How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

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When Apple introduced the quality to unlock iPhones with an Apple Watch, it was a lifesaver for anyone wearing a disguise during the pandemic. But the useful diagnostic isn’t constricted to your smartphone. You tin besides usage your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac and to securely o.k. app requests.

The diagnostic is called Auto Unlock, and technically, it came to Macs agelong earlier Apple decided to use it to iPhones. That said, you whitethorn not person heard of it if you’ve conscionable bought a shiny caller Apple Watch oregon are a caller person to the Apple ecosystem.

Prepare your Mac

To get started, you’ll privation to marque definite each your devices are compatible. Your Mac should beryllium a exemplary from mid-2013 oregon aboriginal and moving macOS Sierra astatine the precise least. Here’s however you cheque to marque sure:

  • Click the Apple icon successful the top-right country of your screen
  • Select About This Mac to spot what twelvemonth your Mac is from
  • If you’re inactive unsure, select System Report in the About This Mac paper
  • From there, click Network > Wi-Fi. Look successful the Interfaces class to spot whether Auto Unlock is supported.
This is an alternate mode to cheque if your Mac is compatible utilizing the System Report menu

Once you’re definite your Mac is compatible, there’s 1 much happening to do:

  • Make definite that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled. The diagnostic won’t enactment if you’ve lone got 1 turned connected and not the other.

Set up your Watch

Don’t hide to adhd a passcode Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

First, marque definite you’re logged into iCloud utilizing the aforesaid Apple ID connected some your ticker and Mac. If you don’t cognize however to bash that, you tin cheque retired our usher here.

Next, cheque what mentation of watchOS you’re running. You tin bash this connected your wrist:

  • Navigate to Settings > General > About
  • Make definite you’ve enabled two-factor authentication for your Apple ID

Okay, present you’re acceptable to acceptable up your Watch. If you’re moving watchOS 6 oregon earlier:

  • Head to System Preferences connected your Mac
  • Click Security & Privacy
  • Navigate to the General menu
  • Select Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

If you’re moving watchOS 7 oregon later, the steps are the aforesaid but there’s 1 further requirement: marque definite you’re utilizing a passcode with your Apple Watch. You tin bash this successful the Watch app connected your iPhone nether Passcode, oregon connected your wrist nether Settings.

Once each this is finished, you should beryllium capable to aftermath up your machine conscionable by wearing your Apple Watch successful its vicinity. No passwords needed!

Approve app requests

You’ll spot somewhat antithetic substance if your cogwheel supports approving app requests. Screenshot: Victoria Song / The Verge

Users moving watchOS 6 oregon aboriginal besides person the enactment of approving app requests. (The diagnostic volition automatically beryllium enabled erstwhile you alteration Auto Unlock, truthful you don’t person to bash thing extra.) This means that whenever an app requires authentication, you’ll conscionable person to double-click the broadside fastener of your Apple Watch. This includes requests similar unlocking preferences, viewing passwords, and approving app installations.

Some Apple Watch apps besides marque usage of this feature. For example, you tin usage this in conjunction with 1Password.

Any problems?

If you’re having issues with the unlocking feature, present are immoderate other troubleshooting tips:

  • Make definite some Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled. If they are, effort toggling them connected and off.
  • Restart your computer
  • Make definite you’re not sharing your surface oregon utilizing net sharing. You tin cheque to spot this connected your Mac successful System Preferences > Sharing.
  • If you’ve restarted your computer, support successful caput that you’ll inactive person to re-enter your password the archetypal clip you log in
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