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Home / Tips and Tricks / Use a secret voice command to unlock your iPhone «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Use a secret voice command to unlock your iPhone «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Your voice is the key to unlock many functions on your iPhone. For example, you can ask Siri to text a friend, add items to a list, run a custom shortcut, or turn on your lights, but Apple does not you can unlock your iPhone with a Siri voice command. Instead, you can use a lesser-known feature to unlock your iPhone without typing Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

A few years ago, Apple reinvented voice control as an accessibility feature that lets you control almost every aspect of your iPhone with just your voice. There are over 300 voice commands that allow you to perform basic tasks such as return to your home screen or zoom in on the screen, but there is also a way to use voice control to unlock your iPhone with a custom voice command.

When you manually enter your passcode to unlock your iPhone, tap the same place on the screen every time since the position of the numeric keypad is fixed. With this knowledge, a custom voice control can be created that allows your iPhone to enter your passcode for you. Just record the gesture and come up with a voice command that no one else would ever guess.

Why should you even do this?

Maybe your fingers are dirty and you don̵

7;t want to touch your iPhone to read the transcripts of your latest voicemails. Maybe you don’t want or can’t use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock and you’re not within arm’s length of your iPhone. Maybe you are engrossed in some important gameplay that requires the attention of both your hands and your face, and you just want to listen to what was your last message received.

There are a lot of reasons why this could be useful, but it’s also just damn bad to be able to do this whether you need it or not. I mean, what could be more fun than telling people you can unlock your iPhone without holding or looking at it?

Step 1: Start a new custom voice control command

To create a custom voice control command, you must be in the voice control preferences. Go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Voice Control or say “Voice Control Settings” to Siri to jump there. Then tap ‘Customize Commands’ and then ‘Create New Command’.

If you see “Custom” instead of “Create New Command”, it means you have already created one or more custom voice control commands. In that case, tap ‘Controls’ and then ‘Create New Assignment’.

Step 2: Name your custom voice control command

For the “Phrase” in it New command edit box, type a unique phrase that you will use to perform the unlock gesture. Your iPhone will listen 24/7 when voice control is on, so make the sentence something you don’t say often or else the command will run constantly when you don’t want it to.

Unfortunately, unlike Siri, anyone can say the command to unlock your iPhone using voice control, as there is no voice recognition behind the scenes. Needless to say, don’t make it so easy for everyone to guess. Phrases like “open sesame” or “open iPhone” should be avoided.

Step 3: Gesture to enter the passcode

After entering your unique phrase, tap “Action” and choose the gesture option “Perform Custom”. This brings us to the difficult part of the process of creating control.

Whatever your passcode, you need to tap your screen exactly where you tap, in the same order as when you manually unlock your iPhone. To exercise, press the side button to put your screen to sleep, wake up and enter your passcode. You should be back on the New gesture screen. Do this as often as needed until you get it right.

If it’s still too hard to do, grab someone else’s iPhone, open the password screen and compare that to your screen to figure out where to tap when recording the gesture. You can also take a screenshot of the password screen and then switch between the New gesture screen and the screenshot in Photos.

If you have a four digit passcode, this should be relatively easy. Even with a six-digit passcode, you should be able to figure it out in a few tries. However, it will be difficult to include the gesture if you are using an alphanumeric passcode, as you will have a smaller margin of error when it comes to where to tap; it is still possible, but it may take a while to perfect it.

For example, you can see how I make my gesture above by tapping the screen to emulate that I’m typing my passcode, which is 1254 for this guide.

If you did it right, tap ‘Save’.

Tip: When making your gesture, consider Hey Siri

If you want to use this with Hey Siri to perform actions when your iPhone is locked, keep that in mind. Whenever you use Hey Siri to do something on locked iPhone, it will try to scan for biometric data with Face ID or Touch ID. However, a button is available to “Use Access Code”. So you want to add that to the beginning of your gesture.

If Face ID or Touch ID is now locked because you restarted the device, temporarily turned it off, activated Emergency SOS, had too many failed scans, etc., the password screen will be displayed immediately.

You could build two different commands to take into account the extra process of using “Use Passcode” if that makes it easier for you. If you don’t even use Face ID or Touch ID, you will always see the password screen right away so you don’t have to worry about it.

Step 4: Save your custom voice control command

Although you just saved the gesture, you also need to save the command. Tap “New Command” to go back and click “Save” on it New command page. You should then see your new custom command with your sentence as the title.

Step 5: Turn on voice control

To take advantage of this iPhone unlock trick, voice control must be turned on. There are multiple ways you can do this, and any of the methods below can also be used to disable voice control when you no longer need it.

  • Go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Voice Control and turn on the “Voice Control” switch.
  • Ask Siri to “turn on voice control”.
  • Set up an accessibility shortcut. Go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Accessibility Shortcut and check “Voice Control”. Then every time you click the side or home button three times, voice control is turned on or off. If you have assigned more than just voice control to the shortcut, you must select it from the menu by clicking three times.

A blue microphone icon will appear in your status bar to indicate that voice control is active and listening to your commands.

Activate voice control via Settings (left), Siri (center), Accessibility shortcut (right).

Step 6: Unlock your iPhone with your voice

Now it’s time to use your secret phrase to execute the command, mimic your gesture and unlock your iPhone. Open the password screen on your iPhone as you wish, then say your sentence. After about a second, you should see the gesture appear on your screen and enter your passcode. After the gesture is complete, your iPhone should be unlocked and you will also see a small notification indicating that the command has been successfully performed.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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