legacy Contact on iOS 15.2

(Image credit: Future)

2. Follow the steps and you'll be prompted to share an access key with the contact you've chosen. You can either print this out or send an invite through an iMessage.

Legacy Contact Summary on iOS 15.2

(Image credit: Future)

3. You can edit this message to personalize it, and once it's done you can send it.

The recipient will be brought to a prompt when they press on the link in the message, confirming that they are to be a legacy contact.

Legacy Contact in iOS 15.2

(Image credit: Future)

4. Once confirmed, you will receive an email showing that they are a legacy contact by going back to Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security > Legacy Contact > Add Legacy Contact.

Legacy Contact in iOS 15.2

(Image credit: Future)

5. You can add more contacts if you wish, but keep in mind that once your account is available to be recovered, everyone who is a legacy contact will have access to all of your information.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.