How to Unlock Your Mac With Your Apple Watch

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

What to Know

  • In the Mac's Apple menu, select System Preferences > Security & Privacy and go to the General tab.
  • Check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac to activate the feature.
  • Whenever you start your Mac while wearing your Apple Watch, the watch unlocks your Mac automatically.

This article explains how to unlock your Mac automatically when you are near it with your Apple Watch. This information applies to watchOS 6 or later and a Mac running macOS Catalina or later.

How to Set Up the Auto-Unlock Feature

If you have an Apple Watch and a Mac computer, you can unlock your Mac just by being nearby while wearing your Apple Watch, with no need to enter a password.

Your Mac must be connected to both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and both the 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.

  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 to 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.

Apple Watch Automatic Mac Unlock
Prykhodov / Getty Images

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

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