How to Automatically Unlock Your Mac Using Your Apple Watch

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 23 Sep 2016

ios 10 and mac os sierra 1

If you use a Mac for work, and you always wear your Apple Watch, unlocking your Mac just got a whole lot easier. Instead of typing your password every single time, you’ll now be able to bypass the login process entirely, as long as you’re wearing your Apple Watch.

Read: Top 12 Features in macOS Sierra

Compatible Macs

Your Mac device should be newer than 2013. You also need to be running macOS Sierra. To confirm that your device meets all the requirements, click the Apple icon from the menu bar and select “About your Mac”. From this screen, you will be able to see the year of your Mac and the OS it’s running.


Your Apple Watch should also be running watchOS 3.

Both your Mac and your Apple Watch will need to have device specific password protection.

Your Mac Should Be Using a Password

Your Mac should also be using a password protection feature for logins, for this feature to work.

Open “System Preferences”, go to “Security and Privacy” and if you’re already using a password, you should see the text “A login password has been set for this user”.


If that’s not the case, set up a password from here.

You Need To Enable Two-Factor Authentication First

Auto Unlock feature in macOS will only work if your associated iCloud account has Two-Factor authentication turned on. You can turn this on from your iPhone’s Apple ID screen or using

But if you haven’t set it up already, don’t worry, you can do this from the Mac itself.

When you click the “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” option from “Security and Privacy”, you’ll get a popup asking you to enable Two-Factor Authentication first.


Just confirm here and you’ll be taken to the iCloud settings where you’ll be able to turn this feature on.

Once you’re all set up on the Mac, you’ll get a notification on your iPhone asking you to sign in using Two-Factor Authentication.

Once that is done, Two-Factor Authentication has been enabled.

Turn On The Auto Unlock Feature

Once Two-Factor Authentication has actually been set up, turn on the option that says “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” under “Security and Privacy”.


Make sure you’re wearing your Apple Watch and that it is unlocked.

You’ll see a spinner and then confirmation.

How This Feature Works

The next time you open your Mac, while wearing your Watch, you’ll notice that on the login screen it says “Unlocking with Apple Watch.


You’ll also get a notification on your Apple Watch.


How’s Your Apple Watch Experience?

Do you think the Apple Watch’s gotten better since the watchOS 3 upgrade? Share with us in the comments below.

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