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
- 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 the lock icon at the bottom-left to make changes, enter the administrator password.
Then click on Login Options.
On the right side of the window, select Off from the dropdown menu beside Automatic Login.
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.
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.
On your Mac:
- Click Wifi icon → Turn Wi-Fi off
- Click Bluetooth → Turn Bluetooth off
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.
#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.
#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.
Step #1. Open Watch app on your iPhone and then select My Watch tab at the bottom.
Step #2. Now, tap on General → Software Update.
Check out if there is an update waiting for you. Install the update if it’s there.
Update OS on your Mac
Step #1. Open Mac App Store and select Updates tab in the top left corner.
Step #2. If you find macOS software update, click to install it.
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.
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!
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:
- How to Unpair Apple Watch and iPhone: Two Easy Methods
- How to Use Apple Diagnostics on Mac to Identify & Troubleshoot Hardware Problems
- How to Start your Mac in Recovery Mode: the First Step to Troubleshoot Complex Issue
- Instant Hotspot Not Working on Mac? Here’s How to Troubleshoot This Issue