How to Unlock Your Mac With Your Apple Watch

Set up Auto-Unlock to use your Apple Watch instead of typing passwords

If you have an Apple Watch and a Mac computer, you may be able to unlock your Mac just by being nearby while wearing your Apple Watch, with no need to enter a password. Here's what you'll need to do to use your Mac's Auto-Unlock feature with your Apple Watch.

To use the Auto-Unlock feature, your Apple Watch must be running watchOS 3 or later, and your Mac must be running macOS High Sierra or later. To bypass the need for a Mac administrator password, you'll need watchOS 6 or later and a Mac running macOS Catalina.

Apple Watch Automatic Mac Unlock
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How to Set up the Auto-Unlock Feature

Before you get started, make sure your Mac is connected to both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and that both your Mac and Apple Watch are signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID. For Auto-Unlock to work, your Apple ID must require two-factor authentication, and both your Mac and Apple Watch must be set up to require a passcode.

Set up an Apple Watch Passcode via the Watch App on your iPhone. Tap My Watch > Passcode.

  1. From your Mac's Apple menu, select System Preferences.

    From your Mac's Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy.

    Select Security & Privacy.
  3. Select the General tab.

    Select the General tab.
  4. Check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

    Check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
  5. Walk up to your Mac and unlock it automatically.

If You're Having Trouble

The Auto-Unlock feature has quite a few requirements, so if you don't see the option to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, it means one or more conditions haven't been met. Check your system requirements, make sure you have two-factor authentication set up, and check to see if both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID and use passcodes.

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