iOS 15.2's Legacy Contact gives loved ones access to your data when you die

Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Work Focus
Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Work Focus (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iOS 15.2 beta 2 adds support for Legacy Contact.
  • People can set a contact as someone who will gain access to their data when they die.

Apple's iOS 15.2 beta 2 release brings with it the promised Legacy Contact feature, something that could make it easier for families to gain access to iCloud data when someone dies.

The feature is simple on the face of it — people designate a contact that will be able to gain access to all of their data when they die. Apple will require the access key and a death certificate in order to grant control of the data. The idea is that families won't lose photos, videos, and other information when a loved one dies — something that has been an issue historically.

Apple Id Digital Legacy Wwdc

Apple Id Digital Legacy Wwdc (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's description of the feature, dubbed Digital Legacy as a whole, reads:

The Digital Legacy program allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.

The feature was first announced during the WWDC event in June of this year and was originally planned for part of the iOS 15 release. That didn't happen, but it appears that iOS 15.2 will be the update that brings it to the masses.

Digital Legacy and Legacy Contacts can be configured via the Settings app after tapping your Apple ID at the top of the screen. Tapping "Password and Security" will unveil the new Legacy Contact settings.

People with any device running iOS 15.2 or later will be able to take advantage of the new feature and it could become one of the best iPhone features that people hope to never need. If you've ever lost data in this manner you'll know how important Digital Legacy could be for people in the future.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.