How to Use Touch ID on Older Mac

Even if you have an older Mac (before 2013 models), you can use Touch ID to unlock your computer with ease. Mac ID for iPhone and Mac allows you to even set auto-lock/wake on your computer.

Whether it’s using iPhone, Mac or Apple Watch, I hate entering a passcode to unlock the device. Even when using apps, I don’t like to enter login details to sign in. Fortunately, Apple has already shown tremendous promise to cut the chase.

The Auto-Unlock feature in macOS Sierra and Single Sign-On feature in iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 are the perfect examples why users will no longer have to bother about entering passwords repeatedly.

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How to Use Touch ID on Older on MacEven if your Mac is compatible with macOS Sierra, it won’t work with Auto-Unlock; if it was launched before 2013. However, there is a way you can unlock your Mac using Touch ID of your iPhone or Apple Watch. (If you want to use Touch Bar on your older Mac, jump over to this post.)

Mac ID, an interesting app available for both iOS and Mac, allows you to unlock your computer using iPhone and Apple Watch just like how Auto-Unlock works.

Mac ID is compatible with these following iDevices.

  • MacBook 2015 and newer
  • MacBook Air 2011 and newer
  • MacBook Pro 2012 and newer
  • Mac Mini 2011 and newer
  • Mac Pro 2013 and newer
  • iMac 2012 and newer
  • iPhone 4s and newer
  • iPad 4th generation and newer
  • iPad mini
  • iPad Air
  • iPod Touch 5th generation and newer
  • Apple Watch

It’s available at $3.99 from iOS App Store. Mac version is available for free from the developer’s website.

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How to Use Touch ID on Older Mac

Set up Mac ID on your iPhone and Mac

First up, you need to set up Mac ID not just on your iPhone or Apple Watch but also Mac. Thankfully, it’s easy to do that.

Step #1. Launch Mac ID on your iOS device. Open Mac ID on your Mac as well.

Step #2. Next, you need to choose your iOS device from the list in Mac ID on your Mac. (Just in case your iPhone doesn’t appear, reset Bluetooth.)

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Choose your iDevice in MacID App on Mac

Then, you have to enter your Mac’s login password. Make sure to re-enter the login password again to confirm.

Enter Mac Password in MacID App

Then, click Continue. At the same time, ensure that Mac ID is set up to show on your wearable device.

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How to Unlock Mac with Touch ID or Apple Watch

Step #1. Lock your Mac screen.

Step #2. On your iPhone, you need to hold your Touch ID registered finger on the Home button to unlock your computer.

Unlock Mac using Touch IDOn your Apple Watch, simply tap Unlock.

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How to Set Up Proximity Auto-Lock on Mac

Mac ID allows you to set up proximity auto-lock on your Mac as well. Once it is enabled, your computer will be auto-locked when you leave the room with your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Step #1. Click Mac ID in the Menu bar. Then, click on Auto-lock when away from Mac in the drop down menu.

Step #2. Next, you need to click on the distance threshold to lock your Mac. There are options to choose from low, medium, high, or a customized distance.

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Set Up Auto-lock Mac in MacID App

How to Set Up Auto Wake on Mac

Once you have set up auto wake, your Mac will wake up when you come into the room with your Apple Watch or iPhone.

Step #1. Click Mac ID in the Menu bar on your Mac.

Step #2. Click on Proximity Wake in the drop down menu.

Step #3. Click On.

Step #4. Next, you have to click on Custom to adjust the proximity. As for instance, you have the option to adjust how close you need to be to wake the Mac screen.

Customize Proximity Wake in MacID App

Click on Unlock automatically to allow Mac ID to wake and unlock the Mac in one step.

Unlock Mac Automatically using MacID

How to Lock or Unlock your Mac with a Tap Pattern

You can also lock or unlock your Mac using a tap pattern. Make sure you have a trackpad or Magic Mouse.

Step #1. Click on Mac ID in the Menu bar.

Step #2. Click on tap to UnlockSet up.

Set Up Tap to Unlock in MacID on Mac

Then, you have to take your mouse over the virtual trackpad on the screen and tap the physical trackpad or Magic Mouse in specific spots to set a pattern.

Set Up Taps in MacID on Mac

Step #3. Click on Mac ID in the Menu bar again.

Then, click on Tap to UnlockTaps visible on Lock screen in order to check out the visual notification → Click on Only enter password if primary device is connected to unlock the Mac using trackpad or Magic Mouse if iPhone is not connected → Finally, click on Tap pattern also locks Mac.

Lock or Unlock your Mac with a Tap PatternThat’s it!

I find Mac ID very helpful not just for those who have latest Macs but also the ones who have older Macs. What do you think of this app? Share your views in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Also, make sure to check out our iOS app.

Jignesh Padhiyar
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.
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