XDA Basics: How to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
If you’re into the Apple ecosystem, meaning you have an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a Mac, there are a lot of possibilities that you unlock with regards to making your workflow simple and convenient. There’s Handoff which can let you take calls from your iPhone on your Mac, Continuity to help you scan documents from your iPhone onto your Mac, and of course, a small but handy feature that can save you a lot of time on a daily basis – the ability to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch.
When you have this feature enabled, you’ll no longer have to enter your passcode to unlock the Mac every time you wake it up from sleep. Even if you use a Macbook or even the latest 24-inch iMac with TouchID, unlocking with the Apple Watch is still more convenient since by the time you lift up the lid of your MacBook, it’s already unlocked and you’re good to go.
Let’s see how you too can unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch in a few simple steps.
Pre-requisites to Enable Unlocking via Apple Watch
There are certain conditions that need to be satisfied before you can enable unlocking your Mac with an Apple Watch. Once you’ve made sure you have everything ready, we can move on to the next step which is actually enabling the option. The pre-requisites are –
- A Mac from mid-2013 or later, running macOS High Sierra or newer.
- An iPhone linked to the same AppleID as your Mac.
- An Apple Watch that is connected to your iPhone.
- Two-factor authentication enabled on your Apple ID. In case you don’t have this enabled, head over to System Preferences on your Mac and select Apple ID. Select Password and Security on the left pane and click on Turn on next to Tw0-Factor authentication. Follow the on-screen steps.
Steps to Enable Mac Unlock with Apple Watch
If you’ve followed all the pre-requisites, let’s get on with setting up the Apple Watch to unlock your Mac. First, make sure that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on on your Mac. For this feature to work, you’ll have to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth switched on at all times on your Mac. Next, set up a passcode for your Apple Watch if you haven’t already. Then, follow these steps –
- Wear your Apple Watch on your wrist and unlock it by entering the passcode. Make sure you’re not too far away from the Mac.
- You can also unlock your iPhone and keep it next to you.
- Head over to System Preferences on your Mac and select Security & Privacy > General.
- Select the option that says Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.
Now, every time you’re wearing your Apple Watch on your wrist and it’s unlocked, your Mac will automatically unlock when you wake it up from sleep. You’ll see a prompt on your Apple Watch telling you the Apple Watch was used to unlock your Mac. For security reasons, this will only work when your Apple Watch is on your wrist and is unlocked. So if you’ve put your Apple Watch on your desk and it’s locked with a passcode, your Mac will not be unlocked.
This feature will also not work for the first time after a reboot so if you power off your Mac and turn it back on, you’ll have to enter your passcode the first time before being able to use your Apple Watch to unlock it next time onwards.
Features like these are why the Apple Watch still holds its crown as the best smartwatch when compared to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 on the Android side of things. If you already have an Apple Watch or are planning to get one after being impressed by the set of features that it offers, you might want to check out which Apple Watch is best for you, as well as the best Apple Watch bands to customize according to your needs and preferences.