Apple Watch failed to communicate with the phone - Authenticator App

asked 2021-11-18T09:46:42.447+00:00
Mattias Håkansson 1 Reputation point


I found the below in communication problems with Authentication app (

"Apple Watch watchOS 7
Q: Why I am having issues with Apple Watch on watchOS 7?

A: Sometimes, approving or denying a session on watchOS 7 fails with the error message "Failed to communicate with the phone. Make sure to keep your Watch screen awake during future requests. See the FAQs for more info.". There is a known issue with notifications when app lock is enabled or when number matching is required, and we’re working with Apple to get this fixed. In the meantime, any notifications that require the Microsoft Authenticator watchOS app should be approved on your phone instead."

I have the same problem even though my Authenticator app, watch and phone are updated to the latest versions. Is there any solution to this yet?


Microsoft Authenticator
Microsoft Authenticator
A Microsoft app for iOS and Android devices that enables authentication with two-factor verification, phone sign-in, and code generation.
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  1. answered 2021-12-10T14:37:27.897+00:00
    DEMinSoCAL 1 Reputation point

    I'm having the same issue with Apple Watch and iPhone on latest versions. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get the error above.

    It's always been flawless until watchOS 8 and iOS 15.


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  2. answered 2021-12-14T19:01:02.71+00:00
    Mavi 1 Reputation point

    Some time ago the fix was to disable App-lock under Security. When the app was locked on the phone, you couldn't approve new requests from the watch. Sounds reasonable. But I have it turned off and the issue came back. I think you need to have the authenticator app open all the time (so Microsoft can leech more telemetry from you).

  3. answered 2021-12-14T19:51:39.96+00:00
    DEMinSoCAL 1 Reputation point

    Turning off App Lock setting worked (mostly) for my case this time. There are some Authenticator accounts that don't even ding my watch and have to be done by the phone. Is there a fix for that? Remove from watch and add back in?

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  4. answered 2021-12-15T21:06:55.083+00:00
    Mavi 1 Reputation point

    Is it an enterprise / corporate or any form of managed account?

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  5. answered 2021-12-15T22:01:52.46+00:00
    DEMinSoCAL 1 Reputation point

    Yes, they are mostly M365 Business accounts. They ding and present on my iPhone, just not the Apple Watch...and just some accounts.

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