How to set up a Legacy Contact on Mac

How to set up a Legacy Contact on Mac

  • Apple
  • May 26, 2022
  • No Comment
  • 59
  • 23 minutes read


Thinking about your death or the death of a loved one may be heartbreaking, but it is vital that you do so. While traditional wealth planning tends to be something we think about later in life and is primarily about physical assets, it’s wise to think about what would happen to your digital information if the worst happened.

Today, much of our lives are lived in digital format, so it is crucial that surviving family members have access to the data and information of those who are no longer around them. Unfortunately, when someone can no longer enter their password, their data could be lost.

Apple aims to solve this problem with its Digital Legacy program. Allows users to declare inherited contacts who can access the data stored in their account when they die.

What is Apple’s Digital Legacy program?

Apple’s Digital Legacy program is an official way to allow access to information stored in your Apple account after death.

This is what Mike Abbott, vice president of Apple Cloud Services, said when he announced the feature at WWDC 2021:

“We often don’t think about it, but it’s important that we can easily pass on information to family or friends when we die. So now you can add people to your account as Inherited Contacts. So when they’re gone, they can request access and your information. it can be transmitted quickly and easily “.

Think of all the information and data you’ve stored in digital format, including photos, messages, contacts, emails, notes, and more. For Apple users, this information is locked behind an Apple ID password. If the account owner has not shared the password, loved ones will not be able to access any information when they are no longer there.

Instead of being left in the lurch, Digital Legacy allows users to name selected friends or family as Inherited Contacts who can request a copy of their data in the event of death.

How to add a legacy contact to your Mac

In addition to setting up legacy contacts on your iPhone, you can also add some family members or friends using your Mac. Here’s how to do it on your Mac with macOS Monterey.

  1. Click Apple icon in the menu bar.
  2. Click on System preferences.

    Adding a legacy contact to your Mac: Click the Apple icon, click System Preferences

    Source: iMore

  3. Click on Apple ID.
  4. Click on Password and security.

    Add an legacy contact to your Mac: Click Apple ID, click Password & Security

    Source: iMore

  5. Click Manage … button next to Inherited Contacts.
  6. Click on add.

    How to add a legacy contact to your Mac: Click Manage ... next to Legacy contacts, click Add

    Source: iMore

  7. Click on Add an inherited contact.
  8. If you use family sharing, you will be presented with a list of family members to choose from. Click His name and click add or click Choose someone else to find a contact.

    Add a legacy contact to your Mac: Click Add legacy contact, select a member of your iCloud Family Sharing settings, and click Add or click Choose someone else

    Source: iMore

  9. Click Keep on.
  10. Choose how you want to share your legacy contact password with them by clicking Send a message o Print a copy and then click Continue.

    Adding a legacy contact to your Mac: Click Continue, choose how to share your legacy contact password

    Source: iMore

If you have a Mac password set, you’ll need to enter it along the way to add an inherited contact.

You can send the password to your legacy contact via iMessage, and they’ll automatically store a copy of that password in your Apple ID settings. If you are running an earlier version of the software, you will be prompted to upgrade.

Alternatively, you can print a copy of your passkey for physical delivery.

How to delete a legacy contact on your Mac

Deleting an inherited contact is as easy as adding one to your Mac. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Click Apple icon in the menu bar.
  2. Click on System preferences.

    Delete an inherited contact on your Mac: Click the Apple icon, click System Preferences

    Source: iMore

  3. Click on Apple ID.
  4. Click on Password and security.

    Delete an inherited contact on your Mac: Click Apple ID, click Password & Security

    Source: iMore

  5. Click Manage … button next to Inherited Contacts.
  6. Click Details… next to the inherited contact you want to delete.

    Delete an inherited contact on your Mac: Click Manage, click Details

    Source: iMore

  7. Click Delete the contact.
  8. Confirm by clicking Delete the contact again.

    Delete an inherited contact on your Mac: Click Delete contact, then confirm by clicking Delete contact again

    Source: iMore

You may be asked to enter your Mac password to complete the process.

The contact will not receive a notification that you deleted it, although it will no longer appear in your legacy contact list if you have an Apple device that includes this setting. Also, the password they received when they were added will stop working.

Prudent thinking

We know no one will be forever, so it’s a good idea to set up some legacy contacts so that trusted family and friends can access your important information.

It’s easy to empathize with surviving loved ones when access to information becomes problematic in the event of death, with beautiful photos, important notes, contacts, and much more possibly lost forever.

Apple’s Digital Legacy feature is the best Mac implementation we’ve seen for this type of information exchange. Once you’ve set it up, you can mark something from your to-do list. Of course, it does not solve all the problems inherent in wealth planning, but it is a good starting point.

Updated May 2022: With updates for macOS Monterey.





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