How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

The Apple Watch has been a lifesaver to those wearing masks during the pandemic since it allows them to unlock their iPhones. However, you can also access your device without a smartphone. It is possible to unlock your Mac and approve app requests securely using your Apple Watch. Here’s How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

How to use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac

Apple introduced it to the Mac long before making it available on the iPhone. Nevertheless, you might not know about it if you have recently purchased or converted to an Apple Watch.


If you’re going to use these apps, you first need to ensure they’re compatible with your devices. You should have a Mac running macOS Sierra or later and a model from mid-2013 or later. Make sure this is true by checking the following:

  • Go to the top right corner of your screen and click the Apple icon
  • And you will find out how old your Mac is
  • You can also select the System Report under About This Mac if you have any questions
  • Questions. Click on Network > Wi-Fi. You can check whether Auto Unlock is available in the Interfaces category.

Now that you’ve made sure your Mac is compatible, you need to do this:

  • Connect your device to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unless you’ve got both switched on, the feature won’t work.

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Configure your Watch

Check that your Watch and Mac have the same Apple ID logged into iCloud. You can find our guide here if you are unsure how to do that.

Make sure you’re running the most recent version of WatchOS. To do this, tap the following:

  • Click Settings > General > About
  • Check that two-factor authentication has been enabled on your Apple ID

Now that your Watch is ready let’s start setting it up. On an iOS 6 or earlier device:

  • Choose System Preferences from your Mac
  • By clicking Security & Privacy
  • And then clicking General
  • Click Allow Apple Watch to unlock this computer

WatchOS 7 and later users need to make additional preparations: make sure your Apple Watch has a passcode. You can change your password under Passcode on your iPhone or under Settings on your wrist.

  • Your Apple Watch should function as a wake-up device for your computer by the time you’re done. You don’t need a password!


The option to approve app requests is also available to watchOS 6 and later users. The feature is enabled by default when you enable Auto Unlock, so you don’t need to do anything else.) Double-clicking the side button of your Apple Watch will be enough to authenticate an app whenever it needs authentication. You can unlock preferences, view passwords, and approve app installations as part of this request.

Some Apple Watch apps also use this feature.


Below are a few extra troubleshooting tips in case you are having problems unlocking your phone:

  • Make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both enabled. Activate or deactivate them as needed.
  • Click the Restart button.
  • Make sure you are not using internet sharing or screen sharing. System Preferences > Sharing allows you to check if this is the case on your Mac.
  • Whenever you log in for the first time after restarting your computer, you must reenter your password.

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