How to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch

While you’re wearing Apple Watch, your Mac computers can sense when you’re nearby and log you in automatically.

An Apple Watch displaying the message 'John's MacBook - Unlocked by the Apple Watch' next to a MacBook at the login screen displaying the message 'Unlocking with Apple Watch'

How to use Auto Unlock

Auto Unlock gives you instant access to your Mac computers when wearing your Apple Watch. Just wake up your Mac and you’re ready to go—without typing a password.

The first time you log in after you turn on, restart, or log out of your Mac, log in by entering your password manually. After that, Apple Watch logs in for you.

Auto Unlock works when you're wearing your unlocked watch and are very close to your Mac. If necessary, move your watch a little closer.

How to set up Auto Unlock

  1. Make sure that your Mac and Apple Watch meet the system requirements for this feature:
  2. Make sure that your Apple ID is using two-factor authentication instead of two-step verification.
    Learn how to switch from two-step verification to two-factor authentication.
  3. Make sure that your devices are set up as follows:
    • Your Mac has Bluetooth turned on.
    • Your Mac has Wi-Fi turned on.
    • Your Mac and Apple Watch are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
      On your Mac, choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.
      On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then go to General > Apple ID.
    • Your Apple Watch is using a passcode.
      On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap Passcode.
    • Your Mac isn't using Internet sharing or screen sharing.
    • Your Mac has ”Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” selected in Security & Privacy preferences.
      Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then select the General tab.

The 'Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac checkbox in the General tab of Security & Privacy in System Preferences

If you're not sure whether your Mac supports Auto Unlock, press and hold the Option key while choosing Apple menu > System Information. Select Wi-Fi in the sidebar, then look for ”Auto Unlock: Supported” on the right:

The Wi-Fi tab in the  System Information window showing the Auto Unlock: Supported information.

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