Why Apple Watch Not Unlocking Mac? Here’s Fix for Sonoma

🗓️ August 25, 2023 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

Due to your Mac not communicating with your Apple Watch, Apple Watch is Failing to unlock your Mac automatically. Or Getting the error “Mac unable to communicate with Apple Watch” when set up from Mac. or Suddenly, Unlock with Apple Watch not working after updating MacOS on Mac. Apple fans greatly appreciate Apple’s new concept to unlock MacBooks with the Apple Watch. Still, every new feature has its own issues, which can be easily fixed using a few troubleshooting techniques. If you are a business professional or collegian, always carry the MacBook and Apple Watch with you. You must set up Auto Unlock MacBook Using Apple Watch if you haven’t already.

But to use this feature, specific requirements must be followed, and if they aren’t fulfilled, then MacBook won’t unlock using Apple Watch on MacOS Mojave and later macOS.

Fix MacBook Won’t Unlock With Apple Watch


  1. The Apple Watch Must have a Passcode Enabled.
  2. Enable Two-Step Verification on MacBook:
    • For macOS Ventura, Sonoma: Click on () From Top Apple Menu > System Settings > Your Profile name > Password & Security > Turn on Two Factor Authentication.
    • For macOS Monterey or Earlier: Click on () From Top Apple Menu > System Preferences > Apple ID > Password & Security > Turn on Two Factor Authentication.
    • For macOS Catalina: Click on () From Top Apple Menu > System Preferences > Apple ID > Password & Security > Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.
  3. And lastly, 2-Step Verification should be turned Off.
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If all of the above conditions are satisfied but you still can’t auto-unlock your MacBook with Apple Watch, continue reading the article.

System Requirements to Use Auto Unlock on Mac with Apple Watch:

  • Not all the Apple Watch and watchOS support this auto-unlock on Mac. The Apple Watch should be running on watchOS 3 or later version, and Mac should be updated with macOS Sierra or later.
  • To Approve the administrator password request on the auto-unlock feature, you’ll need watchOS 6 and macOS Catalina.

Quick Tip: Unlock Apple Watch to Unlock Mac with Apple Watch

Since you are using the Apple Watch to unlock the MacBook, first of all, unlock the Apple Watch and then move your wrist up, like we used to do to check the time, The auto-unlock function will unlock the Mac.

Get here: – Touch ID and Password Settings on macOS (Complete Guide Explained)

On MacOS 13 Ventura:

Step 1:- Go to the Apple Logo > System Settings > Touch ID & Password > Enable toggle “Use Apple Watch to unlock your apps and your Mac.”


Step 2:- Your Mac will ask you to enter your Mac login password. Also, ask if the Apple ID re-verification pending under the Apple ID suggestions.

That’s it.

On macOS Monterey & Earlier:

  • Go to the Apple Logo > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Select ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac’.
Unlock Apple Watch to Unlock Mac
Unlock Apple Watch to Unlock Mac

Tip 1: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Must be Turned ON on the Mac

To unlock a Mac or MacBook using Apple Watch, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on a Mac. In case disabling and enabling the “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac” on MacBook, the system will ask you to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and after that, you can use the auto-unlock feature on Mac.

  1. Click on () From the top Apple Menu.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Then choose Security & Privacy.
  4. Click on the General tab and then check the box “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac”.use-your-apple-watch-to-unlock-apps-and-mac
  5. If the pop-up asks you to Turn On Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, click to enable them.
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Turn On Bluetooth & Wi-Fi on Mac
Turn On Bluetooth & Wi-Fi on Mac

For Error: Your Mac unable to communicate with your Apple Watch


In this case, make sure you check that your iPhone must be unlocked by selecting “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac” Under Mac Preferences settings. Also, check the below points,

  • Your Apple Watch is on write and Must be unlocked
  • Your iPhone must be unlocked

Sometimes, we must re-setup your Apple Watch for Unlock with Apple Watch on Mac. or After Upgrading to MacOS. Several Mac users facing issues with the error “Your Mac is unable to communicate with your Apple Watch” while turning on from Mac in macOS Monterey.

Tip 2: Bluetooth Should Be Enabled on Apple Watch

Just like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth need to be enabled on MacBook, both of them should be enabled on the Apple Watch, too, or at least make sure to turn on Bluetooth on the Apple Watch. Bluetooth is to be turned on to establish a connection between the Apple Watch and the Mac.

If Apple Watch isn’t connected, it will show RED symbol just like this.

Apple Watch no Connection with iPhone and Disconnected
Apple Watch Disconnected from iPhone
  1. Press the Digital Crown to bring the Apps on the screen.
  2. Find and go to Settings of your Apple Watch.
  3. Scroll down and tap Bluetooth.
  4. Lastly, Turn on Bluetooth to Green.
Enable Bluetooth on Apple Watch
Enable Bluetooth on Apple Watch

If it is already, enabled, disable it and re-enable Bluetooth on the Apple Watch.

Tip 3: Both, Apple Watch and Mac must be logged in with the Same Apple ID

This is a ridiculous mistake people often make when they bring a new Apple Watch or switch to a new MacBook. Always use the same Apple ID across iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac to get the most out of the Apple devices. Similarly, if you want to use auto-unlock, but unlock the Mac with the Apple Watch no longer working, then make sure to verify the Apple ID on the Apple Watch and the Mac.

  • For macOS Ventura: Apple Logo > System Settings > profile name > see Your Apple ID.
  • For macOS Mojave or Earlier: Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details > Security.
  • For macOS Catalina: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Apple ID > Password & Security. Check the Apple ID as shown in the following screen.
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Or you could directly check the devices currently signed in with the Apple ID on the iPhone. Go to the Settings app > Tap on your profile name > Scroll down, all the devices are listed including Apple Watch and Mac that are using the same Apple ID.

Tip 4: Apple Watch & Mac Should Be In The Range

Since the auto-lock function requires Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be enabled, we’ve assumed that if unlocking Mac Mojave stopped working with Apple Watch or Apple Watch won’t unlock MacBook Pro, the distance between Apple Watch and Mac will be considered. Ensure both Apple Watch and Mac are in range and try to unlock the Mac with the Apple Watch.

Fix: Unlock with Apple Watch not working after MacOS Update

Hope you check the above requirement to use your Apple watch to unlock your Mac automatically, and all is correct in a way. But still, are you having problems unlocking your Mac with your Apple Watch, This might be a bug, so keep all your Apple devices updated with the latest iOS, MacOS, and WatchOS. Or Something stuck because of a software issue we can’t fix with Hard Reboot or Restart devices.

So, in this case, unpair the Apple Watch from your iPhone then Pair it again with your iPhone, That found a helpful solution for this problem.

Step 1: Open Watch App on iPhone > Go to All Watches Option at the top left corner of the app.


Step 2: Tap on (i) button next to Apple watch Name that’s paired with your iPhone.
Step 3: Last Option is “Unpair Apple Watch” > Unpair Name’s Apple Watch.


Step 4: Enter Apple ID password to verify and Remove it from your Account and Disable the Activation lock as well > Unpair from the top right corner.


That’s it. Wait for the Apple watch unpair complate. Now, pair it again.

Now, Keep your Apple watch Near to Phone and Scan apple watch face using Watch App on your iPhone. And Follow the on-screen instructions to complate the setup and pair it again.


In this case, your iPhone will ask to retore the old Backup that was saved on your iPhone while Unpair the Apple watch earlier.


That’s an easy method to fix the software issue on Apple Watch.

Hope this will helpful to you for “Unlock with Apple Watch not working with Mac”.

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: jaysukh.pharma@gmail.com [OR] admin@howtoisolve.com

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