Macbook Won’t Unlock Using Apple Watch: macOS Big Sur/Catalina or Earlier

Last Updated on Nov 10, 2020

Apple’s new concept to unlock MacBook with Apple Watch is greatly appreciated by Apple fans, but every new feature has its own issues which can be easily fixed by referring a few troubleshooting techniques. If you are a business professional or collegian, and always carry the MacBook and Apple Watch with you, then you must set up Auto Unlock MacBook Using Apple Watch if you haven’t already.

we are happy to help you, submit this Form, if your solution is not covered in this article.

But to use this feature there are certain requirements to be followed, and if they aren’t fulfilled then MacBook won’t unlock using Apple Watch on MacOS Catalina, Mojave or earlier versions.

Fix MacBook Won’t Unlock With Apple Watch


  1. The Apple Watch Must have Passcode Enabled.
  2. Enable Two-Step Verification on MacBook:
    • For macOS Mojave or Earlier: Click on () From top Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details > 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.

If all of the above conditions are satisfied but still can’t auto-unlock MacBook with Apple Watch, then continue to read 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 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 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.

Unlock Apple Watch to Unlock Mac

Unlock Apple Watch to Unlock Mac

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

To unlock Mac or MacBook using Apple Watch, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on 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 top Apple Menu.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Then choose Security & Privacy.
  4. Click on the General tab and then check the box of “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac”.
  5. If the pop-up asks you to Turn On Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, click to enable them.

    Turn On Bluetooth & Wi-Fi on Mac

    Turn On Bluetooth & Wi-Fi on Mac

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 Apple Watch too, or at least make sure to turn on Bluetooth on Apple Watch. To establish a connection between Apple Watch and Mac, the Bluetooth is to be turned on.

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

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

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

This is a very silly 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 Mac with Apple Watch no longer working, then make sure to verify the Apple ID on Apple Watch as well as on Mac.

  • 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.

Or you could directly check the devices that are currently signed in with the Apple ID right 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 unlock Mac Mojave stopped working with Apple Watch or Apple Watch won’t unlock MacBook Pro, the distance between Apple Watch and Mac to be considered. Make sure both Apple Watch and Mac are in range and then try to unlock Mac with the Apple Watch.


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: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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