How to Auto-Unlock macOS with Apple Watch

Guide to unlock macOS by just wearing Apple Watch on your wrist; no password required.

When you unlock your Mac, keying in your password and hitting enter takes about 3 seconds. However, Apple thinks it’s not fast enough. On the other hand, Macbook Pro launched in 2016 that comes with a touch bar allows you to log in via fingerprint that reduces the login time to about 1 second. Still, Apple thinks this isn’t fast enough.

So Apple came up with the quickest way that allows you to log into your Mac without doing anything – simply through your Apple Watch. If you’re wearing an Apple Watch and go near your Mac (a few feet to 1 meter), it unlocks automatically.

Want to try this feature? Then read on to know all about setting up this seamless auto-unlocking Mac feature of Apple Watch.


Bluetooth 4.0

If you bought your Mac after 2013, it should already support Bluetooth 4.0.

macOS Sierra and above

macOS Sierra was released in June 2017 and the latest iOS at the time of writing this article is already macOS Mojave. So you should be safe.

Apple Watch running watchOS 3

It doesn’t matter if you are using older models like the Series 1, 2 or 3, as long as they are running watchOS 3 and above, it’s all good.

How to turn on Auto-Unlock

Once you’ve checked all the pre-requisites of the auto-unlocking feature through Apple Watch, follow the below-mentioned steps to activate it.

  1. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  2. privacy and security
  3. Check the box with your Apple Watch’s name under “Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac”, tick the box. You will be prompted to enter your Mac’s admin password for this feature to be enabled.
  4. allow apple watch to unlock

That’s it. Now you should be able to auto-unlock your Mac whenever you have your Apple Watch on your wrist.

When Auto-Unlock will not work

There are certain situations when, even if the auto-unlock feature is activated, it will not work for you. These are:

  • Bluetooth on your Mac is turned off.
  • Apple Watch is off your wrist.
  • Apple Watch is on your wrist but turned off or is locked (requires passcode).