Is Your Apple Watch Not Unlocking Mac? Try Out These Fixes to Get it Working

Auto Unlock Mac using your Apple Watch is a nice feature to avoid entering the password. This feature is available with all Apple Watch but limited to Macs manufactured in 2013 and later. For any reason, if you can’t unlock Mac with Apple Watch, there’s nothing to disappoint. There are certain things to keep in mind to get it to work correctly.

Apart from the pre-requisites, we have also penned down some fixes that may resolve the issue. Before you jump to the fixes, I’ll insist you go through some basic troubleshooting and then move to the advanced part of the post.

Unable to Unlock Mac with Apple Watch? Try below-given fixes

Important Notes:

  • Make sure your Mac is of 2013 or later model
  • Check whether your Apple Watch and Mac have the same iCloud account
  • You’ll need two-factor authentication enabled and setup on both, Mac and Apple Watch
  • You’ll need watchOS 3 or later and macOS Sierra or later to use Auto Unlock
  • Your Mac and Apple Watch should have Passcode enabled and set up

Now that you have an idea of pre-required things let’s start with fixes if troubleshooting mentioned above hasn’t helped you.

#1. Disable Automatic Login on Mac

If you have enabled Automatic Login on Mac, you’ll need to disable it. To do so, open System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo, followed by clicking Users & Groups.

Click on Users & Groups in Mac Settings

Click the lock icon at the bottom-left to make changes, enter the administrator password.

Click Lock icon and enter Administrator password in Mac Users & Groups

Then click on Login Options.

Click Login Options in Mac Users & Groups

On the right side of the window, select Off from the dropdown menu beside Automatic Login.

Disable Automatic Login on Mac

Now check if you can unlock Mac using Apple Watch. If it doesn’t, keep reading.

#2. Boot Up Password required for Apple Watch and Mac

When you restart your Mac or Apple Watch, you need to enter the password before you can use the auto-unlock feature. This is identical to Touch ID on iPhone, which requires you to enter Passcode after you restart your iPhone. It is a security feature and not a bug. If you have restarted your Apple Watch, or Mac, or both, you need to enter the password/Passcode for the first time.

#3. Is your Apple Watch Paired Correctly?

To operate different devices flawlessly in the Apple ecosystem, you need to keep basic things in mind. Same iCloud account and proper pairing. Check whether you have paired your Apple Watch correctly with your iPhone.

Without proper pairing, Auto-Unlock feature won’t work. Still, haven’t fixed the unlocking issue? Keep reading.

#4. Check Radios

Auto-Unlock feature requires Wifi and Bluetooth turned on. Check whether you have accidentally turned off the same on Apple Watch and your Mac.

Turn On WiFi on Mac

Turn ON Bluetooth on Mac

Try unlocking your Mac with Apple Watch. Did it work? Nope, let’s try something else.

#5. Reset Radios on Mac and Apple Watch

Sometimes big problems have one of the tiniest solutions. Try resetting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Apple Watch and Mac.

On Apple Watch:

  • Swipe up on the watch face to open the control center on Apple Watch
  • Tap on Airplane Mode to switch off all radios
  • After a minute, tap Airplane Mode again to restart radios.Open Control Center and Enable Airplane Mode on Apple Watch

On your Mac:

  • Click Wifi icon → Turn Wi-Fi off

Turn Off WiFi on Mac

  • Click Bluetooth → Turn Bluetooth off

Turn Off Bluetooth on Mac

After a minute, Turn both of them back ON and check if you can unlock your Mac using Apple Watch. If not, keep reading.

#6. Disable/Enable Allow Apple Watch to Unlock on your Mac

On your Mac, open System Preferences → Security & Privacy. By default, you’ll be on the General tab. If you are not, click on General tab and then uncheck the box beside Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac. Check again in few seconds to turn it back on.

Enable Allow Apple Watch to Unlock on your Mac

#7. Disable Internet Sharing on Mac

Auto Unlock does not work with Internet Sharing enabled on your Mac. If it is enabled, make sure you disable it by going to System Preferences → Sharing and then, unchecking the box beside Internet Sharing in the left sidebar of the window.

Disable Internet Sharing on Mac

#8. Update OS Your Mac and Apple Watch

Radios on Mac and Apple Watch usually receive updates when Apple find any bug in their connectivity. Check whether watchOS or macOS update is available. If it is, make sure you update it right away and then see if things are working usually.

Update watchOS

Step #1. Open Watch app on your iPhone and then select My Watch tab at the bottom.

Go to My Watch in iPhone Apple Watch App

Step #2. Now, tap on General → Software Update.

Tap on General and Software Update in iPhone Apple Watch App

Check out if there is an update waiting for you. Install the update if it’s there.

Check Software Update in iPhone Apple Watch App

Update OS on your Mac

Step #1. Open Mac App Store and select Updates tab in the top left corner.

Open Mac App Store and select Updates tab

Step #2. If you find macOS software update, click to install it.

Click on Update to Install Latest Software OS on Mac

After the software update, you will, most likely, be able to overcome the issue.

#9. Restart devices

Restarting things is generally not required with Apple devices, yet it is always better to give a try when nothing seems to be helping. Restart your Apple Watch and Mac and then unlock them the first time with Passcode and password respectively. Now check again if you can open your Mac using Apple Watch. If it doesn’t, keep reading.

#10. Unpair and Re-pair your Apple Watch

I know this is really a tedious thing to do, but this mostly solves the most critical Apple Watch issue. On your iPhone launch the Watch app → My Watch and then tap the [Name]’s Apple Watch.

Unpair Apple Watch from iPhone

Next, tap on the Info button on the right and then, touch on Unpair Apple Watch. After it is unpaired, pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone again and check if Auto Unlock is working now. If everything fails to work, the last option is to get in touch with the Apple Support.

That’s all for now!

Wrapping up…

I hope some of the above fixes have helped you resolve your issue of unlocking Mac with Apple Watch. Apart from these fixes, if you have got any other way to get it done, don’t forget to share it.

You may also like to refer:

Do share your feedback with us in the comment section?

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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.