How To Unlock Your Mac Using Auto-Unlock With Your Apple Watch

Are you fed up with having to enter a password or passcode to unlock your iMac or MacBook every time you come back to use it?

My iMac requests a password if the screensaver is active. For security reasons, I recommend any device you use that contains personal information has an active password or passcode to open the device.

Banner for the blog post 'How To Unlock Your Mac using Auto-Unlock With Your Apple Watch'
Apple Tips

However, I recently discovered a nifty little trick to unlock my iMac (without entering the password) using my Apple Watch. 

Auto Unlock works when you’re wearing your unlocked Apple Watch, and your Mac is close by. You may need to move your Apple Watch a little closer to your iMac or MacBook to get it to work.   

Ensure that your Mac and Apple Watch have the latest software updates; otherwise, the auto-unlock feature may not work.

Make sure that your devices are set up as follows –

  • Your Mac has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
  • Your Mac and Apple Watch are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, and your Apple ID is using two-factor authentication. Click here to find out about two-factor authentication.
  • Your Apple Watch has a passcode.
  • On your iMac or MacBook, choose the Apple menu (the Apple logo) – System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy
  • Make sure the ‘General‘ tab is open. 
  • Tick the ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac‘ or ‘Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, box’
Screenshot showing the location of the 'Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac' box on the security & privacy tab on Apple
Tick the ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.’
  • You’re done!

No more having to enter your password when approaching your Mac device. 

This feature does not work for unlocking iPads or iPhones.

Do you have any tips or tricks for using Apple devices? Leave the details in the comments section.

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5 thoughts on “How To Unlock Your Mac Using Auto-Unlock With Your Apple Watch

  1. I don’t have apple products or tech, Hugh, but I am always impressed with how gadgets work together. My Samsung phone and Samsung TV keep wanting to talk to each other but I refuse to let them, LOL! Right now, I do enjoy seeing a text preview pop up on my Fitbit, if my phone is in the other room, or usually when I’m outside taking the dogs for their nightly visit to the yard. Great info and have a great week!

    1. I think I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg as to what my Smart Watch, iPhone and computer can do, Terri. I can’t imagine how we coped before all these gadgets helped us. However, I still have to make my own mug of tea and butter my toast in the mornings. Who knows, maybe we won’t have to do anything one day, but what a boring world it would then become.

    1. It is. Given that we can now turn the lights on with our voice, alter the heating controls from our phones, and even unlock doors from an app, it won’t be long before we have even less to do. But if it saves us some time, I’m up for it.

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