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What data can a Legacy Contact on your Apple device access?

Previously, we looked at how to add Legacy Contacts to your Apple ID on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Now let’s look at data that a Legacy Contact can access.

A Legacy Contact is someone you choose to have access to the data in your Apple account after your death. The data that a Legacy Contact can access depends on what the Apple ID account holder stored in iCloud and in their iCloud Backup. 

A Legacy Contact can access all of the data types below—the original account holder can’t choose to exclude data types. For example, the account holder can’t grant access to only Messages and Mail and exclude iCloud Photos. But if they kept all of their photos on a third-party site, those photos aren’t stored with Apple and won’t be in their Apple ID data. 

Data that a Legacy Contact might be able to access includes:

  • iCloud Photos
  • Notes
  • Mail
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Messages in iCloud
  • Call history
  • Files stored in iCloud Drive
  • Health Data
  • Voice Memos
  • Safari Bookmarks and Reading List
  • iCloud Backup, which may include downloaded App Store apps; photos and videos stored on device; device settings and other content backed up in iCloud and not excluded by the list below

Data that a Legacy Contact cannot access

Data that isn’t available to a Legacy Contact includes: 

  • Licensed media, for example, movies, music, and books that the account holder purchased
  • In-app purchases, for example, upgrades, subscriptions, game currency, or other content that was bought inside an app 
  • Payment information, for example Apple ID payment info or cards saved to use with Apple Pay
  • Information stored in the account holder’s Keychain, for example, Safari user names and passwords, internet accounts (used in Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages), credit card numbers and expiration dates, and Wi-Fi passwords
  • (This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple’s support pages.)
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.