What happens to data on an iPhone when we die

digital heir iphone

One of the questions that many users ask is what happens to the data, photos, videos, in short, everything that is inside the iPhone when that person dies. Well, as of iOS 15.2 Apple has enabled a way through which this data can be recovered by the person of your choice. Keep reading that we tell you everything.

What is a digital heir and what is it for?

The Cupertino company has enabled, as of iOS version 15.2, the figure of the digital representative, which we can also define as the digital heir to the iPhone data, although you have to know that it is also enabled for both the iPad and the Mac. As its name suggests, a digital heir is The person who will have access to all your digital data that you save on your device, so that if you die, there is someone who can access them so that they are not lost.

Without a doubt, it is a very interesting feature that will prevent many memories from being forgotten. Every day, the iPhone or digital devices are the protagonists of the most beautiful and important moments in people’s lives, since with them users have the opportunity to immortalize them. Many of them even keep important data inside. Well, all this will not be lost if the owner of that device dies, since now each user can freely establish which person or persons will have access to all this in the event of their death, that is, they can establish who will be the heirs of their digital lives.

Aspects to consider

Surely at this point there are several questions that arise around this new function and the figure of the digital representative or heir. Obviously there are a series of requirements that you have to take into account in order to establish an heir and also, you have to know what that person or those people will have access to.

Necessary requirements

As it could not be otherwise, the Cupertino company has established a series of requirements so that all users have the security that their data can only be accessible to the person or persons that they have established. For this reason, there are several requirements that must be met so that the heirs or digital representatives can access the data found within the device of the person who has died. We list them below.

  • The iPhone, iPad or Mac has to be in iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2, macOS 12.1o higher.
  • Your Apple account must have two factor authentication enabled.
  • The representative or digital heir must have over 13 years.
  • The representative or heir must be within your contacts.
  • Once the death has occurred, the heir or digital representative will have to know the access code that is generated at setup time.
  • It will be necessary the death certificate.
  • The representative or heir you don’t need to have an Apple ID.

iPhone XR

In addition, you have to know that, despite meeting all these requirements, access to the device does not occur immediately, since Apple will have to review all the information provided and check that everything is fine in order to give the digital heir access to the device. Once the Cupertino company has performed the verification, the representative is the person who receives a special Apple ID with which they can access the device.

What data is inherited?

Another of the most important points to know about this function is to know what data the heir or digital representative will have access to once the user of the device has died. This feature is designed so that the most important memories of the deceased that you can save on your device are not lost. For example, photos, notes, calendar events and the rest of the information that is regularly synchronized with iCloud.

However, heirs or digital representatives they will not be able to access to iCloud keychain, payment information, content purchased through said Apple ID or password recovery, as they are considered personal data that could really violate the privacy of the deceased person. As we have said, the purpose of this function is not to lose those important memories, files or data that are inside the device.

Steps to follow to establish a digital heir

Once you know all the information about this function of heirs or digital representatives that the Cupertino company has enabled, it is time to tell you what are the steps you have to follow to be able to configure it correctly and thus, be able to establish your representative yourself. digital. The steps are very simple and you have them below.

  1. Open the app Settings or System preferences.
  2. Press or do click on your name or Apple ID.Step 1
  3. Click on Password and security.
  4. Tap on Digital representative.
  5. Choose “Add digital representative«.Step 2
  6. In case you have “In family” configured, you can choose one of the members as your digital representative. This will send an iMessage message to that user, so that the key will be automatically saved in their Apple ID.
  7. If on the contrary, you do not have “In family” configured or the person you want to be your digital representative is not within this group, click on “Choose another person” and choose your digital representative from all your contacts. In this case, if said person is not an Apple user, make sure they correctly save the password with which, if they need it, they will have to access your data.Step 5

Once you have followed the steps described above to designate your digital representative, you have to know that after approval by Apple for your representatives to access your data, access with your username and password will be completely canceled, and therefore , only people with the generated key will be able to access. In addition, there is a time limit for such users to access, and Apple has set it to 3 years since approval. After this time, both the data and the account will be deleted.