iOS 17 is introducing the best new feature that you'll hopefully never use

iOS 17 in front of an iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The upcoming iOS 17 update for Apple’s iPhones, expected to drop in mid-September 2023, is bringing a host of changes and new features. However, one update, in particular, could end up being one of the best features that you’ll hopefully never have to use.

iOS 17 will have a new feature that allows users up to 72 hours to change their passcode back to the previous version if they forget the new one. According to MacRumors, the option is given if you type in an incorrect passcode. ‘Forgot Passcode?’ will appear at the bottom of the lock screen. and tapping it brings you to another screen with ‘Try Passcode Reset.’ If you tap this option, you can input your previous code, then create a new one.

There’s also a handy safeguard feature in Settings that lets you instantly expire an older passcode so that it can’t be used to reset your phone’s new passcode.

Plenty of other features and changes are coming to iOS 17 as well. One is Screen Distance, which alerts you when you’re holding the phone too close to your face. According to Apple, this feature is meant to reduce eye strain, and hopes to reduce short-sightedness in children who use Apple devices regularly. 

The risks of this passcode feature 

It’s certainly a great feature that many iPhone users will get plenty of use out of once it drops later in 2023, as forgetting a new passcode is an easy enough mistake to make. It should hopefully mean you no longer have to call up support to fix things if you forget your passcode, which can end up being a rather time-consuming ordeal.

However, this could be a dangerous feature to enable, thanks to the high risk that iPhones have of being stolen, with thieves often looking over your shoulder for your passcode if you’re trying to change or reset it in public before stealing it for themselves. Also, people who know you and who may know your old code but not the new one could easily reset your phone and then swipe it or snoop through it for personal information.

Of course, safety and caution are key. If you plan on changing your passcode, always do so at home and preferably alone. Never share any of your codes with anyone, and if you believe that your code has been compromised, use the safeguard feature that expires the previous code, so you can start fresh.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.