How to unlock Mac with your Apple Watch

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Unlock your Mac using an Apple watch

The Apple Company has implemented a feature in macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 known as Auto Unlock. This enables you to automatically unlock your Mac simply by waking it up. It is easy to setup this function. This feature is quite straightforward and works with almost zero effort.

Let’s find out how to auto unlock the Mac using an Apple watch.

Things to do before you start

You’ll have to set up two-factor authentication process for your Apple ID. Once it is done, activate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your Mac desktop PC. You also need to sign into your Watch as well as Mac with the same Apple ID.

Key resources needed

A new Mac desktop PC

Auto Unlock only functions with Mac desktop PC from 2013 and newer. The older Macs do not have Bluetooth 4.0. This is critical to enable Auto Unlock. You should also make sure whether MacOS Sierra has been installed.

A Mac desktop PC running macOS Sierra

You will be able to download the beta from beta.apple.com/profile. To do this you need a free developer account. Now you will get a redemption code to use in the Mac App Store. Use the code in Mac App Store download and install the beta.

An Apple Watch running watchOS 3

Update Apple Watch to watchOS 3 and secure it with a pass code. To create a pass code, open the Watch app on iOS. Then select the pass code beneath My Watch. Now touch Turn Pass code on. After this, enter a four-digit code on your Apple Watch, and then enter the same pass code again to confirm.

Way to turn on the Auto Unlock feature

The function is not so complicated and works without any effort, although the initial setup is not so clear. No information is available about Auto Unlock in the app. In fact the feature needs to be activated from the Mac on which you want to enable Auto Unlock. For enabling it, select System Preferences > Security & Privacy and tick the box to the left of allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac. Now you will have to enter your Mac’s admin password. Then you must enter your password, you may as well be asked to enter the pass code on the Apple Watch. After completing this, the feature will be fully enabled.

When Apple Watch is within one meter of Mac, it will be automatically unlocked

If your Apple Watch is within one meter of your Mac, it will be automatically unlocked instead of waiting for you to enter your password. Generally, this process needs around 1 to 3 seconds.

If you remove your Apple Watch from your wrist, it will not unlock the Mac as it is in the sleep mode. You will have to first wear the Apple Watch again on your wrist, key in the pass code and after this wake your Mac.

Auto Unlock doesn’t function after rebooting or shutting down the Mac

As well, Auto Unlock will not function after rebooting or shutting down the Mac. After shut down, you will have to manually key in your password on the system. This is like entering your password on the iPhone before using Touch ID after a restart. Remember, Auto unlock feature will not automatically lock the Mac desktop PC. In case you move away like a third-party version of this function, such as MacID. Auto Unlock can be used only to unlock your Mac.

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