Are you finding it difficult to unlock your Mac with Apple Watch? If that is so, there is nothing for you to worry about. It is probably a bug that can be easily fixed with a few tips.

Unlocking Your Mac with the iOS-powered Watch

If you didn’t know, you could use your Apple Watch to unlock your Macbook. This feature is available on Mac, launched in and after 2013, and has been supported by Apple Watches since the beginning.

It is a valuable feature ensuring you don’t have to enter the password on your Mac whenever you want to unlock apps on your laptop.

Anyhow, if you have encountered a problem, it can be easily fixed with a few tips and tricks.

This article will explain the top 10 ways to troubleshoot your Apple ID and enable auto-unlock on your Mac.

Tips on Using the Unlock Apps with Macbook

If you cannot fix auto-unlock or never know how to enable it in the first place, here are a few apparent solutions that might work!

Check Your Macbook’s Model

Your MacBook might not be compatible with this feature. As mentioned, Mac supports auto-unlock on models launched in or after 2013. Any previous model won’t be consistent.

Use the Same Apple Account

You might have signed in to your MacBook and Apple Watch through different iCloud accounts. However, the auto-unlock feature requires both devices to use the same apple ID account. You can use your iCloud account for this purpose.

Optimize Security

Set up two-factor authentication on both; Apple Watch and Mac for this feature to work smoothly. Also, enable and set up a passcode on your Mac and Apple Watch.

Check Compatibility

The software on Apple Watch and Mac must be compatible with each other. You will need macOS Sierra or watchOS 3 later to use this feature.

By following these tips, you can enable auto-unlock on your Apple Watch and Mac.

10 Tips to Unlock MacBook with Apple Watch

Don’t worry if you followed the above guidelines and couldn’t do auto-unlock work for your Apple devices. We dug deeper into this common issue that we know a lot of Apple users face and found the following fixes to be very effective!

Enter Boot-up Password or Pass-code

Once you restart Apple Watch or MacBook, you must log in with your password or passcode. So, you can begin using the auto-unlock feature.

This is quite similar to entering the passcode on your iPhone once you restart the device before you can use the Face or Touch ID.

If you think this is a bug, it is not. Instead, this is a security feature you must surpass for your device’s safety.

Once you have restarted your Mac/Apple Watch, you need to enter your Mac password and Apple Watch passcode. This way, you will be able to use the auto-unlock feature.

Disable automatic login on Mac

Another thing you can do for Apple Watch to unlock your MacBook is to disable auto-unlock and set it up again.

  • You can do so by clicking Apple Menu, tapping into System Preferences, and clicking Users & Groups.
  • You will find a lock icon at the bottom left. Tap on it to make necessary changes and enter your password.
  • Now clock on login options.
  • On the right side of the window, you will see a drop-down menu next to Automatic Login. Select Off from this panel. Then, after waiting a few moments, set up the auto-unlock again.

Now check your Apple Watch and see if you can log in to your Mac using the auto-unlock feature. If it doesn’t work, try some other troubleshooting tips we have enlisted.

Correct Pairing

One of the most significant benefits of using the Apple ecosystem is that devices work seamlessly in this network. But, there are a few things you need to ensure for them to work smoothly.

Make sure you have paired your Apple Watch correctly with the MacBook by tapping into System Preferences via Apple Menu. Unpair Mac and Apple Watch and then pair the devices again for troubleshooting.

Without accurate pairing, you will not be able to unlock your Mac with Apple Watch automatically.

Check Wireless Connections

Another tip for Apple Watch is to unlock your Mac efficiently; you must ensure that Wi-FI and Bluetooth are turned on.

Many users often turn them off by mistake by turning on Airplane Mode and then forgetting to turn it back on. Try unlocking the MacBook with Apple Watch once more. If it still doesn’t work, try out another fix.

Reset Wireless Connections

You can also try to reset Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both devices. A lot of times, resetting the wireless connections can fix the bug conveniently. For example, on your MacBook, you will find Bluetooth and WI-Fi icons in the top-right corner. Turn them off, wait for a few moments and then turn both connections on.

As for the Apple Watch, swipe up and tap into the Control Center. You can turn off Airplane Mode to turn both; Bluetooth and WI-Fi off instantly.

Please wait for some time, turn it back on, and pair your devices again. This should solve the problem, and your Mac will unlock with Apple Watch.

Turn off Internet Sharing

Auto-unlock will not work if you have turned on internet sharing or screen sharing on your Mac. This is a default feature to make sure your data remains secure.

Turn off screen and internet sharing via System Preferences and try to auto-unlock MacBook again.

Update Operating System

If none of those mentioned above tips have worked so far, you need to update your systems to the latest version of the software available. If your software is outdated, it will undoubtedly cause many problems, but luckily for us, it can be easily fixed.

Go to System Preferences and check for a software update. Then, take some time and update both your Mac and Apple Watch to the latest available software.

Restart, enter a passcode, and auto-unlock. Your devices should be able to recognize each other, and the feature would be restored.

Wear Apple Watch Close to the Mac

Auto-unlock works only when you’re wearing Apple Watch at a very short distance from your MacBook. So if you’re trying to unlock a Mac by holding your Apple Watch from the other corner of your room, don’t waste your time because it won’t work.

Make sure you put on the Apple Watch and then lean in closer to your MacBook to see if it will unlock automatically.

Restart your Devices

Generally, restarting isn’t a problem fixer for Apple devices but is always worth trying. You can reboot your Mac and Apple Watch and unlock them on the first try using your password and passcode.

Now, check if you can log in to your Mac using the Apple Watch. Unpairing and repairing both devices is another troubleshooting tip worth trying in case a reboot doesn’t work.

Get in Touch with Apple Support

If you have tried all of these tips and none seem to have solved your problem, then we guess it is time you get in touch with Apple Support. They will be able to rectify the issue with much convenience and subtlety.


Here, we are answering some frequently asked questions about the Mac and Apple Watch auto-unlock features.

Is auto-unlock MacBook with Apple Watch a secure feature?

Setting up apple watch unlocking is highly secure. For example, suppose you have linked your Mac and Apple Watch to the same Apple ID and efficiently established Two-Factor Authentication. In that case, your devices will remain completely secure, and nobody will be able to tap into your private information.

How far away can Apple Watch unlock Mac?

You must be wearing your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac. The maximum distance that you can pertain is 48inches. If you’re far away from this distance, then the auto-unlock won’t work.


So, this is how you can unlock your MacBook with an Apple watch. Hopefully, this article has been worth your time and attention, and you were able to fix whatever was wrong with your Mac and Apple Watch auto-unlock.

You should always get in touch with the experts if the problem persists. Sometimes, none of the tricks work because the problem is a problem, not a bug. However, do leave us with your feedback below if you have any other tips up your sleeve that you would suggest we try.